Best of the High Country 2022 Results

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 has neared a conclusion, at least that is what the experts are saying.

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 several months. The voting this year (done completely online) was overwhelming, crashing all previous records.

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, bet limits eliminated, and the growing desire to get out. 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 2022″ 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 sixth 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 re ally 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 the following week (March 29), we will focus on more of the individual champs and some of more specialty competitions and showcase other key winners/finalists.

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.

The 2022 Best Of Winners Are…

Casino, Business and Regional Champs Announced

Saftest/Cleanest Casino

Gold – Century

Silver – Triple Crown

Bronze – Double Eagle/Wildwood

Honorable Mention:  Bronco Billy’s

In a fairly new category, prompted by the coronavirus epidemic, a few changes occurred in the top guard. The Century Casino, which even greets customers as they enter the doors, including our newspaper delivery folks, took the top title.  Old Bob Womack, the namesake legendary figure the property was originally named after, would have been proud.  Bob liked a whiskey here and there, (or maybe more than a few) but prided in having a safe environment.  Triple Crown, which operates three properties, gained the silver, while the bronze went to Double Eagle and the Wildwood.  But all in all, the casinos received fairly good tallies in this competition.

Last Year’s Champ – Wildwood

Best Casino Atmosphere

Gold – Bronco Billy’s

Silver – Triple Crown

Bronze – Wildwood

Honorable Mention – Johnny Nolon’s

Last year’s champ – Triple Crown Casinos

Bronco Billy’s, the establishment that sports more expansion spurts than any place in town, and now features the most amazing new hotel construction project ever done in Cripple Creek, (in fact it has practically turned into a tourist attraction.) gained the top nods as the place offering the best atmosphere. Believe it or not, Billy’s started out as a small, tiny gaming hall in Oct. 1991. Even with nearly 10 expansions, it has gained a niched as a real Colorado casino.  Triple Crown, which boasts a diverse lineup of establishments with Brass Ass, Midnight Rose and McGills, snagged the runner-up spot, followed by the Wildwood, the town’s  most Vegas-looking single-floor casino hub. And if you like smaller casinos, it’s hard to beat the atmosphere at Johnny Nolon’s.

Loosest Slots In Cripple Creek

Gold –  Brass Ass (Triple Crown Casinos)

Silver – Johnny Nolon’s

Bronze – Century

Honorable Mention – Wildwood

Last year’s champ – Triple Crown Casinos

No competition whatsoever, as the Triple Crown Casinos easily gained the illustrious title as King of the Loose in Cripple Creek, or where gamblers can make out with their bets. This year’s victory was attributed to sterling reviews of the player-friendly devices at the Brass Ass. This was the fifth consecutive year Triple Crown has won this competition. Not surprisingly, many of our voters favored the hub of old Johnny Nolon, who wasn’t afraid to cast a few bets, slug a few shots and throw a few punches on occasion.

 Most Money Won and Where?

Gold – Wildwood/Triple Crown

Silver – Century

Bronze – Bronco Billy’s

The myth is that Cripple Creek gamblers can’t win big in the old mining camp. Wrong. Unfortunately, if we disclose the specific amounts big winners came away with, we may face bodily injury.  Let’s just say, there are some big jackpots to be had in Cripple Creek.  The big jackpot winning strikes occurred at the Wildwood and Triple Crown spots, according to TMJ respondents, followed by Century and  Bronco Billy’s.

Last Year’s Champ: Wildwood

Best Table Games

Brass Ass – (Triple Crown)

Silver – Wildwood

Bronze – Bronco Billy’s

Honorable Mention – Double Eagle

Last year’s champ – Triple Crown

When Amendment 50 was implemented in the summer of 2009, the stakes definitely changed for Colorado gaming with the arrival of new (more Vegas-style games), such as Roulette and Craps and much higher limits. Although Cripple Creek hasn’t fared as well as Black Hawk with these games, the town definitely abounds with much more excitement. And with the official ending of bet limits last summer, the table stakes are now even greater and quite wild. This is something the town needed to do years ago.  Probably no local place characterizes this fun local table action as much as the Brass Ass. This is what folks imaged with these new added games, without getting too pretentious or too Vegas or Black Hawkish. Of course, with COVID, this action was forced to take a temporary breather, but it is now back, and most voters favored the table-friendly Cripple Creek hubs of the past. But many of our voters favored the more laid-back table action at the Double Eagle, featuring a very comfortable area for table games. The great atmosphere at Cripple Creek table game areas still rates as one of the town’s best kept secrets. And yes, the secrets of Cripple Creek taking a back seat in the table game action is no longer a secret.  Get ready for more fun.

Best Casino Food Deals

Gold – Miners Pick (Triple Crown Casinos)

Silver – Home Café’ (Bronco Billy’s)

Bronze – Joe’s Diner (Wildwood)

Last year’s champ – Joe’s Diner

Like most gaming towns, the Creek is bustling with great casino food deals, and great options for folks on the go.  The Miners Pick, located below the  Brass Ass and part of the Triple Crown network, took home the bacon in this heavily competitive showdown. The Miners Pick offers some enticing pizza slices and great sandwiches, and is one of the prime spots for a quick, but great bite to clinch your culinary tastes. Securing the runner-up spot is the traditional mainstay of Cripple creek, the Home Café’ of Bronco Billy’s. Joe’s Diner, located near the entrance of the Wildwood, is also a great place to start your day and take a breather for lunch.

Best Casino Lodging

Gold – Wildwood

Silver – Century

Bronze – Double Eagle

Honorable Mention – Midnight Rose

Last year’s champ – Century Casino

In a big changing of the guard, but an upset of the old guard that is not unexpected. The Wildwood, with their stellar and heavily praised new hotel addition, easily grabbed the coveted prize as the lodging place of choice.  With Wildwood’s spacious and classy rooms that still retain that mountain look, their huge lobby and proximity to gaming action, it’s easy to see why TMJ Best of respondents chose the Wildwood. The new 100-plus-room addition, the first of several big hotel additions planned in town, officially opened for business last summer. In the past, TMJ Best Of participants favored the luxurious suites and lodging amenities of Century casino. Once again, Century fared quite well in this competition and were followed by Double Eagle and the Midnight Rose.

Best Casino Restaurant

Gold – The Steakhouse (Bronco Billy’s)

 Silver – Pint & Platter (McGills)

Bronze – Dynamite Dicks

Honorable Mention: Johnny Nolon’s/Lombard’s

Last year’s champ: Pint & Platter

Bronze – Maggie’s

Honorable Mention – The Steakhouse

Last Year’s Champ – The Steakhouse

With the COVID menace easing up, Bronco Billy’s ever popular Steakhouse, reopened, and customers flocked to this long-time gem, the winner of virtually every culinary award in all local publications. The same is true for this year, with TMJ respondents praising The Steakhouse with renewed spirts, as if they lost a familiar friend for bit. However, many  TMJ voters clearly enjoy the town’s only authentic Irish pub, known for their great burgers and Fish and Chip entrees,  along with the dishes offered at Dynamite Dicks and  which sports something for virtually everyone. Lombard’s at Double Eagle and the prime upstairs eatery at Johnny Nolon’s did quite well.


Best Casino Players Club

Gold – Century

Silver – Bronco Billy’s

Bronze – Wildwood

Last Year’s Champ – Bronco Billy’s

Chalk up a big victory for Century,  which is never afraid to tout their player’s club. And not surprisingly, both Bronco Billy’s and the Wildwood snagged key medals in the category awarding the players’ clubs of choice

Best Casino  Bar

Gold – Pint & Platter (McGills)

Silver – Woody’s (Wildwood)

Bronze- Johnny Nolon’s

Last Year’s  Champ – Woody’s

Casino bars are becoming a growing part of the town’s social scene.  And with COVID restrictions relaxing, this trend will continue.  So not surprisingly, most TMJ respondents favor the Irish digs at the Pint & Platter, where our beloved editor Rick L is known to frequent occasionally. The Platter offers a great and unique atmosphere, and great food top matters off.  Meanwhile, it’s hard to beat the sports bar mania at Woody’s and the intimate atmosphere at Johnny Nolon’s. Casino bars are one of these closely-guarded secrets in Cripple Creek.

Gold – Eric Rose, Century

Silver – Matt Andrighetti

Bronze – David Minter

Last Year’s Champ – Eric Rose

In an overwhelming verdict again, Eric Rose, the head skipper for Century Casinos, snagged the gold. Eric often provides a much-needed breath of fresh air to the often-mundane Cripple Creek council meetings, offering the gaming industry perspective. His past talks on lodging, recreational marijuana and special events are pretty much right on the mark. Matt Andrighetti, the general manager of Wildwood, who has experienced the ups and downs of gaming for years, recorded an impressive runner-up finish. And David Minter, the head skipper for Johnny Nolon’s, is also a frequent attendee at council meetings, and isn’t afraid to tell city leaders his favorite line: “show me the money.”

Best Casino Employee

Gold – Belinda Marcelino (Triple Crown Casinos)

Silver – Bronco Billy’s staff

Bronze – Double Eagle

No competition, and in a big changing of the guard from past casino employee top laurels.  Belinda Marcelino, the benefits administrator for Triple Crown’s Human Resources Department, won hands-down in this heavily contested title. This marks TC’s first victory in the best casino employee showdown in the last five years.

Best Cripple Creek Bar

Gold – The Creek

Silver – Ralf’s Breakroom

Bronze –  Pint & Platter

Last year’s champ: Ralf’s

When in Cripple Creek, not everyone wants to spend all of their time in a casino. The Creek quickly became a local favorite hangout spot as soon as they opened their doors last summer.  The Creek is also a prime spot for post-council meeting gathering spots, (especially last week) where the town’s woes are always solved. It is also knowns for their friendly and amicable staff and owners.

The voters proved though that the Creek residents still enjoy Ralf’s which has been a staple for locals for decades. The Pint & Platter is a different type of casino bar that has received stellar reviews in Best Of competitions for the last five years.

Best Cripple Creek Retail Shop

Gold – Creations Everlasting (Double Eagle)

Silver – Colorado Trading and Transfer

Bronze – The Little Store

Last year’s champ – Creations Everlasting

Creations Everlasting serves as an absolute gem for tourists, out-of-town visitors, sports buffs and locals, with its wide assortment of NFL merchandise, vintage items, clothing, coffee, and boutique specialties. It shows why non-gaming outlets can succeed in Cripple Creek.   Colorado Trading and Transfer store, once again, proved that historic relics are still hot items, while The Little Store made another strong showing.  All in all, the myth that retail is dead in Cripple Creek was put to rest.

Best Cripple Creek Specialty Shop

Gold – Colorado Trade and Transfer Shop

Silver – Creations Everlasting

Bronze – The Little Store

Last Year’s Champ: Creations Everlasting

No big surprises here, as the Colorado Trade and Transfer shop has continued to gain much popularity.

Best Cripple Creek/Victor Event

Gold – Donkey Derby Days

Silver – Gold Rush Days’ Baseball Games

Bronze – CC/V Mine Head Lighting

Even if the Donkey Derby festival is down-scaled due to no city funding, locals and visitors love the town’s infamous donkey heritage. In 2021, the Two  Mile High club had to go it alone in putting on the annual festival, known for putting Cripple Creek on the map, and they did a commendable job. With COVID fatigue, this festival is even more important than the past. But many of our respondents love the vintage ball games, part of Gold Rush Days, while the CC/V Gold Mine Head Lighting tours are a continual big hit, and offer a good way to escape from the holiday blues.

Best Woodland Park Retail

Gold: Tweeds Fine Furnishings

Silver: Mountain Top Games

Bronze: Brazenhead Market

When it comes to shopping in Woodland Park, furniture and home décor seem to be some of the main things in demand. However, the top three winners this year are actually quite diverse.

Tweeds took the top prize by offering exquisite mountain themed furniture and home decorations. Mountain Top Games has everything for gaming enthusiasts and they open their doors to play games like Advanced Dungeon and Dragons on certain occasions. The Brazenhead Market has really made a name for itself by offering a little bit of everything and holding food truck rallies every Wednesday.

Best Area Wide Motel/Hotel

Gold: Microtel Woodland Park

Silver: Hospitality House Cripple Creek

Bronze: Little Beaver Inn Green Mountain Falls

When it comes to lodging in the region, the area’s newest hotel took the top prize this year. When Microtel first opened its doors it was during the pandemic when people were not traveling as much.

But now that things are slowly getting back to normal, readers have decided that the Microtel’s hospitality is top notch. The silver and bronze winners are kind of the opposite from a corporate hotel as they are smaller independently owned businesses that still struck the heart strings of the voters.

Best Area Wait Staff

Gold: Peak View BBQ

Silver: The Creek

Bronze: The Mucky Duck

Over the last two years, restaurant workers have probably been the one type of worker that has been hit the hardest. However, the voters this year showed their appreciation and tipped their hats to several local service industry employees.

Peak View BBQ won the top prize with their friendly staff that is always ready to serve you even when the restaurant is full. The Creek is one of the newest eateries in the area and they are already making waves by having a stellar wait staff. The Mucky Duck has always been one of the nicest restaurants in the high country and the voters have said that they like their attentive wait staff.

Best BBQ

Gold: Peak View BBQ

Silver: Smokin’ Rust BBQ

Bronze: Rudy’s BBQ

Barbecue is one type of dish that people in the high country take very seriously. Peak View is less than two years old and it has already stolen the hearts of BBQ lovers in the Ute Pass Region.

The Smokin’ Rust food truck in Cripple Creek has also impressed residents with its barbecued favorites. Rudy’s on the west side of Colorado Springs also seems to be a favorite stop for those when they head down the pass.

Best Area Hangout:

Gold: Peak View BBQ

Silver: The Blue Moose

Bronze: Ralf’s Breakroom

Many people that move to the high country first come to the area and think that there is not really much of a night life scene. But, this is not the case anymore with several new saloons and eateries popping up in the last couple of years.

Peak View is one of the newest hangout spots and with its beer and cocktail selection combined with gorgeous views of the peak, they earned the top spot. The Blue Moose is also a local favorite as it makes this top three list for best hangouts every year. Ralf’s is known to be a gem for those in Southern Teller County.

Best Woodland Park Bar

Gold: Peak View BBQ

Silver: 110 Reserve

Bronze: Rhapsody

Recently, the Woodland Park bar scene has also drastically changed. The Historic Ute Inn used to be the main hangout in downtown Woodland Park, but now they are closed and the trophies went to newer watering holes.

Peak View made the top spot with the combination of good food and quality drinks. 110 Reserve is also on the list proving it is one of the area’s most favorite places to relax and socialize. Rhapsody has also stolen the hearts of locals by serving unique cocktails in a relaxing environment.

Best Cripple Creek Bar

Gold: The Creek

Silver: Ralf’s Breakroom

Bronze: J.P. McGill’s Pint and Platter

When in Cripple Creek, not everyone wants to spend all of their time in a casino. The Creek quickly became a local favorite hangout spot as soon as they opened their doors.

The voters proved though that the Creek residents still enjoy Ralf’s which has been a staple for locals for decades. The Pint and Platter in J.P. McGills Casino is a different type of casino bar and it is a place where patrons can enjoy a cocktail without all of the sounds of slot machines.

Best Area Coffee Shop

Gold: Creations Everlasting

Silver: The Human Bean

Bronze: The Coffee Cottage

In the last year or two, coffee shops have started to replicate and several new ones have popped up all over the high country. Creations Everlasting inside the Double Eagle Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek has become locally famous for its coffee and as a prime retail outlet.

The Human Bean has also received recognition as the area’s first drive-thru coffee stand. The Coffee Cottage in Woodland Park is also becoming known as a popular meet-up spot.

Best Seafood

Gold: Carmen a Tapas

Silver: Fusion Japan

Bronze: Ralf’s Breakroom

The central part of the country may not be known as having the best seafood, but there are some local eateries that can really nail it. Carmen a Tapas often imports fresh fish for specials and they have delicious items from the sea on their menu including calamari.

Fusion Japan is the only place for sushi in the high country and the voters seem to approve. The chef at Ralf’s has recently changed their offerings to include seafood and Asian dishes that people absolutely love.

Best Asian Food

Gold: Fusion Japan

Silver: Ralf’s Breakroom

Bronze: The Mayflower

Many like to comment on how many Asian restaurants there are in the area, but it was pretty clear who residents like the best. Fusion Japan offers not only sushi, it also has other delicious Chinese and Japanese dishes.

Ralf’s new Vietnamese cuisine also proved to be a favorite. The Mayflower is probably the area’s oldest Chinese food restaurant and it is still loved by the voters.

Best Hamburger

Gold: Russ’ Place

Silver: McGinty’s

Bronze: Iron Tree

One thing that is true about people in the high country is that they absolutely love their hamburgers. Russ’ prides itself in being the reigning champion for having the best.

McGinty’s also has wonderful burgers as they get all of their meat from a local ranch located right across the highway from them. The Iron Tree is a made from scratch kitchen that hand patties their burgers and bakes their own buns.

Best Pizza

Gold: The Blue Moose

Silver: Ralf’s Breakroom

Bronze: A.J.’s Pizza

Pizza is also a favorite for those who don’t want to cook or those wanting to entertain. The Blue Moose not only made the list for being a favorite hangout, but it also took the top prize for its pizza.

In Cripple Creek, Ralf’s proves to be the favorite spot to order a fresh-baked pizza pie. A.J.’s is currently in the progress of constructing a new building where the old Pizza Hut used to be due to being a local favorite.

Best To-Go Orders

Gold: Peak View BBQ

Silver: Fusion Japan

Bronze: A.J.’s Pizza

During the pandemic, many chose to get their food to take home when they didn’t want to cook instead of dining out. The voters’ choice proves that BBQ from Peak View is the best place to get some take-out.

Fusion Japan also offers a great selection of food to feed the family when cooking sounds like too much of an arduous task. A.J.’s Pizza proves that taking pizza home is also a popular choice for local residents.

Best Grocery Store

Gold: City Market

Silver: Safeway

Bronze: Florissant Mercantile

When the pandemic caused people’s eating out options to become limited, many chose to brush up on their culinary skills and cook at home. Local grocery stores like City Market were inundated with business during the pandemic and afterwards.

Safeway is also high on the list as many enjoy their seafood department and deli. The Florissant Mercantile is probably the newest grocery store in the high country and it is already making waves as one of the best.

Best Building Supply

Gold: Foxworth Galbraith

Silver: Woodland Hardware

Bronze: Ace Hardware

Hardware stores also saw increased business the last two years as many decided to spend their time at home making improvements. Foxworth Galbraith proves to be a favorite of the locals with their good customer service and excellent product selection.

Woodland Hardware is also on the list as they seem to stock unique items that shoppers can’t find elsewhere. Ace Hardware in Cripple Creek seems to be the place to go for those in Southern Teller.

Best Clothing Store

Gold: The Cowhand

Silver: Creations Everlasting

Bronze: The Little Store

When many think about shopping for clothes in the high country the first place that often comes to mind is Walmart. But not everyone enjoys shopping at big box scores and this year’s Best Of survey proves that many prefer shopping at prime small business locations like The Cowhand.

Creations Everlasting is also a popular spot and they are known for selling official NFL merchandise. The Little Store in Cripple Creek also has a nice selection of clothes that locals tend to enjoy.

Best Bank

Gold: Park State Bank

Silver: Vectra Bank

Bronze: ENT Credit Union

When it comes to banking, local citizens seem to prefer the small town bank feel. Park State Bank is the only one in the area that is not corporately owned and has been ran by the same family for decades.

Vectra Bank is a bigger branch bank, but the voters still seemed to enjoy it probably due to its quality customer service. ENT Credit Union is a different type of place to hold money, but several locals seem to like the perks it has to offer.

Best Area Liquor Store

Gold: Banana Belt Liquors

Silver: Oasis Liquor

Bronze: Divide Spirits

Throughout the pandemic, one thing was certain, that people love their booze especially in times of uncertainty. Liquor stores definitely strived the last two years, and the local staple Banana Belt proved that they know how to keep their local customers happy.

Oasis Liquor has recently been taken over by new owners and residents seem to appreciate what they have to offer. Divide Spirits is also a go-to spot for those living west of Woodland Park.

Best Area Brewery

Gold: Paradox

Silver: Bierwerks

Bronze: The Taphouse- Old Colorado City

Everyone knows that the people of Colorado absolutely love their craft beer as it has one of the highest brewery per capita ratios in the country. Paradox makes some of the most unique beers around, and the voters spoke to the fact that they brew the best in the high country.

Bierwerks remains popular due to its beer selection and prime downtown location. The Taphouse down the pass has also proven to be a favorite when residents of the high country travel down to the city.

Best Tattoo Shop

Gold: Academy Star Tattoo

Silver: Tattoo Above the Clouds

Bronze: Stay Tuned Tattoo

When it comes to getting a new tattoo, there are pretty much only two options and locals seem to love them both. But, Cam at Academy Star took the top spot this year probably due to his artistic skills and entertaining personality.

Above the Clouds Tattoo also makes the list every year and one thing they take pride in is having an all-female piercing staff. Many local residents though prefer to travel down the pass for their ink and go to places like the Stay Tuned Tattoo shop.

Best Area New Business

Gold: Rhapsody

Silver: Stuft Food Emporium

Bronze: Mountains, Moons, and Mushrooms

One thing that is safe to say is that the last few years has brought an influx of new businesses to the high country. Rhapsody this year took the top spot as many enjoy their atmosphere, list of hand-crafted cocktails, and the food from the Red Diamond Gastro Truck.

Stuft is the region’s newest eatery and it has already proven to be a place locals want to check out. Mountains, Moons, and Mushrooms has also surprised many as being one of the best new businesses due to the unique products they offer.


Best Restaurant

Gold: McGinty’s Irish Pub

Silver: The Creek

Bronze: Peak View BBQ

Out of all of the places to eat in the high country, McGinty’s Irish Pub under the reigns of Executive Chef Larissa Vendola has taken the top prize this year. Ever since Chef Vendola took over the eatery, local residents have been raving about how good their food is.

The Creek is one of the area’s newest eateries and their diverse menu with items like elk medallions and seafood on Fridays has proved to be good enough to earn them the silver. Peak View BBQ is also becoming known in the region for having some of the best barbecue, hand-made cocktails, and now they even serve breakfast.

Best Fine Dining

Gold: The Swiss Chalet

Silver: The Steakhouse at Bronco Billy’s

Bronze: The Mucky Duck

For those who want more of a fancy dining experience, the high country is becoming known for its fine dining hubs. The Swiss Chalet has recently been taken over by Max Levy and the voters have shown that they definitely approve.

The Steakhouse at Bronco Billy’s is now the only fine dining restaurant in Cripple Creek and according to the survey results, they still do not disappoint. The Mucky Duck is also a local favorite that made the list due to its menu filled with delicious steaks and seafood items.

Best Lunch Menu

Gold: The Creek

Silver: Peak View BBQ

Bronze: Judge’s CharGrill

When it comes to eating midday, The Creek has proved to offer the best lunchtime items. The eatery is slowly becoming known as the best family friendly spot to go while in Cripple Creek.

The residents also picked Peak View BBQ for its convenient location and quick service when they are on a tight lunch schedule. Judge’s CharGrill is also known by locals for being a prime spot to munch on a burger or “Mexico City style fajitas” while on a lunch break.

Best Steak

Gold: The Steakhouse at Bronco Billy’s

Silver: The Swiss Chalet

Bronze: The Creek

The one dish Teller residents may like more than anything (perhaps with exception to the hamburger), is a flame broiled steak. The Steakhouse at Bronco Billy’s has been famous for its steak and it made the top of the list once again.

The Swiss Chalet was also a close second due to their steaks and fine dining atmosphere. The Creek is the newest addition to favorite steak hubs and it could be because they offer elk and buffalo meat as opposed to just beef.

Best Internet

Gold: Peak Internet

Silver: Xfinity

Bronze: TDS

Peak Internet, which has done some amazing expansions work in the last few years for the community, won hands down as the favorite Internet provider. Their service was heavily praised by many voters.

Even though the choices are getting quite diverse in the Teller High Country, the two providers that have been around the longest (Xfinity and TDS) were able to snag the silver and bronze.

Best School District

Gold: Woodland Park RE-2 School District

Silver: Merit Academy

Bronze: Cripple Creek-Victor RE-1 School District

Best Of voters, with their Teller roots, opted for Panther fever in picking their favorite school district.  RE-2 District leaders recently picked a new superintendent who last worked for a school district in Kuwait. And then shortly after, an entirely new school board was elected. So, the next year should be quite interesting.

Merit Academy was a new addition to the list and they snagged second place after only being in operation for a little over half a school year. Cripple Creek-Victor School District also proved to be a favorite for local families.

Best Firearms Dealer

Gold: Alpine Firearms

Silver: Freedom 30 Firearms

Bronze: Several Colorado Springs gun shops

In another repeat victory for the highly-watched Best Firearms dealer competition, the gold title goes to Alpine Firearms, headed by Jon DeVaux, a well-known civic leader. This downtown Woodland Park store, which once served as a retail and wine tasting hub, sports a great selection of weapons, offers classes and prides itself  for its friendly atmosphere.

It also is a great place for conversation, and even occasionally, some debates on local and national issues. Alpine Firearms beat out Freedom 30 and several gun store in Colorado Springs. However, Freedom 30 fared quite well and beat out many of the bigger stores down the pass. The interest in this competition is a testament to one known fact:  Teller County is Gun Country.