Letter writer: Best of WNC has gotten too big

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Years ago, I remember actually looking forward with anticipation to the annual Mountain Xpress Best of WNC awards. First, voting for my favorite restaurant, bar, etc., and then weeks later, reading the published winners.

However, it seems like each year, more and more categories are added. What was once a slightly larger edition of Mountain Xpress has become a bloated two-edition cornucopia of awards with every conceivable business category available and way too many tie places to be believable.

I understand the desire to make all the local business owners (and perhaps current and/or future advertisers) happy, but jeesh — enough is enough! It has become painfully boring to read and has lost all validity and relevance. Who wants to find out who was tied for second place in the new (less than a year old) coffee shops that are open late and serve pastries category, or who got third place for local pet store (Asheville) with the cutest puppies and nicest aquarium displays category?

I jest — sort of. But really, why not just an award for the best coffee shop or the best slice of pizza? In short, keep it short and sweet. If you really want your annual awards to mean something again, cut it way down and please no tie places!

— Chris Power

Editor’s note: Yes, Best of WNC is big. We expanded the number of categories a few years ago with the goal of better honoring the area’s extraordinary range of excellence, entrepreneurship and activism.  It seemed the right to do then, and it still seems like a well-deserved celebration to us.


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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Best of WNC has gotten too big

  1. Selene

    We recently had a discussion about how worthless the “best of” section was – unless you have a bird cage to line. There is no way to tell which businesses really stand out from the rest. It’s really just an ad book with no incentives to look through it. I would be much more interested in seeing an advertising book with coupons and deals than this yawnfest.

  2. I couldn’t agree with this letter more. The “Best of” has become cumbersome and useless. Ever since Sirius B won best rock band*, it became clear to me that this was nothing more than a popularity contest to see who could get the most friends on Facebook to vote.

    * Not to detract from the talent of Sirius B. They are a good band, just not what most people would consider “rock” music.

  3. Jason W.

    This year’s awards seems way too bloated. It’s getting to the level of: “Hey, everyone gets an award just for trying!” I wonder if most of it is a veiled attempt to sell more ad space, since it seems like nearly all the winners buy an ad in the issue. Anyway I totally agree with the OP and the above comments, The “Best of WNC” has become ridiculously overblown.

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