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The 2019 Boulder County Gold results are in! And this year Boulder’s original reader’s choice awards are even more meaningful because Boulder County Gold is celebrating more than two decades in operation.

“Boulder County Gold has been a go-to guide to the local businesses, retailers, service providers, people and places that are excelling in our community,” says Greg Stone, longtime marketing and advertising features coordinator for the Daily Camera. “It was the original and remains today the most trusted source. It’s eagerly anticipated by area businesses and Boulder County residents alike.”

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the Daily Camera first started recognizing the finest places to eat, shop and play, plus key service providers and people that make this town tick. But it’s no wonder “BoCo Gold” has endured: It’s is a testament to all the elements of community that make Boulder County such a desirable place to live.

How balloting and voting works

Since 1999, we’ve invited the people of Boulder County to vote for all their favorites in one place. After all, it’s your community. We’re just reporting about it. The annual BoCo Gold awards recognize our unique identity: what makes Boulder, well, the Republic of Boulder.

Categories have evolved over the years, but are currently separated into the following groups: Eats, Drinks and Entertainment; Services, Places and Faces; Shopper’s Paradise; East Boulder County; and Broomfield County. The special section introduced two bordering county sections to be more inclusive to the vibrant and growing communities surrounding Boulder proper.

The community-wide voting process starts each July when ballots are released in the Daily Camera, Colorado Hometown Weekly and Broomfield Enterprise and online at Voters can also drop ballots in boxes at participating retailers and service providers throughout during the voting cycle. Over the years the voting process shifted with the times — from paper ballots and drop boxes to an online option, which offers a more convenient way to participate.

Then in mid-August results are tallied, verified and finalized by the Daily Camera team. Boulder County Gold ballot verification is serious stuff. Each ballot goes through a rigorous accuracy check to eliminate any potential cheating. This process includes checking for duplicate entries, multiple entries from same computer IP addresses, authenticity of the ballot and the people behind submissions.

“In fact, we go so far as to randomly check and verify a select number of ballots for authenticity by calling the person listed on the ballot and verifying that they provided the information,” Stone explains.

Boulder County Gold: 20 years and counting

The reader’s choice section has more than tripled in size over 20 years. And creating the coffee table winner’s guide takes nearly two months as the team produces more than 200 articles and snapshots to accompany each business profile.

Every August since 1999, our writers and photographers have anticipated BoCo Gold season. They prepare for the annual rite of passage: documenting top businesses though interviews and imagery. All the work culminates in the fun summaries that winners often frame and hang on the wall of their establishments.

“Providing outstanding customer service and products is key to any business’s success. The Gold award is meant to showcase a businesses’ hard work and effort,” says Daily Camera VP of Marketing & Advertising Jill Stravolemos. “For the next 20 years, I hope folks keep voting for their favorite places, people and services.”

This year, the 21st edition of Boulder County Gold celebrates businesses that stand out year after year with a special icon. Look for the designation next to any area business that has won (or been a runner up) five or more times.

“Whether a perennial winner or just gaining new recognition, these businesses truly are the ones that make our community the place we all love,” Stone says. “We encourage everyone to support all the businesses recognized in the special section. And, most importantly, thanks to everyone who took the time to vote!”

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