Vancouver is once again putting the “bedroom” in “bedroom community.”
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Amazon.com ranked Vancouver as the fifth most romantic city in the United States and the most romantic city in Washington. That’s up from its 2014 ranking as the seventh most romantic city in the country, and the fourth year in a row that Vancouver has met Amazon’s criteria for romance.
“Vancouver continues to show it’s got that loving feeling,” Amazon said in a statement to The Columbian.
Depending on how you look at that ranking, however, Vancouver may also be the fifth loneliest city in America. The cities that made the list have the highest rate of buyers per capita of romance novels, rom-coms, music by artists such as Barry White and Luther Vandross, and sexual wellness products.
By the way, we’ll save you the search: Amazon’s sexual wellness section is definitely not suitable for work.
As for other places to find romance in Amazon’s top 20, Knoxville, Tenn., came out on top, and Everett placed at No. 13. Seattle and Spokane, which both made last year’s list, failed to make the top-20 list this year.
Vancouver’s own high-profile bachelor, Mayor Tim Leavitt, offered a simple explanation for the city’s ranking: its connection to the hit steamy novel and soon-to-be-released movie “50 Shades of Grey,” whose protagonist is a student at none other than Washington State University Vancouver.
But Leavitt did take the opportunity to wax poetic about Southwest Washington.
“I think there are so many wonderful aspects of our community that there should be no reason why people wouldn’t love it, wouldn’t want to love it, wouldn’t want to receive love and wouldn’t want to give love,” Leavitt said.
Local business owners agree love is in the air in Vancouver. Floral arrangers at Luepke Flowers and Finds are busy preparing for Valentine’s Day, store development director Jill Campbell said.
Given Vancouver’s rivers, parks and greenery, as well as its people, it makes sense that the city would be recognized for its romance, Campbell said.
“I think because we’re such a community where people care about each other so much and contribute to each other’s success, it creates a harmony for romance,” she said.
Tierre Benton, owner of downtown bakery Sugar and Salt, said things are busy this time of year as they prepare Valentine’s Day-themed treats for customers.
“Downtown Vancouver has got some great little spots tucked away,” she said.
Leavitt, meanwhile, has no plans for Valentine’s Day and said he doesn’t date within city limits, to keep himself out of trouble.
“I find it makes everyone’s life easier,” he said.
He did, however, recount one of the first calls he received from a local lonely heart. Shortly after taking office, a friend of his called to tap the mayor’s connections to Vancouver bachelorettes, asking if Leavitt knew of any women he could set the man up with.
“That was literally one of the first phone calls I got,” Leavitt said.
Leavitt admits he failed in his matchmaking duties, but Amazon’s list at least gave him a little inspiration in the matter.
“Maybe if I get a call I’ll refer him to a romance novel instead,” he said.