It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...and it was definitely the weirdest of times to produce what's usually our biggest, most eagerly anticipated issue of the year.
We were nearing the end of compiling the 2020 Best of Denver, our 37th annual celebration of everything that's wonderful about this city, when the coronavirus crisis hit. Many of our proposed winners quickly closed, some forever, and others completely changed their orientation. So we changed course, too.
Instead of our usual Best of Denver, we've produced a very special version, our Best of Denver: A Survival Guide, packed with awards for services and opportunities that readers can take advantage of right now, and rely on in the tough days ahead.
We've pulled the winners of the 2020 Best of Denver Readers' Poll that went live in January into a special list both online and in print, as a snapshot of a very different Denver (we'll save the editorial winners of those categories, many of which are no longer open, for another, more relevant time).
As the issue comes off the press today, we'll be stocking Westword's street boxes and many of our regular stops that remain open with copies of the Best of Denver: A Survival Guide; we're also supplying it to many grocery stores and some apartment buildings. (For locations, see our new circulation map on westword.com, and if you have questions or suggestions regarding distribution, call us at 303-296-7744.)
We'll also be publishing the Best of Denver: A Survival Guide at westword.com, of course, where you can read it two ways: in our standard format and in our flipbook, which re-creates the experience of flipping through pages and will prove increasingly useful in the days to come. Watch for both of those online versions to go live later this afternoon.
But we know that some readers like to have a print copy that they can keep, and that those readers are also sticking close to home these days. And for them, we have a one-time deal: Join the fast-growing ranks of Westword members by the end of today, and we'll mail you a copy of our Best of Denver: A Survival Guide. (Find the membership details here.)
We have other plans in the works to make Westword the best possible resource in these trying times. And in the meantime, our advertising reps and SEO specialists are on the job, coming up with the best ways for businesses to share their messages with you, our readers.
Thanks for sticking with us. You're the best.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.