Make Your Nominations for the 2020 Best of SLC

Make Your Nominations for the 2020 Best of SLC

And we’re back! The Best of SLC solidified its position as the best “Best of” contest in Utah last year — in its very first year! Great job, everyone! We’re back to set the pace for the next decade, and we expect it to be even bestier this time.

Get your mouse-clicking digits warmed up because nominations for the 2020 Best of SLC begin January 20 and are open through January 31, 2020. Participants who nominate 10 or more businesses will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift card from Amazon (multiple prizes awarded).

2020 nominations

“I live under a literal rock. What’s the Best of SLC?”

Good question. The Best of SLC™ is an awards contest that aims to recognize the best businesses in the community. The contest includes nine groups with around 170 total categories. We use a combination of 5-star reviews, online ratings, and community votes to determine the winners of each respective category. You can read more about how the contest works right here.

Nominations take place online from January 20, 2020 through January 31, 2020. Anyone with a mobile phone and a Salt Lake County zip code can vote. The top ten nominations in each category will progress to the voting round. The voting period is March 16 – April 3, 2020. The Best of SLC™ finalists for each category will be announced after the voting round. The winners will then be announced at the awards banquet in May.

We’ve made some great changes to the Best of SLC this year to make it even better. Take a look at what you need to know for 2020.


What You Need to Know for the 2020 Best of SLC

The 2020 Best of SLCTM nominations are just around the corner, and we’re looking forward to crowning the cream of the crop, as determined by you. Last year’s inaugural contest already established us as the best “best of” contest in Utah, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve got a fresh decade to work with, so let’s make it the best one yet for Salt Lake City and our nearby communities.

Important Dates for the 2020 Best of SLC

January 20th: Nominations open to all SLC residents
January 31st: Nominations close.
March 3rd: Last day to order voting materials
March 16th: Voting begins
April 3rd: Voting ends
April 7th: Finalists announced
April 16th: Tickets for the 2020 Best of SLC Awards Banquet on sale
May 7th: 2020 Best of SLC Awards Banquet

Learn more about how the Best of SLCTM works.

What’s New This Year

We’ve developed a new system for voting that validates ballots via text message. This is a security feature designed to protect the integrity of the vote. It has been very successful in testing and prevents all that funny business that can occur with strictly online or email ballots. You can review our privacy policy here, but the short version is we will not share your information with anyone.

How do we decide on what categories to include?

The Best of SLC Awards tries to compare apples to apples, the same as any of your potential customers would. As of this writing, we have 175 various categories nested within nine different groups. Most categories are very specific to an industry, such as “Best Plumber”. Some categories are more broad, like “Best Contractor”.

There is no feedback we receive that causes more debate than determining which categories to include. So how do we make those decisions?

Step #1: Make a Suggestion

Many of our changes begin as suggestions from those within their industries. Perhaps a user wants to nominate their brother’s auto towing company, only to find out that there wasn’t a category that fits them. They might then contact us to make their suggestion to include towing as a new category.

Step #2: Evaluate the Category Suggestion

We don’t mean to exclude anyone, so our first step is to evaluate the suggested category and see if there is a reason why it didn’t already exist. Perhaps it’s a specialized niche that’s already covered by an existing category, such as an attorney that specializes in DUI defense. They fit right within the “Criminal Defense Law Firm” and “Best Law Firm” categories. Other reasons a category might not already exist for various specialties are a lack of competition, it might create confusion, or maybe we just overlooked it.

Yep, sometimes we make mistakes because we aren’t experts in every industry. We’re happy to fix them if we can, we just ask for your help and your patience to do so.

Step #3: Is the Category Competitive?

I’ve personally enjoyed throwing axes and knives for over 20 years, so I’d be thrilled to include a niche category specifically for such a thing. But while there are a few places of business in SLC that offer axe throwing activities and instruction, there are simply not enough to justify axe throwing as its own category (for now).

Our general rule of thumb is that there needs to be at least 10-20 quality competitors to be considered. When we say “quality”, each nominee should specialize in this area and would need to have their own Google My Business page, Facebook page, and website.

Step #4: Discussion and Vote

When we determine that a new category suggestion is 1) distinct from other categories and 2) has a sufficient number of qualified competitors, then the change is discussed and voted on by a panel of 3-5 judges. We try to be as fair as possible, and sometimes these debates have become heated because we want to offer the best experience possible.

If a majority of the panel approves the new category, it can then be added as its own entity under the appropriate group.

Do you know a category that would be great to include for Best of SLCTM? Let us know by using our contact form.

Best of SLC™ 2019 Winners

Holy smokes, we did it! After counting, auditing, and verifying a gazillion (± 5%) votes and reviews, the results of the 2019 Best of SLCTM are here!

Using a combination of online reviews and community votes, winners were determined across nine groups and 179 categories. More than 100,000 votes cast by SLC residents were counted.

Local businesses and attractions were nominated at the beginning of the year, and the top 10 nominees in each category moved on to the voting round in March.

In addition to votes, online reviews from Google and Yelp were included in scoring. Overall ratings and the number of 5-star reviews from the previous 12 months helped determine the winners.

Congrats to all our winners. You deserve it!


Auto BoSLC


Dining winners


entertainment winners

Fitness & Outdoors

Fitness and Outdoors winners

Health & Beauty

health and beauty winners


home winners

Legal & Finance

legal and finance winners


services winners


shopping winners

Presenting Your 2019 Best of SLC Finalists!

After reviewing more than 100,000 votes cast for the nominees, we’re happy to announce the 2019 Best of SLC™ finalists for each category. Since voting ended on April 4th, we’ve been hard at work confirming the results.

The finalists earned their spots by receiving enough votes from the community to place in the top three of their respective categories. To protect the integrity of the contest, we used software and good old human detective work to remove fraudulent and duplicate votes (see the rules).

When Will the Winners be Announced?

We’re almost there! While the top vote-getters move on as finalists, votes alone aren’t enough to take home the gold. We’ll now start tabulating the number of 5-star reviews from the last year and ratings for each finalist. We expect to be able to announce the 2019 Best of SLC™ winners on May 7th.

Votes + 5-Star Reviews + Review Rating = Final Score






counting reviews

Reviews (← we are here)


Congratulations to all of our Best of SLC™ finalists for 2019!

2019 Best of SLC Finalists

The Ballots for Best of SLC™ Voting Are In!

Salt Lake, you did it! Just moments before this published, polls for 2019 Best of SLC™ voting were closed. It looks like this contest was a huge success!

We were positively stunned by the great response from our community. Well over 100,000 votes were cast by local residents over the last month for their favorite businesses and attractions in SLC.

What Happens Now?

We want the Best of SLC™ to be as fair as possible, so our team is working hard to calculate the results and verify the findings. The Best of SLC™ uses a scoring system that relies on a combination of votes, online ratings, and online reviews from sites like Google and Yelp.

Votes + 5-star Reviews + Review Rating = Final Score

SLC voting

Our mathematicians are hard at work determining the winners!

Counting Votes (← we are here)

Technology makes counting easy, but we are working hard to verify the results. Other contests allow for vote spamming, daily voting, or just make fraudulent votes a cakewalk. For optimal results, the Best of SLC™ only counts unique votes for each category and uses both software and keen minds to protect the integrity of our contest.

Counting Reviews

As much as we would like to pat ourselves on the back for collecting over 100,000 votes, we realize the community has been showing their support the SLC’s best by leaving reviews all year long, so we’re going to count those too! Every published 5-star review on sites like Google and Yelp within the last 12 months will count towards the final score of each business.

Calculating Ratings

Overall ratings on review platforms give customers an idea of how a nominee has been doing long-term, at a glance. The mean rating for each nominee is used in conjunction with 5-star reviews to determine a review rating, which is then added to the overall score.

Best of SLC™ Finalists – Coming Soon!

The top 3 of each category will be publicly announced next week once we’ve verified the results of voting. Finalists will also be notified by letter and email as soon as possible.

We’re grateful to everyone for the support and participation in Best of SLC™ voting. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s contest!

And We’re Off!

Best of SLC Voting Open Through April 4th, 2019


We’re glad we ponied up for those extra servers, because Salt Lake County residents have been blowing up the ballots for the Best of SLC contest. Voting began at 6am, March 11th, and we received over 33,000 votes on the first day and a half! If you haven’t voted yet, don’t worry. You can still vote online through April 4th, 2019.

The Best of SLC contest aims to recognize the best businesses and attractions in the community. There are 179 individual categories up for voting. Anyone with a valid email address and an SLC zip code can vote, but you can only cast your vote once for each category (we check for that sort of thing).

The nominees were selected by the community in January and February. After reviewing thousands of admissions, only the top ten nominees in each category moved on to the voting round.

Remember that we count votes and reviews to determine the winners. Learn more about how the Best of SLC contest works on this site. To help your favorite business win, share the link to vote with friends and family on social media and review them on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.

Finally, if your company was nominated, it’s not too late to claim your nomination.

The Best of SLC™ finalists will be announced in early April.

SLC: When Only the Best Will Do


While we admit that we have a bit of an obsession about discovering the best, we don’t think it’s something to be ashamed about.

Residents in the Salt Lake County area responded to the Best of SLC announcement by submitting thousands of nominations for their favorite businesses and attractions in the area. Our team has been busy vetting the submissions and notifying those that were nominated (watch your mail!).

If your team made it to the voting round, make sure you claim your nomination. The big reveal will be on March 11, the first day of voting for the 2019 contest.

If you’re like us, then you know just how hard it is to wait to find out who’s the best in SLC. To help battle our impatience, here’s a list we put together that demonstrates why SLC is the best community in the U.S.

Big on Business

Forbes has ranked Utah the #1 state in business six out of the last 10 years. WalletHub and MSN Money think we’re at the top of the pile as well.

Top in Transportation

Leading the way in travel and transportation is the SLC International Airport, which is consistently rated as one of the best airports in the country for on-time flights and traveler satisfaction.

Healthy and Fit

Salt Lake City ranks #1 for life expectancy, and it might have something to do with how hard we play. National Geographic thinks SLC is the best city for hiking in America, while PlanetWare is quick to point out that we have the greatest snow on earth. A health-conscious community surrounded by a great natural environment makes SLC one of the fittest cities in the country and a great place for active families.

Great Place to Live

Our community shows that you can have your gluten-free cake and eat it too. The SLC metropolitan area is the least-stressful big city in the country. With one of the friendliest populations and an impressive downtown, SLC is the foundation of what makes Utah the best state to live in.