Building up the good in Cranbrook

Locals push back against negative review of Cranbrook in famous travel guide.

Lee Tengum and Nathan Siemens are pushing back against a negative review of Cranbrook that was published in some nameless travel rag.

Lee Tengum and Nathan Siemens are pushing back against a negative review of Cranbrook that was published in some nameless travel rag.

What makes Cranbrook great?

That is a question two local entrepreneurs are hoping to explore with the help of Cranbrook citizens in response to a damning review of the city by a famous travel guide.

Lonely Planet, the travel publication that gives the inside scoop on communities all across the world, has described Cranbrook as thus: ‘A dusty crossroads. Hwy 3/95 bisects the town, which is a charmless strip of motels.’ Past editions of the guide have also included the description of Cranbrook as ‘a depressingly workaday town’.

Well, Nathan Siemens and Lee Tengum have something to say about that.

Having both grown up in Cranbrook, the two have worked together to build a website to highlight all the positive aspects of the city and surrounding area by curating content submitted by themselves and contributors.

“We know what makes this place great, with the outdoor recreation opportunities; biking, hiking and being able to play in the Rocky Mountains,” said Siemens. “But it’s easy for visitors to have a skewed view of Cranbrook if they only drive down the strip on their way through town.”

Added Tengum: “Instead of sitting back and hearing people say bad things about Cranbrook all the time, we wanted to create the website to focus on the positives about the city and the people who live here.”

The website—www.cranbrookcity.com—rolled out at the beginning of this week and generated some buzz with the sale of coffee mugs with ‘a depressingly workaday town’ decals.

The brainchild of Siemens, who works as a graphic artist, the decal was something he originally wanted to put on a T-shirt, but changed his mind to coffee mugs.

After a run of 50 mugs that went for $20 a pop, Siemens and Tengum are hoping to use the money raised by donating it to a local cause before Christmas.

The mugs were sold out of the 1710 WorkSpace on 10th Avenue in downtown Cranbrook.