About the Best of Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt contest

In The Aspen Times’ Best of Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt readers’ choice contest, readers have the last word. 

For years, residents have looked forward to voting in the Best Of to support their favorite local businesses, organizations, people and attractions. We’re proud to host it as a way to recognize the places and people that make this valley special.  

Nominations and voting 

  1. Nomination round: The contest starts with a nomination round, where readers can propose businesses, organizations and names for all categories, including new categories. This keeps the contest fresh as new businesses and organizations come to the valley and as existing ones change and grow. 
  1. Voting round: The voting round will be held exclusively online so that more people in the valley can have their say by casting their votes. What’s more, people may vote once per day in any or all categories! This round will determine the Best Of winners and finalists.  

Fair voting rules 

Nominees/entrants are prohibited from soliciting votes by offering payments or exchange of value of any kind. 

Voting is limited to one vote in each category per person per day. During the nomination phase, nominations can be entered once per category per hour. 

Even though we require sign-ups, we recognize that some people, in their enthusiasm, may be tempted to vote several times using different email accounts. Please note that voting under multiple email accounts violates the rules. 

We do have systems in place to detect fraudulent voting. When we see evidence of fraudulent voting, we may eliminate all suspect votes at our discretion. In extreme cases, we will remove entrants as well. 

Nomination guidelines 

Our Best Of team does its best to vet all nominees. Here are the guidelines we use, with exceptions as noted below: 

Businesses, organizations and businesspeople from Aspen to El Jebel (zip codes 81611, 81612, 81615, 81621, 81628, 81654, and 81656) are eligible.  

We reserve the right to disqualify a business or organization from a category that does not represent a significant focus of its activities. 

Nominees must, in most categories, be open to the general public. (That is, no restrictive membership organizations.)  

Nominations for individual categories, like Realtor, must include the nominee’s full name and place of business. 

Application of our criteria is not an exact science. The Best Of team uses its best judgment; if you think we’ve made an error, please email advertising@aspentimes.com. 


Category Exceptions and Special Notes 

Community Interest: The Customer Service/Business category, calls for the business, not individuals. 

Services: In categories where we asked for practices, we try to exclude individual practitioners, unless they operate solo practices named after themselves.  

The Insurance Agent category is intended for individual agents. 

The Real Estate Firm category is not intended for individual agents unless they are sole proprietors of an agency or brokerage, in which case that agency or brokerage may be nominated under their name. Individual agents should be nominated in the Realtor categories. 

We reserve the right to change these guidelines. Check back on here for current guidelines. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What are the key dates for 2023? 

  • Nomination Period: August 30-September 11, 2023 
  • Voting Round: September 27-October 10, 2023 
  • Winners announced: December 1, 2023 

Q: I nominated my business, but I don’t see it showing up on the website in the list of nominees. Why is that? 

If you’re looking at the site during the nomination period and don’t see a business you nominated, fear not! All valid entries are considered and reviewed. For a nomination to show up on the site, we have to approve it manually. Because we receive thousands of nominations, we can get backlogged. 

The good news is your business only has to be nominated once to make it to the voting round, assuming it met the guidelines. And if it did meet the guidelines, it does not matter if it showed up on the site during the nomination period. 

Q: My business was nominated, and I saw it on the website during the nomination period, but it is not showing up in the voting round. Why? 

See the guidelines answer above. After nominations close and before voting opens, our team does its best to vet all nominees. While your business may have appeared during the nomination period, our team may have determined it was ineligible for the voting round.  

Q: My business was nominated, but did not make it to the voting round. I think it should have. How do I register a complaint? 

Email us at advertising@aspentimes.com no later than 24 hours after the voting round opens. You must identify the category and tell us why you think your business should have been included. 

Like most humans, we sometimes make mistakes, and if we have, we’ll add your business within moments of our decision. 

Q: What guidelines are used to determine whether a nominated business qualifies for the first voting round? 

Please see the sections below on “Nomination Guidelines” and “Category Exceptions and Special Notes.” 

Q: How are the winners selected? 

Winners are those that received the most votes in their category. Finalists are those that received the second- and third-most votes in their category. 

If there is a tie, we will announce both winners and/or finalists. 

Q: Why does this contest allow people to nominate/vote every day? 

The Best Of contest allows daily voting—once per person per day per category—because daily voting rewards entrants with passionate supporters. With a single vote per person, entrants with the best name recognition have a distinct advantage, as some voters skim over categories and cast their votes casually. Name recognition is an important part of finding the Best Of, but we also want to reward the passionate loyalty some people have for their local favorites, which can be captured in daily voting. 

Also: This contest is fundamentally about celebrating and supporting great area institutions by raising their profile and helping them gain new fans. With daily voting, the contest raises the visibility of those businesses and organizations that use it to reach out to new and existing customers to ask for their support, through advertising and through their own channels. 

Click Here to visit the Best of 2023: Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt contest