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SHERIDAN — Sheridan has garnered its fair share of nicknames and accolades from passersby, and next month, there’s a possibility it could be pegged with another honored title for tourism.
Sheridan is one of eight Wyoming towns nominated to receive Rand McNally’s 2013 Best of the Road designation. Specifically, Sheridan is in the running to be nationally recognized as one of the Best Small Towns in the U.S. Other Wyoming towns vying for the title include Centennial, Cody, Jackson, Laramie, Lovell, Powell and Pinedale.
Rand McNally is a leading publisher of maps and travel references.
The winning towns will receive a feature spread in the 2015 Randy McNally Road Atlas and will have a free custom iPhone app and travel guide created promoting the town as a top destination.
Bob Jensen, Wyoming Business Council CEO, said the winning community will probably have a leg up during the tourism season the atlas will be published.
“Any kind of recognition like this on a national scale that causes people to take notice is beneficial,” Jensen said. “It fits the whole incremental nature of economic and tourism development.”
Jensen said a featured mention in a prominent travel publication is akin to free ad space.
“It’s good for us because we like to share that the lifestyle here is just as important as the businesses,” he said.
The contest, which began July 1, will ultimately be decided by online votes. After registering at www.bestoftheroad.com, visitors can cast one vote each day. As of Wednesday morning, Sheridan leads the state entries in the “Most Beautiful” category with 52 votes, but also had 11 for “Most Fun,” and 11 for “Friendliest.” However, Laramie received the most votes spanning four categories, and thus, ranks highest overall.
While Web votes will help determine a winner, towns will also be judged based on overall fit and suitability of the town in the selected category, the town’s participation on social media sites and a video or photo tour and written submissions by the top 30 town finalists from across the nation. The competition is limited to communities of less than 150,000 people.
Online voting ends Sept. 3, and the winner will be announced in October.