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?