“A dusty crossroads.”
“A charmless strip of hotels.”
“A depressingly workaday town.”
“An old downtown area with little charm (and some less charming lowlifes). Skip it and head on to either Kimberly or Creston.”
Those are some of the phrases Lonely Planet, the popular international travel guide, has used to describe to describe Cranbrook.
And Lee Tengum isn’t going to take it any more.
“We’re quite known locally for all of the mountain biking and skiing and snowmobiling, and there’s a great arts scene in town,” says Tengum, a software developer who was born and raised in Cranbrook.
“[Tourists] just don’t see it because they never venture off the highway. They stop for gas, stop for food, lock their doors, and move on.”
Tengum and a friend decided to create coffee mugs emblazoned with “A depressingly workaday town” to try and convince Lonely Planet to have a more positive portrayal of their city – the largest in the Kootenays with over 19,000 people – in future editions.