Nearly 600,000 votes counted to crown the Best of Southern Utah; winners revealed in new magazine

Composite image by St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As impressive as Southern Utah’s natural beauty is, the value of the area truly lies in its people and the businesses striving each day to support an atmosphere of community.

Best of Southern Utah 2021 magazine and prize package, St. George, Utah, June 4, 2021 | Photo by St. George News

The Best of Southern Utah contest highlights the very finest in business that the greater St. George area has to offer – from burgers and pizza to automotive shops and building contractors. It’s an opportunity for owners, employees, customers and fans throughout the community to let their voices be heard. And Southern Utah spoke up in a big way, with 844 nominations received and nearly 600,000 votes cast.

Shane Brinkerhoff, director of news operations for St. George News, said this year’s contest is a celebration of the local businesses that have endured, innovated and found new and better ways to serve their customers. Small businesses in particular play a critical role in the community, and the pandemic presented extraordinary challenges for many. 

Brinkerhoff lauded the strength of this year’s participation numbers, including an increase in votes, as an example of the resilience of Southern Utah’s business community. 

“Coming out of a pandemic and difficult year for many to just survive, we have a new meaning of the words ‘shop local,’” he added. 

A total of 274 gold and silver award winners have been crowned in 10 consolidated categories: Activities and Entertainment, Business and Services, Food and Beverage, General Services, Home and Garden, Lifestyle and Beauty, Medical, Schools, Shopping, and Vehicles and Services. Winners are displayed at and in the 2021 Best of Southern Utah magazine. 

Best of Southern Utah 2021 winner’s medals, St. George, Utah, June 4, 2021 | Photo by St. George News

This year’s magazine promises to be better than ever, featuring 244 glossy pages showcasing the premier businesses in Southern Utah. 

James Kreitzer, director of digital media for Canyon Media, said that working with businesses in Southern Utah this year was a “great experience.”

“It’s a much bigger magazine this year, and the design team did a great job.”

In addition to celebrating the winners, the publication is designed to serve as a guidebook for both locals and visitors seeking the very best that the area has to offer. Along these lines, 15,000 copies will be distributed in various locations. Complimentary copies of the magazine are now available at the following 16 businesses across the St. George area:

  • Canyon Media.
  • St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office.
  • Melted Massage (Riverside Drive)
  • Red Cliffs Mall.
  • SGU Regional Airport.
  • St. George Car Wash & Detail Center.
  • Summit Athletic Club (River Road).
  • Terrible’s Exit 2.
  • Terrible’s Exit 13.
  • Fabulous Freddy’s (Bluff Street).
  • Lin’s (Sunset).
  • Lin’s (Washington Fields).
  • Lin’s (Hurricane).
  • Riverfront Medical Center.

View and download a map of the distribution locations here

Ben Lindquist, general manager for Canyon Media, said he’s thrilled with the final product of what he believes is the community’s finest publication. 

“It’s the culmination of hundreds and hundreds of hours of hard work, not just by our team but also the businesses that competed,” he said. “When you pick it up and flip through it and feel the weight of it, it really is an impressive publication.” 

Adding to the prestige, this year’s winners all received a prize package featuring a gold or silver medal along with a window cling and a certificate celebrating their accomplishment. 

Best of Southern Utah 2021 magazine and prize package, St. George, Utah, June 4, 2021 | Photo by St. George News

Best of Southern Utah is presented by St. George News and Canyon Media. They partnered with title sponsor Vasion, a leading technology company in the area, to bring even more visibility to this year’s contest.

Canyon Media managed development and publication of the magazine again this year. Lindquist estimated that between sales, design and production, at least 30 people were involved in the process. It’s a heavy lift for an already busy team, he said, but it’s a thoroughly rewarding effort to pay tribute to the fantastic businesses that give St. George its unique flavor. 

“We felt like this was our opportunity as operators of the two biggest media companies in Southern Utah to really showcase the small business community and celebrate everything they’ve overcome.”


Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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