By on March 21, 2017

Readers’ Choice
Best Radio Station
89.1 KHOL (Gold)

Since station manager (and longtime volunteer DJ), Zach Zimmereman, took over KHOL a year and a half ago with assistant manager Michael Moeri the station has blossomed. “When Michael and I took the helm there were around 20 volunteer DJs. Right now we have over 60 volunteers creating the sounds that you hear on the airwaves 24/7.”

Zimmereman explained how KHOL provides an outlet for unique local perspectives while building community. “With the exception of “Democracy Now” every weekday at 3 p.m., everything you hear on KHOL is created in-house, by your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. If you don’t personally know someone who is involved here, chances are one of your friends does.”

While media consolidation is at an all time high and large conglomerates are swallowing up smaller radio stations, independent media outlets are increasingly crucial to providing balanced views and giving citizens a voice. “There are fewer, more powerful hands controlling the messages we see and hear on most media channels these days,” Zimmereman said. “With a truly community outlet like KHOL, we receive zero state or federal funding, and are beholden to no outside interests. You can pick up the phone and talk to a live person. You can become a DJ. You can stop by the station anytime. We really are your community radio station.”

– Jessica Sell Chambers

Readers’ Choice
Best Spa
Spa Terre, Teton Mountain Lodge (Gold)

Think resort spas are just for tourists? Think again. Spa Terre in Teton Mountain Lodge takes pride in their local guests.  That’s why locals get 20 percent off spa treatments year-round, and facility access to guests who want to join their friends, partners, parents and visitors while they get pampered. “We cater towards what we can offer the locals,” said spa director Sara Dolentz.

Dolentz also boasts that Spa Terre has “some of the best hands in the industry.” Its staff specializes in athletic bodies. “Our therapists are always thinking they’re not going to see repeat guests,” Dolentz said. But they always do. “They really do make a difference with people who are kind of crazy athletes.”

Sound familiar?

Dolentz and her staff are welcoming and accommodating. The facility is nestled in the back of Teton Mountain Lodge, and includes numerous pools and hot tubs, a Tranquility Lounge, and fitness center. Holiday season may be over, but Dolentz advises there’s never a bad time to treat yourself.

– Shannon Sollitt

Readers’ Choice
Best Bike Shop
Hoff’s Bikesmith (Silver)

Hoff’s Bikesmith founder and owner Tim Hoff has worked in bike shops since he was 12 years old. “I’ve been a mechanic forever,” he said. His love of cycling started as a young sprout riding BMX, a passion he continues today. Now his repertoire includes mountain biking, road cycling, fat bikes, and practically anything with two wheels.

Hoff started his own shop five years ago after a solid stint working for other shops in town, including Fitzgerald’s and Hoback (all while putting together used bikes in his garage). He started selling used bikes on his own and realized there was a void in the Jackson market that needed filling. Now Hoff’s is the go-to year-round place to buy used bikes, as well as higher end bikes from Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Devinci Cycles, and KTM Bicycles.

But don’t expect a too cool for school attitude at this bike shop. Hoff and crew pride themselves on their laid-back attitude. They want their shop to feel inviting to everyone, regardless of cycling ability. “It doesn’t matter if you bring your Wal-Mart bike in or your high-end bike, we are going to fix it,” Hoff said. “We love getting people out riding bikes and seeing smiles on their faces.”

– Meg Daly

Readers’ Choice
Best Place to Buy Drugs
Stone Drug (Gold)

A few years ago, Stone Drug’s future was unclear at best. Locals shook their heads and heaved wistful sighs as Walgreens popped up right across the road. But not only did Jackson’s most old school pharmacy and general store survive the mega-chain’s short tenure, its authentic charm helped it come out ahead.

As the mountainside sloughed down and wiped the competitor off the map, Stone Drug responded with stickers and T-shirts celebrating its victory and endurance: “Stone Drug Wins by a Landslide!” Clever pun, of course, but it is also a win for so many Jacksonites who love the small-town ambiance of the store, and prefer it to the corporatized pharmacies inside mega grocers.

While you’re there, be sure to peruse Stone Drug’s offerings of custom fishing rods, bait and tackle, hunting gear and firearms, and kitchen classics like cast iron and canning materials. Need a birthday card or a model car? Look no further.

Any visit to Stone Drug is a glimpse into a simpler time in Wyoming, and a great reminder that mom and pop businesses help keep the culture and character of this community alive.

– Melissa Thomasma

Readers’ Choice
Best Shop to Buy Bling
MADE (Silver)

Seven years ago MADE was just a pop-up shop squeezed between other large businesses. Over a small counter, owner John Frechette sold his fused glass belt buckles. Today Frechette runs two brick and mortar MADE shops, one in downtown Jackson and one in Teton Village, both filled with unique items from more than 160 artists, many whose work is emblematic of Jackson Hole and the New West.

Frechette had never been in retail before, and never expected any of this to happen. “It was all an experiment,” he said. Now, the MADE experiment is a popular destination for shoppers looking for glassware, stationery, accessories, and yes, some pretty cool bling. “We want to create a unique store that you don’t see everywhere, we love to highlight local artists and those from all over the country,” he said. MADE’s jewelry is affordable and high quality, often influenced by Western design—like the delicate antler necklaces crafted by the valley’s own Padgett Hoke—handmade earrings, porcupine quill necklaces, and Teton Range rings.

On any given day in the store, Frechette says he hears four different languages. But he says locals are the bedrock of his business. “Jackson is really supportive of small business. There’s certain times of year where it’s hard to survive without the locals.”

– Sarah Ross

Readers’ Choice
Best Specialty Fitness Studio
Revolution Indoor Cycling (Silver)

Men in Axl Rose wigs and women in blue sequined top hats sweated it out Sunday morning for Rock the Ride at Revolution Indoor Cycling. While a DJ hovered over turntables, owner Julie Guttormson told sweaty cyclists, “You woke up early to party!”

The annual fundraiser Rock the Ride, where foursomes ride bikes for hours to raise money for stroke and cardiac patients, is personal for Guttormson. Eleven years ago, she suffered a stroke as a healthy, fit 31-year-old. She had three blood clots in her brain and though she came out of the fiasco unscathed, Guttormson decided to make some life changes. She quit her job in the hospitality industry to pursue healthy living and fitness full-time. She completed an Iron Man just one year after suffering her stroke, became a personal trainer and then opened Revolution, where her mantra is to host “classes for the masses.”

Though costumed revelers may not be the norm at Revolution, the energy and lightheartedness swirling through the studio that morning certainly is.

“Fitness is taken really seriously, especially in this town,” Guttormson said. “I want people to know they can work hard but they can also come in and rehab, or have the goal to lose weight, but it should always be fun. After all, we are on bikes and rowers going nowhere, it has to be fun.”

– Robyn Vincent

Readers’ Choice
Best in Uniform
Sheriff Jim Whalen (Gold)

“Was the contest only involving bald guys who are members of AARP?” joked the modest sheriff.

Humor and humility come with serving and protecting since 1976, when Jim Whalen began his law enforcement career in the Air Force. A few years later the sheriff became a civilian police officer in Garden Grove, California. Working in tough neighborhoods there, Whalen says he loved the work, but that he and his wife Bobbie wanted to raise a family in a place with better quality of life. So in 1989 Whalen answered an ad for the Jackson Hole Police Department.

Ten years later he transferred to the sheriff’s office where he worked with then Sheriff Bob Zimmer. “Our philosophies essentially mirror one another’s,” Whalen explained. “His mantra was ‘fair, friendly and honest.’ Who doesn’t want to work under that?”

In 2009, Whalen was elected to fill Zimmer’s shoes.

For Whalen, it’s always been about being a veritable public servant. “Our philosophy is entrenched in a whole lot of discretion—can we provide what we need to provide, in terms of public safety, not by being enforcers first and foremost, but instead can we achieve compliance with prevention?”

With no shortage of gratifying moments in his career, Whalen says they all surround one thing: “The ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” He remembered being a school resource officer when a child approached him with a problem at home. “We were able to help them … in law enforcement and public safety you can have an impact on someone’s life and they will always remember.”

Whalen will close the chapter on a 40-year career when his term ends in less than two years. Next up? An African safari.

– Jessica Sell Chambers and Robyn Vincent

Goods & Services

Best Hotel

Gold: Four Seasons Resort

Silver: Hotel Terra

Bronze: The Wort

Best Full Service Spa

Gold: Spa Terre

Silver: Four Seasons

Bronze: Chill Spa

Best Hair Salon

Gold: Frost Salon

Silver: Champu

Bronze: Jackson Parlour

Best Shop for Dropping Obscene Amounts of Cash

Gold: Teton Mountaineering

Silver: Altitude

Bronze: Belle Cose

Best Rafting Company

Gold: Dave Hansen Whitewater

Silver: Mad River Rafting

Bronze: Barker-Ewing Whitewater

Best Snowmobiling Company

Gold: Scenic Safaris

Silver: Togwotee Snowmobile Adventures

Bronze: Leisure Sports

Best Fishing Outfitter

Gold: WorldCast Anglers

Silver: Snake River Angler

Bronze: High Country Flies

Best Gear Shop  (skis/snowboards, kayaks, climbing/camping gear, etc.)

Gold: Teton Mountaineering

Silver: Skinny Skis

Bronze: Hoback Sports

Best Bike Shop

Gold: Hoback Sports

Silver: Hoff’s Bikesmith

Bronze: The Hub

Best Veterinary Clinic

Gold: Spring Creek Animal Hospital

Silver: Animal Care Clinic

Bronze: Jackson Animal Hospital

Best Yoga Spot

Gold: Inversion

Silver: Akasha Yoga

Bronze: Pursue Movement

Best Specialty Fitness Studio

Gold: Pursue Movement Studio

Silver: Revolution Indoor Cycling

Bronze: Inversion Yoga

Best Pet Supply Store

Gold: Pet Place Plus

Silver: Teton Tails

Bronze: Jackson Hole Feed & Pet

Best Cleaning Company

Gold: Blue Spruce Cleaners

Silver: Premier Green Cleaning

Bronze: White Glove

Best Place to Buy Booze

Gold: The Liquor Store

Silver: Smith’s

Bronze: Liquor Down South

Best Florist

Gold: Lily & Co.

Silver: Floral Art

Bronze: Jackson Hole Flower Co.

Best Produce

Gold: Jackson Whole Grocer

Silver: Smith’s

Bronze: Lucky’s

Best Bank

Gold: Bank of Jackson Hole

Silver: First Interstate

Bronze: Wells Fargo

Best Eco-friendly Business

Gold: Blue Spruce Cleaners

Silver: Jackson Whole Grocer

Bronze: Healthy Being Juicery

Best Customer Service

Gold: Jackson Whole Grocer

Silver: Detail Driven

Bronze: Smith’s

Best Place to Buy Drugs

Gold: Stone Drug

Silver: Smith’s

Bronze: Albertson’s

Best Shop to Buy Bling

Gold: JC Jewelers

Silver: MADE

Bronze: Thoenig’s Fine Jewelry

Best Resale Store

Gold: Browse N’ Buy

Silver: Headwall Sports

Bronze: Habitat ReStore

Best Local Website

Gold: Buckrail

Silver: Mountain Weather

Bronze: JH Avalanche

Best Radio Station

Gold: KHOL

Silver: KMTN The Mountain

Bronze: Wyoming Public Radio

About Various Authors

Sometimes it takes a village.

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