Arizona Highways Magazine Editor in Chief Robert Stieve didn't quite realize the kerfuffle he was starting with his latest cover. It boasts Arizona's autumn foliage, and in smaller letters below the headline, it teases, "Why it's better here than it is in Vermont."
Apparently, them's fightin' words in the Green Mountain State.
"It's like going after Switzerland," joked Stieve, who said he's already heard from the director of Vermont's tourism, and his cover has even made it to the desk of Vermont's Gov. Peter Shumlin.
"I think there was a little territorialism going on," Stieve said. "We all love our respective states. They saw the cover line, but inside, we are actually talking about how the quality is great here, as it is in Vermont.
"We set them as the gold standard," Stieve continued. "But what's great about Arizona is that our fall season starts in early September on the north rim and goes literally until the middle of December in some of the desert regions. So, we sort of beat (Vermont) in quantity."
Not to be outdone, Vermont Life, the Vermont equivalent to Arizona Highways, revealed its latest cover online. It included a photograph of a local gorge and bragged, "Why Quechee Gorge is grander than the Grand Canyon."
"It's kind of like when teams meet in the Super Bowl and mayors have these little bets. It's all in good fun. We were just trying to sell magazines, to be honest with you," Stieve said.
With this unintended spat hitting the wire services and going national on Monday, it's a safe bet both magazines will see more issues flying off the shelves this month. The Arizona Highways edition should be out in about a week, Stieve said.
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