Best Of 2006

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click to enlarge Dale Chihuly's work has more than doubled - membership at the FAC, your choice for best - cultural attraction. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Dale Chihuly's work has more than doubled membership at the FAC, your choice for best cultural attraction.

Best Cultural Attraction or Museum

Gold

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Main: 30 W. Dale St.

FAC Modern: Plaza of the Rockies, 121 S. Tejon St.

634-5581, csfineartscenter.org

2006 was a banner year for the FAC. Thousands of people flocked to see the works of Andy Warhol and Dale Chihuly. The elegant new FAC Modern hosted photos by Annie Leibovitz and paintings by American legend James McNeill Whistler, as well as Chihuly's glass fantasies. We can't wait to see what happens when the renovated building reopens. BS

Silver

Pioneers Museum

215 S. Tejon St., 385-5990

cspm.org

Bronze

Western Museum of Mining & Industry

125 Gleneagle Drive, 488-0880

225 Northgate Blvd., 488-0880

wmmi.org

Best Alternative Art Show or Event

Gold

Art Wars

Presented by Funktion Flux

funktionflux.org

When Art Wars founder and creator Gwin Coleman moved here five years ago, she saw a hole in the Colorado Springs art scene. She filled that hole with chainsaws, sledgehammers and blowtorches all used for the destruction of art that goes unsold at auction. Equal parts exhibition, auction and pageant, this interactive event is gripping, humorous and unlike anything else. BS

Silver

Manitou Art Theater

515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-4729

themat.org

Bronze

Smokebrush Gallery

218 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 102, 444-1012

smokebrush.org

Best Place to See Emerging Artists

Gold

The Business of Art Center

513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1861

thebac.org

Twenty years ago, Manitou Springs city planners really did something right when they opened the BAC. Not just a place for local artists to exhibit fantastic new work, it also aims to teach the ins and outs of gallery management and successful art. BS

Silver

The Black Sheep

2106 E. Platte Ave., 227-7625

sodajerkpresents.com

Bronze

Smokebrush Gallery

218 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 102, 444-1012

smokebrush.org

Best Artwork on the Street

Gold

Chris Weed's "Flowers"

Cascade Avenue, near the Antlers Hilton

chrisweed.com

Chris Weed has been creating public art up and down the Front Range for the past five years. His sculptures include "Flowers" on Cascade, a cube across from the Kimball's Twin Peak Theater on Pikes Peak, and a giant watermelon slice in America the Beautiful Park. He describes his art as "uplifting." KB

Silver

click to enlarge Leave it to a guy named Weed to sculpt tall - flowers. - PETER FECTEAU
  • Peter Fecteau
  • Leave it to a guy named Weed to sculpt tall flowers.

Kimber Fiebiger's "Humpty Dumpty"

North Tejon Street, across from Poor Richard's

Bronze

Kat and Bob Tudor's "Uncle Wilber Fountain"

Tejon and Bijou streets, in Acacia Park

unclewilber.com

Best Apartment Complex

Gold

The Retreat at Cheyenne Mountain

1735 Presidential Heights, 471-9966

theretreatatcheyennemountain.com/home.html

This gated community offers a spa, swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, theater and multiple business rooms. With oversized windows, spacious apartments and nearby recreational opportunities, the Retreat makes a good recipe for real homes and healthy living. TW

Silver

Stetson Meadows Apartments

6205 Mustang Meadows Point, 591-4700

Bronze

Broadmoor Terrace Apartments

816 Oxford Lane, 473-5359

Best Realtor

Gold

Brian L.A. Wess

6189 Lehman Drive, Suite 200, 528-6672

brianwess.com

That a real estate agent could so care about our community makes me feel like I've slipped my soul into a pair of bunny slippers. Wess is vice chair of the Colorado Springs Historic Preservation Board and has spoken publicly against the idea of building skyscrapers in downtown Colorado Springs. See, someone cares. FG

Silver

Tyra Braley at Keller Williams

1307 Aeroplaza Drive, 213-7381

homesafaris.com

Bronze

Andrew Clague at Keller Williams

1307 Aeroplaza Drive, 955-1999

andrewclague.yourkwagent.com/home

Best Realty Company

Gold

RE/Max

Multiple locations

remax.com

Here's a case where quantity does equal quality. RE/Max's millions of listings nationwide might be overwhelming if not for the agents, who are constantly in training and professional development. More important, the customer comes back: The company boasts that about 70 percent of its business is repeat or referral. BS

Silver

Keller Williams Realty

Four locations

kw.com

Bronze

Home Team Realtors

1024 W. Colorado Ave., 632-8551

Best Movie Theater

Gold

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

115 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 447-1945

kimballstwinpeak.com

When you first hear buzz around a movie, you can bet that Kimball Bayles and Co. already know the damn thing inside-out. In fact, they've probably already figured out whether it'll spark laughter, tears or dialogue in Colorado Springs. For those vital films and the beer and wine offered at the theater we say thanks. KW

Silver

click to enlarge No, he's not for sale but if your house is, Brian - L.A. Wess is your man.
  • No, he's not for sale but if your house is, Brian L.A. Wess is your man.

Cinemark Tinseltown USA

1545 E. Cheyenne Blvd., 576-0593

cinemark.com

Bronze

Cinemark 16 Carefree Circle

3305 Cinema Point, 596-0442

cinemark.com

Best Reason to Go to Pueblo

Gold

Colorado State Fair

1001 Beulah Ave., Pueblo, 800/876-4567 or 719/561-8484

coloradostatefair.com

Coloradans have been enjoying the fair for 134 years. True to its agricultural roots, the fair still features farm life, rodeos, 4-H events, carnival rides, chili dogs and country music. With attractions from 10 a.m. to midnight, and ticket prices $5 to $8 per adult, it's one of the best entertainment deals around. JET

Silver

Historic Arkansas Riverwalk

Bronze

Pueblo Reservoir

Best Place to Be Seen

Gold

Downtown Colorado Springs

Petula Clark sang, "The lights are much brighter there / You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares / So go downtown, things'll be great when you're / Downtown no finer place, for sure / Downtown everything's waiting for you." Everything and everyone? We couldn't say it much better. So if it's been a while, head downtown! CSB

Silver

Ritz Grill

15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484

ritzgrill.com

Bronze

Eden Nite Club

217 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-0999

edenniteclub.com

Best People-Watching Spot

Gold

Acacia Park

You can always count on something to look at in Acacia Park. But the people-watching hits its stride during community events, when the half-dome stage plays host to concerts, talent shows and wonderfully random performances. Bring a lawn chair, sit back and watch Colorado Springs strut its weird glory. LP

Silver

Tejon Street

Bronze

Colorado Springs Airport

Best After-School Hangout

Gold

Citadel Mall

750 Citadel Drive East, 591-5515

shopthecitadel.com

Seems to me that in a boxing match between Chapel Hills and Citadel Mall, Citadel would win. I don't know why; maybe it just sounds tougher. Offers one local youth, "Citadel is a lot closer to schools, and their stores are more modern and younger." Booya. FG

Silver

Boulder Street Coffee Roasters

332 N. Tejon St., 577-4291

Bronze

Starbucks

16 locations

starbucks.com

Best Night View of the City

Gold

click to enlarge Every time a new development springs up  as seen from - Gold Camp Road   an angel gets its wings. - JON KELLEY
  • Jon Kelley
  • Every time a new development springs up as seen from Gold Camp Road an angel gets its wings.

Gold Camp Road

Enjoy a trek into the evergreen tree-lined road at sunset without worrying about traffic. Eighteen years ago, a collapsed tunnel barred cars from entering the road, making it a pedestrian favorite. High above the city, the nighttime lights of Colorado Springs take on a starry appeal for those who wander after sundown. NZ

Silver

Palmer Park

Bronze

Cheyenne Mountain area

Best Local Scandal

Gold

D-11 school board follies

It's hard to remember life before Eric Christen and the gang. In the three years since being elected to the school board, Christen, along with sidekicks Sandy Shakes, Craig Cox and Willie Breazell, have truly transformed the city's largest district. Meetings now dissolve into screaming matches, and decorum has been replaced with publicity stunts. CD

Silver

Police evidence handling

Bronze

Smoking ban

Best Reason to Live in Colorado Springs

Gold

The mountains

This one's as close to a lock as you get in this poll. And we think it's pretty cool that even though we all see Pikes Peak every day, readers still appreciate its beauty and its reminder that life's bigger than the day's trials and triumphs. KW

Silver

The weather

Bronze

Beauty and scenery

Best Alternative Energy Project

Gold

Wind power

Out of all the alternative resources for power, wind is the only option out there that is completely sustainable, creates no waste and offers abundant, renewable energy. Plus, no matter the season, wind is always available. Wind turbines can easily be installed into any backyard. For more info, visit dcpower-systems.com. JK

Silver

Biodiesel

Bronze

Solar power

Best Person Likely to Leave Us in The Dust

Gold

Richard Skorman, regional director for U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar

Unlike at least a few of the self-centered readers who responded, "Me," Richard Skorman openly and honestly works to better serve our community. "I don't have any plans to run for elected office," he says. "It doesn't mean I won't in the future." All of you narcissists probably aren't going anywhere, either. FG

Silver

Matt Carpenter, trail runner

Bronze

Michael DeMarsche, FAC president

Best Person We Can't Believe Lives Here

Gold

James Dobson, Focus on the Family founder

Two million people around the globe listen to him on the radio every single day. They buy his books and get his newsletter and cannot tell the difference between James Dobson, the folksy family psychologist who dispenses handy advice about dealing with your bed-wetting child, and James Dobson, the political animal likened to the Protestant Pope of the Republican Party. CD

Silver

Douglas Bruce, El Paso County commissioner

Bronze

Goose Gossage, Major League Baseball legend

Best Category We Forgot

Gold

Best Chicken Wings

So, you've noticed the peculiar influx of wings places that have sprung up all over town like forgive the pun chicken pox. You want to honor your favorite spicy sauce, ranch or blue cheese dip. After all, nothing goes better with football. Look out, Hooters. The competition is out in force. MS

Silver

Best Photographer

Bronze

Best Nonprofit

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