CEDAR CITY — Built on the backs of iron ore miners, generations of farmers and bold young entrepreneurs, the people of Iron County are proud of the communities they’ve raised. They know exactly what it takes to be the best, and now they have the opportunity to let their voices be heard.
Nominations for the 2021 Best of Iron County competition are now open. From the most caring doctor to the perfect place for a prime rib dinner, hundreds of businesses have an opportunity to be showcased as the absolute best in the region.
Best of Iron County is sponsored by Cedar City News, its parent company Canyon Media and title sponsor Brian K. Tavoian Family Dentistry.
Cedar City’s “smile doctor” for 29 years and counting, Tavoian said he is pleased to serve as the contest’s title sponsor once again. He said he jumped at the chance to recognize the hardworking people that make Iron County so great.
“Cedar City is the best place to live on Earth as far as I’m concerned.”
Ben Lindquist, general manager of Canyon Media, said they look at the Best of Iron County competition as an opportunity to celebrate local business.
“Local business is the lifeblood of not just our community but our business,” he said.
Nominations can be submitted on the Best of Iron County website through July 22 in a variety of categories, including shopping, professional services and restaurants, with subcategories for each type. Voting will begin on July 28 and conclude Aug. 11.
Known as “Festival City USA,” over a million people pass through Cedar City each year. Whether it’s to pay a visit to nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument or catch a play during the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, everyone needs to know the best places to stop while they’re in Iron County’s biggest city.
Once again, Canyon Media will design and publish a glossy magazine to showcase the winners, set to be released in October. Lindquist said the publication will serve as a guidebook that both locals and visitors can use to find quality services all year long. At least 10,000 copies will be distributed throughout the area.
“We invest heavily in the magazine to provide it as a free resource for the community,” he added. “We’ve also updated the winner prize package with gold and silver medals, a window cling and a certificate.”
Lindquist said he believes small businesses are the heart and soul of rural communities, and finding new and better ways to serve the people of Iron County has been a priority for Canyon Media in recent years.
Shane Brinkerhoff, president of news operations for Cedar City News, echoed that sentiment. He said the Best of Iron County contest presents an opportunity to honor the entrepreneurs and business owners who have endured, adapted and risen above challenges to look toward the future with fresh hope.
“It’s a celebration of the businesses that have made it through how tough of a year we know Iron County had.”
Just like the unique flavor of the greater St. George area, which was showcased this spring and summer during the third annual Best of Southern Utah contest, Iron County carries its own charm and style. The population of Cedar City is booming, and Brinkerhoff said he’s excited to help people just moving in get acquainted with the many exceptional businesses the area has to offer.
In last year’s contest, more than 500 local businesses were nominated across 148 subcategories, and upwards of 100,000 votes were cast by over 30,000 people. Brinkerhoff said Best of Iron County is not only back but is bigger and better in every way. He encourages all Southern Utahns to nominate, vote, share and most importantly, patronize the competing businesses.
“We want to see more people from the community involved and more businesses getting their names out there,” he said. “We’re looking forward to celebrating Iron County and running a contest that everyone can be really proud of.”
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