‘It’s the greatest place in the world to live’: Nominations for the Best of Iron County competition set to resume

IRON COUNTY — Dr. Brian Tavoian said he may be a transplant to Iron County, but after 28 years living in Cedar City, he feels like a hometown boy for one simple reason: the amazing people.

Cedar Heritage and Livestock Festival’s sheep parade, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“It’s a smaller community. They’re just more neighborly, more friendly,” Tavoian said. ”People are willing to help their neighbors and friends up here.”

Tavoian – owner of Brian K. Tavoian Family Dentistry, the title sponsor of the inaugural Best of Iron County competition – told Cedar City News that the first time he had the opportunity to see how incredible Cedar City was, he knew he wanted to live and raise his family here.

“I just fell in love with it instantly … and loved it ever since,” he said. “I don’t want to live any other place. I’ve made Cedar City my home.”

Tavoian said he is excited that the businesses in his hometown will finally have their chance to shine in the Best of Iron County competition. After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nominations are set to resume online July 8 for the competition sponsored by Cedar City News and its parent company Canyon Media.

Who is the best mechanic in town? Where is the best place for family night of adventure? From Parowan to Kanarraville, Tavoian said there are hundreds of great places that deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the community, especially with the economic difficulties the area is facing after losing so many events this year, like the Utah Summer Games and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. It is more important than ever to help each other out.

“There are great businesses in Cedar City and Iron County,” he said. 

In this 2018 file photo, flag bearers circle track during Utah Summer Games opening ceremonies, Cedar City, Utah, June 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Canyon Media General Manager Ben Lindquist said in light of businesses being closed and restricted and employees being confined to home the past few months, it was important to pause and take a deep breath before relaunching the competition in Iron County.

After taking a moment to decide when it will benefit the community and businesses the most, they decided to relaunch in July and August to give people the best opportunity to get back online and promote themselves.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Lindquist said. “We’ve seen what we’ve done for the businesses in Southern Utah by promoting themselves through Best of Southern Utah, and I think having it up there will be a real benefit for those small businesses.”

Lindquist said he believes private businesses are the heart and soul of any small community, and the Best of Iron County is a celebration of their excellence. The second annual Best of Southern Utah competition saw record participation this year – with almost 500,000 votes cast by the community for 293 businesses across 191 categories – and he said everyone in Iron County should talk with friends and family and get the word out about their favorite places in the region.

“This is a great opportunity for the businesses to highlight what they do really well and to get their loyal followers out to nominate and vote for them,” he said. “It should be a really exciting contest, and the results will be fun to release.”

Working in advertising and media, Lindquist said they have witnessed the devastating impact some people have faced this year, and he hopes the competition will help them get their businesses back on track. Medical and dental fields have been among those hit hard by the shutdown, as nonemergency appointments were canceled out of an abundance of caution, and he is thrilled to have the support of Brian K Tavoian Family Dentistry for the competition.

Downtown Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, April 24, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Octopus Apothecary Facebook page, St George News / Cedar City News

They’re a great sponsor of this event, and we’re looking forward to their participation,” he said.

Tavoian said he is proud to have raised his family in Cedar City, adding that the love, camaraderie and respect everyone has for each other is the reason so many people are drawn to the area. It shows in his office and the team he refers to as “the greatest staff there is.”

“The staff is second-to-none,” he said. “We care about Cedar City. We try to treat our patients as our friends and treat them as the Golden Rule says – the way we would want to be treated.’”

He said he hopes to rally the community to come out and vote on who they think is best and let their voices be heard. While nobody is perfect, he said to be the best in business means that people know you are honest, have integrity, keep up on the latest and greatest developments in your business and try to be involved in the community as much as possible.

“The best is not thinking you’re perfect, but knowing that there are flaws and fixing them,” he said, adding that he hopes everyone in Cedar City will “keep on being great, keep on being neighborly and keep on being friendly.”

“To me, it’s the greatest place in the world to live.”

Nominations, which are always free, will begin July 8 and continue through July 22. Voting will run July 29 to Aug. 10, and results will be revealed on Oct. 14.

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