Locals’ Choice has some changes coming | PostIndependent.com

Locals’ Choice has some changes coming

Jerry Raehal

It was a frequent occurrence last spring.

The phone would ring, and the person on the other line was asking the same question: When does Locals’ Choice begin?

Both before and after we published the long-time section, it was abundantly clear the annual contest and niche publication was a big deal to locals and business owners alike — perhaps more so than any other section we do.

That makes sense, as it’s a great way to know more about Garfield County’s favorite places and attractions and a source of pride for our local businesses.

Because of its importance, we’re always looking at ways to make it better, and we made several changes to last year’s section.

We reduced the number of categories to make it easier to vote and navigate, and in the process almost tripled our nominations and doubled total votes.

We also received a lot of positive feedback about the content changes to the section, which included more information on the winners. One unwelcome change was a hiccup on the insertion date of the section, but I digress. 

Some significant changes to Locals’ Choice also are planned for 2020.

The section will move from newsprint to a glossy magazine format similar to the annual Cycling Guide, providing a premium publication that should be easier for locals and tourists alike to utilize year-round.

We will be adding content — providing more details on all the top finishers — as well as updating categories.

Perhaps the biggest change is the timeframe. We are moving it up to the beginning of the year, with nominations occurring in January, voting in February, and the winner announcements coming in March. We think this timeframe will be better for all involved and make it easier to connect early-season tourists with local businesses and services.

I wouldn’t normally use this space for a column like this, but we know that this contest is anticipated by many and the changes are significant.

Our goal is to keep improving the section annually, and we think these are some positive steps to that end.

Let us know what other improvements you would like to see, as well. We look forward to learning about your favorite local attractions.

Jerry Raehal is the publisher of the Post Independent. You can reach him at jraehal@postindependent.com.

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