The votes are in for the Herald’s Best Of competition and congratulations are in order for this year’s winners, all of whom will be formally recognized when the 2022 Best of Leadville and Twin Lakes publication is printed in March.
This year Herald staff tabulated a record number of votes. This might be due to the Best Of voting parties we’ve heard about or other efforts by businesses or individuals to garner votes. Either way, we at the Herald are mostly excited about this year’s strong participation in a fun community competition.
Respondents were mostly from Leadville this year, but there were a larger number of votes from Twin Lakes than in the past. And while several businesses and people were awarded a second or third certificate this year, a handful of new names earned their first in 2022, which is great to see. Additionally, some categories produced narrow victory margins of just one or two votes.
The Best Of publication in March will have all the official details. In the meantime, we’ll leave the public with the “unofficial” responses they provided this year, which ranged from playful quips at local government to thoughtful suggestions and hopes for 2023. These won’t appear in the Best Of publication, but they’re worth calling out.
One respondent hopes that Fire Station II will finally open in 2023. It’s our best guess that several residents in southern Lake County agree, if not for peace of mind this fire season, then for lower insurance rates. The latest estimate from Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue is late February or early March, but the Herald has reported on project delays more than once over the years.
Several voters are also hoping for affordable housing in 2023. Lake County residents have been barking up this tree for years, but multiple respondents also offered a solution to the issue this year: Disband or greatly limit short-term rentals in the community, which surfaced in the “best move for economic development” category as well. Seems like something worth looking into.
Under the government category, which includes best elected official and law enforcement officer, one voter responded with a bunch of laughing-face emojis. Your frustration is certainly understood these days, voter, but we’re also grateful for the government employees who are managing sound departments right now. To those people, please keep doing what you’re doing.
Finally, under the best quality that describes Leadville, voters left a handful of responses that mean similar things, including authentic, gritty, resilient and raw. These are similar responses to last year and the year before, and certainly they’re words that we’ve all heard describe Leadville before.
Is it the chronically long winters in Leadville that inspire qualities like these? Or the long history of resiliency that unfolded here first with Indigenous people and then with mining? Or perhaps it has something to do with how we live today, resisting the types of changes that towns like Breckenridge and Aspen are seeing.
It might be hard to pinpoint why, but it seems unanimous that Leadville is a town of grit and authenticity, except for one respondent who said Leadville’s best quality is being almost as good as the Twin Lakes. We see you, our neighbors to the south, and to everyone in Lake County, thank you for another successful year of Best Of.
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