Has Chico “made it”?

This is a question that’s always on the back of my mind. Chico’s a pretty decent city, but how does it compare to other entertainment centers? When can you can say Chico has crossed over into the realm of “big city”?
Of course, Chico doesn’t compare when held up against the ‘mento or San Francisco, but I see things that I would view as “big city” elements. Having big-city elements can be a good or bad thing. On one hand, it could mean a wider array or entertainment. It could also mean more violence.
Case in point — street advertising. I noticed a truck and several scooters advertising a national brand of rum last weekend. I thought driving around in circles all night might be one of the worst jobs to have on a weekend evening.
Although a little tacky, one generally doesn’t see that in a small town. Chico’s party culture might be the key factor on this.
It might be a taste of the big city in little Chico, but here’s a counterpoint. I ran into the truck driver taking a photo outside City Plaza Saturday. He said he came up from San Diego for about two weeks for the promotion. Asked for his impression of the area and the downtown “scene,” he said it was quiet.
Perhaps the advertising cart is before the horse in this case. What do you think?

  • Top of the day, Ryan;
    I grew up in Alameda County, across the bay from San Francisco. That was a very fortuitous accident because of all the wonderful events that have occurred all around the Bay Area.
    The Bay Area has a superior public transit system with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) as its backbone.
    It makes the B-Line look primitive, but then Butte is one of the poorest counties in California and that has a lot to do with what you muse on

  • Yeah, the establishment of a decent mass transit system is one factor I would consider in a city “making it.” As much as I like BART, most cities are forgoing heavy rail systems in favor of cheaper light-rail.

    Chico seems a ways away from adding that type of service, although some keep asking for it (in the form of a trolley or some other fixed-route system). Although I wish they ran more often, B-Line seems to get the job done for now.

  • Industry, industry, industry. Chico is still largely a service economy bolstered by the university. I’m not complaining — smaller is better!