Thursday July 31, 2014 1:26 a.m. MDT
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Best of the Boat goes big

4,259 surveys, 134,280 questions answered

— Like a typical tree run down Shadows, there were surprises and new turns in this year’s annual Best of the Boat contest as well as incumbents retaining their coveted crowns. And it all goes to show that people’s opinions about this town of ours are as varied as our terrain.

While this year’s list was culled to 116 categories, it still included the favorites, from where to eat and shop to the Best Radio Station and Best Place to Work Out. Our popular Community section also continued to prove a big hit, highlighting everyone from best ski patroller and artist to volunteer and drummer.

In all, this year’s contest yielded 4,259 surveys with a whopping 134,280 questions answered. Voters selected top three in each category and weren’t shy about writing in their own responses, as well. Any way you do the math, that’s a sizable representation of Steamboat.

The survey encompassed five categories, including Dining and Drinking, Services, Home Services, Shopping and Community. Locals were given a month to vote and did so with the same fervor as they do pressing glass on a powder day. A prize incentive of two $500 local shopping sprees helped entice voters to the polls.

New this year, we also opened it up to area middle-schoolers, getting their takes on everything from Best Class and Best Teacher to the top vote-getter, Best Hot Lunch. In all, more than 150 students filled out the survey providing an inside peak into the minds of area youngsters. Also new is our own Best Everything section, which begins on page 42 and offers a lighthearted look at a few highlights we feel are worth calling attention to in this little hamlet of ours.

But regardless of what we think as we sit here behind our desks, the real strength of this survey is that the results come straight from you, our readers, who took the time to make your voices heard. And the end result is the collective voice of the community showcasing the best of everything Steamboat has to offer.

Best survey responses

As with every year, leaving a few categories open to fill-in responses resulted in a few not-so-run-of-the-mill answers. From 7-11 receiving votes for Best Hot Dog to Denver earning marks for best place to buy a car, this year’s survey once again showed that our local populace has no qualms about wearing their opinions on their sleeves — especially when the answers come straight from the heart.

Best Asian: “Bruce Lee.”

Best Cocktail: “Beer. The only correct answer is beer. Every place is a good place if it has beer.”

Best Realtor: “Schmoozy McSchmoozer.”

Best Pint of Guinness: “Milk Stout at Carl’s Tavern ­— Guinness sucks!”

Best Internist: “What the heck is that?”

Best Music Venue: “Bring back the Inferno!”

Best Vegetarian Restaurant: “I won’t even dignify this question with a response. If we weren’t meant to eat cows, then why are they made out of delicious food?”

Best Lawyer: “Is this a trick question?”

Best Bank: “1st National Bank of Mattress.”

Best Fly: “Any fly tipped with PowerBait.”

Best Fitness Center: “The Great Outdoors.”

Best Floral Shop: “Wherever he buys them.”

Best Optometrist: “Carrots.”

Best Snowmobile Mechanic: “Wow! These categories are so boring!”

Best Snow Removal Service: “My husband.”

Best Bus Driver: “That one guy with long hair.” “The dude from Jamaica.”

Best Bakery: “My son Peter’s chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.”

Best Grab & Go Breakfast: “Yampa Valley Medical Center.”

Best Gluten-Free Menu: “Don’t know, but it sounds gross.” “Yuk.” “What’s gluten?”

Best Hamburger: “Really, McDonalds and Wendy’s made the list, for real?”

Best Grab & Go Lunch: “Really, again McDonalds and Wendy’s made the list? C’mon now, get serious about #$%&.”

Best Sit-Down Lunch: “Oh, but wait ...in spite of their fully furnished dining areas, no McDonalds or Wendy’s on this list? WTF?”

Best Mexican Restaurant: “We want Dos Amigos back!”

Best Server: “The kind that gets you drunk.”

Best Place to Watch the Game: “Gary’s house.” “My couch.” “Baltimore.”

Best Sushi: “Space Station.”

Best Hot Dog: “Yuk, hot dogs are gross.”

Best Plumber: “One whose pants fit.”

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