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SHOW LOW — After many months of voting and tabulation, the staff of White Mountain Publishing is announcing the winners of our 2021 Best of the White Mountains contest.

You will find a separate publication detailing the winners in today’s White Mountain Independent.

Erika Lovegrove, digital marketing specialist with White Mountain Publishing’s Blossom Digital Marketing company, said the Best of the White Mountains contest is the first ever community-driven public voting event to determine the best of the best businesses in more than 140 categories.

“Other contests are not always voted on by their community,” Lovegrove said. “In April, we asked the community to vote on more than 140 categories, like best restaurant, best hair salon, best customer service and that kind of thing. It really went crazy. We had more than 20,000 votes.”

Voting took place in April and then a third-party, named Second Street, tabulated the results.

“They made sure that nothing was fraudulent. They made sure that each person voted only once per category. That was (so that) people aren’t trying to stack the votes,” Lovegrove said.

More that 600 business located in the White Mountains received votes during the competition.

The Best of the White Mountains contest will take place each year.

Lovegrove said next year the Best of the White Mountains contest will likely take place later in the year, so that votes can also be cast by the many summer visitors who move to the area.

“We know that they are a huge part of our community,” she said.

Rick Nathan, General Manager of the White Mountain Independent, said, “We’re very excited to bring this contest to the White Mountain business community. We think it is long overdue. We are looking forward to enlarging its footprint next year. We expect this to be an annual event that everyone looks forward to.”

Some of the big

winners in the

2021 Best of the White Mountains contest are:

Safeway, Best Business in White Mountains (Overall)

Charlie Clarks, Best Business in Pinetop/Lakeside

Western Drug & General Store, Best Business in Springerville/Eagar

Snowflake Smokehouse, Best Business in Taylor/Snowflake

The House, Best Business in Show Low

Hatch Toyota, Best Customer Service — Large Business, Best Automotive Repair Shop, Best Oil Change, Car Dealer – Best Sales Team

Show Low Ford, Car Dealer – Best Customer Service

Richelle Whipple, Horne Auto, Car Dealer – Best Sales Associate

Car Dealer – Best Service Department ended in a tie between Show Low Ford and Horne Auto Center

Above and Beyond Dog Grooming Salon, Best Customer Service – Small Business

The Truck Stop AZ, Best Live Entertainment

Maverik, Best Gas /Convenience Store

Streets on Main in Snowflake, Best Restaurant

There are 35 categories in the food and beverage category. Please see the publication for the winners in each category.

There was one typographical error printed in the Best of the White Mountains: In the Best Fast Food category Culver’s in Show Low was selected as the winner but mistakenly was listed as the runner up. El Cupidos Mexican Food in Snowflake was listed as the winner in the publication, but they were awarded third place. We regret the error.

Reach the Editor at jheadley@wmicentral.com

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