Well, to put it simply, I’m an Omaha native, but I’ve still been known call Omaha “boring”. But I still love the reactions I can get when I travel – especially on the coasts. That’s where they’ve “heard of” Nebraska, but generally they assume you’re fresh off a farm. Yeah, pretty much…only I’ve never really even been on a farm!
So what is Omaha actually known for besides being in the middle of nowhere?
I found some interesting articles that inspired this blog post. And no, they’re not all written by fellow Omaha natives. So here’s what our city is supposedly known for across the nation and even internationally — that is, by those who actually know what “Omaha” is. So even if you live here, you might find these surprising or comical.
- Omaha has a high concentration of wealthy inhabitants. As you probably knew, Omah is home to the former world’s richest man Warren Buffett and a slew of other multi-millionaires.
- Music. Yep, that’s right. Lumberjack Records, now named after the midtown Omaha road, Saddle Creek has more than 230 releases, including singles, albums and EPs. Plus, according to Movoto, with one of the best and most diverse music scenes in the country, it’s no wonder Omaha is on list after list of the top music cities in the United States.
- Beer. Home to lots of craft breweries, Beer Week and Beer Fest, Omaha seems to have a bit of beer in its bloodstream.
- TV Dinners were born here. Ok, this one took me by surprise! TV dinners were invented right here in the heartland by C.A. Swanson and Sons in the 1950s.
- Five Fortune 500 Companies. You probably knew this one, but it’s a nice feather for our cap! Mutual of Omaha, ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, Kiewit, and Berkshire Hathaway.
- Good roads. Have you ever been to another city and gotten aggravated with how long it took to get anywhere? Well, here’s why. Omaha is spoiled with excellent road systems — a maze of perfectly placed interstates and nice straight, well-planned roads.
- Sports. College World Series, Husker football, Olympic swimming trials, and more.
- Silicon Prairie. Looks like Omaha is a blossoming hub for techs, entrepreneurs and start-ups. Watch out Silicon Valley!
- Runza. The fast food chain that makes a sandwich — more like a stuffed roll — filled with ground beef and cabbage. Nice way to disguise veggies!
- Reuben Sandwich was invented here. This one got me too. Supposedly, the Reuben sandwich was invented here by a Jewish Lithuanian named Reuben Kulakofsky. However, looks like a bit of controversy on this point still exists.
- Big retail. I can’t prove this one 100%. I found a couple things saying that Borsheim’s is the largest jewelry store is the nation and Nebraska Furniture Mart is the largest furniture store.
- The Zoo. You knew that one too. It’s got all sorts of “world’s largest” and bests. That’s probably the only other thing people seem to generally know about Omaha!
- Friendly. Sounds like we’re pretty friendly around here. Everyone you talk to seems to know someone you know…and I’ve found that especially true within the construction and HVAC industry!
- Consumer research & telemarketing. Locals are privileged to be the guinea pigs for new foods etc. And because of our neutral accent, research and telemarketing is often done from right here.
- Largest privately-owned bank in the US. First National Bank of Omaha holds that title as a $19 billion institution.
- Finally…BEEF! Our biggest farm-related claim to fame is good, satisfying, tasty, juicy, proper beef. With Omaha Steaks being known nationally (or perhaps world-wide) and several packing plants around the metro, beef is definitely one thing Omaha has down pat. Guess it makes sense when Nebraska boasts a cow population of 6.3 million and human population of just under 2 million!
So with all this going for us, I’d say we’ve got a lot ahead of us. No wonder the construction market is flourishing.
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