And the Montrose/Delta WINNERS are…

The nominations are in and the results have been tallied. BEACON Senior Newspaper readers spent the last two months nominating their favorite local hot spots. Now, we’re excited to reveal the BEACON Best—nearly 30 restaurants, shops, service providers and more who rise above the rest for residents of Delta and Montrose counties.

“There are other, similar contests, but none specifically from the viewpoint of boomers and seniors,” said BEACON Publisher Kevin VanGundy. “Nothing else focuses on the businesses and services that they particularly like.”

Fortunately, this is not the case with this year’s BEACON Best Award winners. Although they span many different industries, they all have something in common—each provides a high-quality experience in a welcoming, friendly environment. One huge component of that is a dedication to superior customer service.

“Many of our readers grew up in an age where service came with everything you bought,” VanGundy said.

BEACON reader Marjorie Hutchinson has participated in similar contests around the state for several years. She said she voted for establishments where the merchandise is easy to find and customer service is a priority.

“I’ve been places where I had to get up and ask for help myself,” she said.

Reader Bruce Bjorklund, who participated in this year’s contest, said one major factor in securing his vote was accessibility.

“My wife and I like Denny’s because it’s convenient for seniors,” he said. “The breakfasts are cheap and the food is good. My wife is handicapped, and the wide aisles are easier for her to move around in.”

But the BEACON Best go above and beyond being senior-friendly locales. They make an effort to set themselves apart from the competition.

Among many amenities, Cascade Bicycles, winner of the best bike shop, offers several group rides each week, high tech training equipment that isn’t found elsewhere on the Western Slope and a passion for cycling. It’s no wonder the company draws customers from miles away.

“All of us that work here have the mindset of encouraging our customers, whether it’s a 50-year-old woman whose kids are out of the house and who’s buying her first bike, or someone who’s into serious racing,” said bike fit technician Jim Clark.

And Ron Ellis, general manager of Flower Motor Company (voted best automotive dealership), said customers like the company for its honesty—something many people don’t associate with car dealerships.

“We talk straight, and there’s no hocus-pocus or big stories,” Ellis said. “In the past, car dealers have had a rough shake. The Flower family makes it a point to be open and honest.”

He also believes that the work the dealership does to be an active part of the Montrose community is a major factor.

While VanGundy hopes that other businesses will take note of the BEACON Best Awards and think about ways to make their establishments more senior-friendly, he said the idea of the contest is to recognize the businesses and services that seniors love.

For Ellis, the award only confirmed what he already knew.

“It’s great to win this award. It’s nice to hear from customers that we’re doing what we want to be doing,” he said.

It’s this kind of commitment to quality that sets the BEACON Best apart.