By Rick Langenberg
Fire off the cannons, as it’s time to party, celebrate and have fun, and yes; enjoy The Best of What the Teller and Pikes Peak High Country offers. Our coronavirus menace is nearing a conclusion.
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, TMJ readers, online viewers, residents, gaming and history enthusiasts and visitors came out in force to voice their favorite picks in the last few two months. The voting this year (done completely online) was overwhelming, crashing all previous records.
We thank everyone for their support.
While Hollywood may have their annual Academy Awards competition, Cripple Creek, Teller County and the entire Pikes Peak region boasts of the infamous Best Of championship, sponsored by TMJ (The Mountain Jackpot) newspaper over the last few decades. And not to be too bias, our contest is way more objective than that of the egotistical stars from Hollywood.
Once again, readers have declared their favorite places to gamble, play slots, cards and table games, dine, seek entertainment, hang out, converse, gossip and grumble at politicians, bureaucrats and journalists (yes, a rare concept in our land of enlightenment Yes, the COVID epidemic had an impact on some of our traditional contests, but with restrictions easing, the good times are slowly returning.
In addition, voters weren’t shy about announcing their top picks for public servants, casino employees, local personalities, bartenders, politicians and more. In a heavily competitive, “Best of The High Country- 2021 contest,” TMJ readers and Best Of participants dealt a few upsets and surprises, as well as obvious choices for the region’s high and low points. For the fifth year in a row, we continued to add a few more categories for “Best Of” contests, encompassing a wider area than just Cripple Creek and southern Teller. (Contrary to public opinion, there is a world beyond Cripple Creek and Victor. But we must give the southern Teller folks credit, as their strong interest and enthusiasm in the “Best Of” showdown two decades ago really led to this annual edition. Don’t ever say people in Cripple Creek and Victor aren’t competitive and don’t have opinions.)
For this week, we are unveiling the bulk of “Best Of” winners and finalists for the heavily competitive casino, business and regional categories. For next week, we will focus on more of the individual champs and some of more specialty competitions.
So, without any further delays, let’s pound the drums and shoot off the cannons. The following represents the region’ s newly acclaimed Best Of winners and finalists. In the near future, formal presentations and announcements will occur to celebrate some of the grand winners. And best of all, thanks to the many people who participated in this year’s contest.