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.