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2013 Winners MOST CREATIVE DISPLAY

Editor's Choice

BARRACUDA BAZAAR

It’s not always easy for retailers to show off their goods in a fun, unique and easy-to-shop manner. But that’s exactly what you’ll find at Barracuda Bazaar. Need earrings? Check the pink fridge against the back wall. Shoes? Up front by the car door. Where else?

— Chosen by Nicole Montanez

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2013 Winners PLACE TO PICK UP A GIFT ON YOUR LUNCH HOUR

Editor's Choice

POOR RICHARD’S COMPLEX

We’ve all been there. Your niece’s great uncle’s cousin has a 50th birthday coming up this weekend, and you’ve been invited to the surprise party. But you don’t have a gift and you have no time to shop. You could give up your lunch hour or you could grab a salad and slice of pizza at Poor Richard’s and then meander over to Rico’s for a card and on into the bookstore for a gift. It’s not just books in there, you know? All of this and still time to grab a coffee for the rest of your workday.

— Chosen by Nicole Montanez

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2013 Winners PLACE TO FIND YOUR SIGNATURE SMELL

Editor's Choice

SEPHORA

Everyone has their own pheromones, so no single fragrance will do. But sniffing out your very own scent that screams "This is me" is a daunting task. There aren’t enough coffee beans in the world to cancel out the bad one that can linger until your next shower. Sephora has taken the pain out of fragrance shopping with their in-store computer quiz. Touch the screen and you are a few simple questions away from a computer-generated list of fragrances that may be right for you. The sales people are always ready to help you find what you need. If you’re still unsure, they can make up a sample bottle for you to take home and try.

— Chosen by Nicole Montanez

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2013 Winners CAR DEALER NEW

Voter's Choice

PHIL LONG DEALERSHIPS

The word honest was used repeatedly to describe the folks at Phil Long. Also, reliable and attentive. They made the most challenging part of the process — the financing — into a pleasant experience. "The finance manager is so informed, helpful and friendly. Makes you feel comfortable from the start."

HEUBERGER MOTORS
AL SERRA
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2013 Winners BUTCHERSHOP

Voter's Choice

Ranch Foods Direct

You appreciate knowing where your beef is coming from, and owner Mike Callicrate "is a local food hero. He speaks the truth about our food systems." You seem to like the taste, too. "Every item seems to have twice the taste of non-Ranch Foods Direct food. The chicken, pork and beef are incredible." "The best beef we've ever had. You can taste the difference with no hormones and antibiotics."

ANDY'S MEAT MARKET
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
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2013 Winners BOOK STORE

Voter's Choice

BARNES & NOBLE

The last of the great chain bookstores still holds its charm for you. The staff helps curious readers out, and orders anything that isn't available in the store. There's also a "great area for kids."

POOR RICHARD'S BOOKSTORE
HOOKED ON BOOKS
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2013 Winners BABY SHOP

Voter's Choice

ONCE UPON A CHILD

Naked babies are cute, but you'll probably want to clothe them at some point. There are clothes, shoes, gear and everything you could need for baby here. It's loads cheaper than the mall, you said, and the quality is top-notch. You also like the friendly staff, and the cleanliness and organization of the store.

BABY COTTON BOTTOMS
BABIES R US
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2013 Winners APPLIANCES

Voter's Choice

SEARS

Sears has been around since the dawn of time, it seems, and consistently provides a large selection of appliances priced in a way you find most agreeable.

LOWE'S
SHOUSE APPLIANCE
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2013 Winners ANTIQUES

Voter's Choice

AMERICAN CLASSICS MARKETPLACE

More than 300 independent dealers are housed in one location, making it an easy way to while away an afternoon. You love to pick through the bargains here, and search for glassware, china, seasonal items, artwork, furniture, jewelry, vintage apparel and more. One reader said, "I could get lost in there all day and find many wonderful things."

TREASURE SHOPPE
WILLOWSTONE ANTIQUE MARKETPLACE
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2013 Winners MEN'S FASHION

Voter's Choice

KOHL'S

He'll go in looking like a pauper, and come out looking like a king. Voters said that men, teens and boys alike will find just the right brand of shirts, sweaters, pants and shoes here.

DILLARD'S
GENTLEMEN'S CHOICE TUXEDOS
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2013 Winners LIQUOR STORE

Voter's Choice

CHEERS LIQUOR MART

Not only do they have price tags you don't swear at, they also have good sales. There's an admirable wine, beer and liquor selection, and the employees are always helpful.

POWERS LIQUOR MART
COALTRAIN WINE & SPIRITS and VETERANS LIQUOR (TIE)
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2013 Winners KITCHEN STORE

Voter's Choice

CHEFS

This is the go-to place for anybody who has a kitchen, wants a kitchen or knows somebody with a kitchen. If they don't have what you want in the store, they'll order it from their warehouse. You also rave about their cooking classes, like Hand-Made Filled Pasta, Guiltless Pleasures, Vietnamese Cooking and Beginner's Cooking.

SPARROWHAWK GOURMET COOKWARE
BED BATH & BEYOND
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2013 Winners JEWELER

Voter's Choice

LUISA GRAFF JEWELERS

Whenever a ring is called for, this is where you head. The family-owned jewelry store consistently wins for their designs, service and knowledgeability. The sales staff caters to your needs, and ensures whoever it is says yes.

ZERBE JEWELERS
JARED THE GALLERIA OF JEWELRY
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2013 Winners HEALTH FOOD STORE

Voter's Choice

WHOLE FOODS MARKET

Sometimes you have to pay for quality, and you're willing to do that for the products at Whole Foods. "Not cheap, but worth the price." It's also the knowledgeable employees that keep you coming back. One voter said the bakery department offered to make fresh croissants on the spot when they were out.

MOUNTAIN MAMA NATURAL FOODS
SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET
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2013 Winners HARDWARE STORE

Voter's Choice

ACE

Ace Hardware often wins and the comments are always about the excellent customer service you receive. That, and all the "stuff and doo-dads you can get nowhere else." One voter said it's the best place to find parts for a house built in the 1950s. Ace also gives police, fire and military discounts.

LOWE'S
THE HOME DEPOT
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2013 Winners GROCERY STORE

Voter's Choice

KING SOOPERS

Oh, the many ways voters love King Soopers! There's the quality of the produce and the meat and the variety of organic foods and the gluten-free options. And not to mention, you earn fuel reward points for buying groceries, which can make a gasoline purchase at a King Soopers Fuel Center or Loaf 'N Jug a much more pleasant experience.

WHOLE FOODS MARKET
SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET
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2013 Winners GOURMET SHOP

Voter's Choice

THE OLIVE TAP

Head here for a a plethora of varieties of Extra Virgin Olive Oils, flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars and spices. Sample before you buy: It's like a mini wine tasting party, only you won't leave tipsy.

GARDEN OF THE GODS GOURMET
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
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2013 Winners FURNITURE STORE

Voter's Choice

AMERICAN FURNITURE WAREHOUSE

Need something to sit on or a table to put your coffee mug on? This is the place voters love: There's no pressure to buy, and they offer friendly advice, problem-free delivery and excellent prices. As you say, they have "the customer's best interest at heart."

PLATTE FURNITURE
WOODLEY'S FINE FURNITURE
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2013 Winners FLOWER SHOP

Voter's Choice

PLATTE FLORAL

Platte Floral has made flower arrangements since 1921, and practice clearly makes perfect. They'll create Christmas decorations, back-to-school flowers, prom flowers and even offer selections from a 4,800 square foot greenhouse.

SKYWAY CREATIONS
RICH DESIGNS HOME
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2013 Winners FARMERS MARKET

Voter's Choice

BANCROFT PARK IN OLD COLORADO CITY

It's a Saturday morning ritual to head to Bancroft Park and peruse the green chilis, fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, crafts and more. As one voter said, "Yes, it's crowded and parking is a challenge, but it's such an epicurian and olfactory delight. And the people-watching is super."

THE MARGARITA AT PINE CREEK
SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET

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2013 Winners EYEGLASSES

Voter's Choice

ABBA EYE CARE

The right pair of glasses can make or break your look. ABBA has the latest frames, voters said, and friendly, knowledgable staff to help you decide. "Their insurance department is great."

LENSCRAFTERS
VISIONWORKS
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2013 Winners CONSIGNMENT

Voter's Choice

ONCE UPON A CHILD

Choose from a healthy selection of used childrens clothing, toys and strollers. It's an ideal place for a young family just starting out. "I love this store. The quality of the stuff is awesome. They have great prices. The staff is always very friendly. The store is always extremely clean and organized."

(TIE) JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS, EVE'S REVOLUTION
PLATO'S CLOSET
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2013 Winners WOMEN'S FASHION

Voter's Choice

KOHL'S

If you need a special outfit, this is one-stop shopping. They've got racks of cute tops, flattering pants, jewelry, shoes and virtually everything in-between to make you shine. "Beautiful clothes, always a discount or sale," one voter said. "Easy returns, although I've never returned anything. Very pleasant employees."

EVE'S REVOLUTION
TERRA VERDE
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2013 Winners VIDEO GAME STORE

Voter's Choice

GAMESTOP

The staff is friendly, voters said. There are tons of used and new games at "absolutely unbeatable" prices and when a new game is released, stores open at midnight so you'll be the first to play it. What's not to like?

ENTERTAINMART
BEST BUY
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2013 Winners TOY STORE

Voter's Choice

LITTLE RICHARD'S TOY STORE

Little Richard is how you eventually get your kid into Harvard. The store's intention: Classic, whimsical and educational toys that foster creativity. "It has so many hard to find items and its toys are high quality."

TOY STATION AT SCHOOL CROSSING
TOYS R US
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2013 Winners THRIFT STORE

Voter's Choice

THE ARC OF THE PIKES PEAK REGION

Even though The Arc is already a thrift store, that doesn't stop them from having specials and sales through the week. There's Senior Day, Saturday Sales and half-price days. They're practically giving away their superb selection of used goods.

GOODWILL
THRIFT HOUSE OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH WOMEN
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2013 Winners SUPERMARKET

Voter's Choice

KING SOOPERS

Voters said that King Soopers has good prices, they're always open and stores are conveniently located all over the city. If produce is important to you, as some voters mentioned, the cabbages, apples and squash glow with good health.

SAFEWAY
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
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2013 Winners SPICE STORE

Voter's Choice

SAVORY SPICE

Don't you love when you head into a store and discover something you didn't even know you needed? That's what voters love about the Savory Spice shop — plus the fresh ground spices, knowledgeable staff, the opportunities to take classes and learn how to cook with spices.

PENZEYS SPICES
SPICE OF LIFE
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2013 Winners SHOPPING CENTER

Voter's Choice

THE PROMENADE SHOPS AT BRIARGATE

All the top stores in town are here, including Apple, Pottery Barn, Chico's and Banana Republic. Then, you have restaurants like P.F. Chang's, Bird Dog Barbecue and Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano. And the kids won't even mind the trip, if they get to stop at Gymboree Play and Music.

CHAPEL HILLS MALL
UNIVERSITY VILLAGE COLORADO
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2013 Winners PLANT NURSERY

Voter's Choice

RICK'S GARDEN CENTER

Not only do you love the owners, prices, selection and staff, but voters say they know exactly how to keep your green stuff alive in our climate. "Helpful staff," one voter said simply, "and good prices."

HARDING NURSERY, INC.
GOOD EARTH GARDEN CENTER
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2013 Winners PAWN SHOP

Voter's Choice

ACE

Ace is the place for tools, jewelry, electronics, musical instruments and, apparently, "cute guys. All married, though." They're also honest, as fun as a pawn shop can be and have a great warranty on purchases.

ACME PAWN SHOPS INC.
EZPAWN
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2013 Winners NEW STORE

Voter's Choice

CJ'S UNIQUE BOUTIQUE

Natural products reign supreme here. Voters praised their women's clothese, the customer service and the product line. "This place is awesome! Their awesome body products not only come in a vast array of products and scents but they're all natural and locally made."

ONCE UPON A CHILD
(TIE) ROCKY MOUNTAIN COWGIRL COMPANY, FERMENTATIONS
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2012 Winners Florist

Voter's Choice

Platte Floral

With the prettiest decor straight from Mother Nature herself, Platte Floral has served Colorado Springs from their downtown location for more than 90 years. Their specialties run the gamut, anticipating nearly all of your floral needs. From silk arrangements to gourmet and fruit baskets, you can take home a romantic bouquet or send a thoughtful holiday gift across the country, all without losing the personal touch of this family-owned operation.

Rich Designs
Skyway Creations
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2012 Winners Kitchen

Voter's Choice

Sparrow Hawk

It’s far more than just pots and pans. This “toy-store for foodies” boasts an impressive selection of gourmet cookware. Locally-owned and operated, their inventory includes an assortment of high quality cookware, accessories and electronics, enriching your culinary world while preserving the local customer service experience.

Chefs Catalog
Williams-Sonoma
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2012 Winners Gourmet

Voter's Choice

Garden of the Gods Gourmet

It’s the kind of place where food isn’t made, it’s crafted. And where meals aren’t eaten, they’re experienced. Offering catering, dine-in deli, market and cooking classes, Garden of the Gods Gourmet has thrived as one of the area’s most respected culinary establishments. They also recently took returned to Fine Arts Center as Cafe 36.

Whole Foods Market
The Olive Tap
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2012 Winners Liquor Store

Voter's Choice

Cheers Liquor Mart

At more than 35,000 square feet, Cheers is Southern Colorado’s largest liquor store. Serving up the spirits for every festivity for 25 years, their inventory includes thousands of choices fit for the most discriminating of shoppers. You can select, taste, and order personalized gifts and customized wine labels, getting individual attention from a knowledgeable staff.

Powers Liquor Mart
Coaltrain Wine & Spirits
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2012 Winners Spice Shop

Voter's Choice

Penzey's Spices

If variety is the spice of life, you’ll live long and happy at Penzey’s. A flavor for every dish you can imagine, these seasonings are an abundant, eclectic mix of roots, herbs and spices. You can shop for yourself or buy gift boxes for others through their in-store location or their searchable online inventory.

Savory Spice Shop
Spice of Life
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2012 Winners Health Food Store

Voter's Choice

Whole Foods Market

In a city known for health and fitness, Whole Foods is a second home to many. It’s a haven for responsible consumers who believe in leaving a lighter carbon footprint, considering sustainability and agricultural impact. From how it grows to where it goes, Whole Foods also offers product lines in body care and home goods.

Sunflower Farmers Market
Natural Grocers
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2012 Winners Hardware

Voter's Choice

Ace

If you’re downsizing your life or just need money fast, readers have told us Ace offers the best selection, service and return on goods when it comes to getting that quick advance.

Lowe's
Home Depot
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2012 Winners Furniture

Voter's Choice

American Furniture Warehouse

He may be one of the top retail furniture companies in the United States, but don’t count out running into Jake Jabs, American Furniture Warehouse’s president and CEO, while you’re shopping for your next purchase. He’s as famous for his down-to-earth approach to customer service as he is for the tigers and other wild animals he puts in his commercials.

Woodley's Fine Furniture
Platte Furniture
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2012 Winners Music Store

Voter's Choice

Independent Records

Indy releases? Check. Top 40 hits? Check. Buy, sell and trade your music and DVDs? Check. Check. Check. Independent Records has been a Colorado Springs standard on the local music scene since 1978, competing for your business with a staff that knows music. The store also hosts regular events for concerts and new releases.

Meeker Music
Graner Music
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2012 Winners Store Catering to Military

Voter's Choice

Home Depot

With three locations in the Springs, Home Depot is the hot spot for honey-do lists. From major repair needs to DIY’s, you can’t wander too far inside without running into the experts who can help you find and fix what you need. And if you’re ripe to become the next Bob Villa, basic workshops help you conquer your own around-the-house challenges.

Mountain Equipment Recycling
Lowe's
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2012 Winners Appliance Store

Voter's Choice

Sears

There’s hardly a person who hasn’t spent time wandering the aisles of washers, dryers and power tools while dreaming about bigger televisions and better sound. There’s a section for every member of the family at a landmark department store that still has prices and service rivalling the competition.

Lowe's
Best Buy
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2012 Winners Plant Nursery

Voter's Choice

Rick's Nursery and Landscaping

Colorado is known for its fickle weather and when it changes on a dime, many local plant lovers are left scrambling to protect their treasures. With a rich heritage of service to the Springs, Rick’s Nursery and Landscaping is the oldest nursery in town and pays special attention to the climate in your neck of the woods, giving you guidance on what will thrive in your gardens.

Spencer's Lawn & Garden
Harding Nursery
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2012 Winners Video Game Store

Voter's Choice

Game Stop

Accessories, electronics and games galore! Gamestop gets the word out about all the new game releases, gives you the best value for your trade-ins and offers a wide selection of pre-owned equipment to play to your heart’s content.

Entertainmart
Best Buy
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2012 Winners Consignment Store

Voter's Choice

Recess

Families live on a budget these days and children’s clothing is the one area where we can all afford to be practical. Recess welcomes “previously loved” children’s clothing — from party dresses to rompers.

Just Between Friends
Eve's Revolution
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2012 Winners Toy Store

Voter's Choice

Toys 'R' Us

Whether you want to be a ‘Toys-R-Us kid’ or you just want to play with toys, this massive stores is a childhood institution in America. Make the catalog come to life with this circus for your senses. The colors, sounds and sights of the latest new toys, traditional items we all know and love, and affordable prices, make this the go-to spot for entertainment and toy buying.

Toy Station
Little Richard's
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2012 Winners Baby Shop

Voter's Choice

Baby Cotton Bottoms

This new store that offers cloth diapers, baby accessories and a growing community of moms and dads with which you can share the parenting and family experience. Baby Cotton Bottoms is locally-owned and operated.

Babies 'R' Us
Womb to Grow
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2012 Winners Children's Clothing

Voter's Choice

Recess

They grow so fast! Too fast to keep up with their needs for new clothes. Specializing in “previously loved” children’s clothing, Recess is a consignment boutique that offers affordable, gently worn items in excellent condition. Plus, it’s cute as can be!

Gymboree
Mountain Moppets
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2012 Winners Shopping Center

Voter's Choice

The Promenade Shops at Briargate

You can’t help but feel a little chichi cool as you wander the open-air mall past stores like Talbots, Ann Taylorcqt and Williams-Sonoma. Restaurants include P.F. Changs’ China Bistro, California Pizza Kitchen and chain favorites. You can bring the kids to a watch an outdoor film for free during the summer movie nights.

Chapel Hills Mall
The Citadel
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2012 Winners Jeweler

Voter's Choice

Luisa Graff Jewelers

With a goal to make customers unforgettable, Luisa Graff Jewelers have been named Best of the Springs winners for 11 years running. The fastest growing family-owned operation in the Springs, their new home on North Nevada offers more room for a wider, more dazzling selection.

Johannes Hunter Jewelers
Zerbe Jewelers
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2012 Winners Eyeglasses

Voter's Choice

ABBA Eye Care

Offering Lasik surgery as well as designer frames and standard eye exams, Abba Eye Care’s top of the line staff and equipment have earned them previous Best of the Springs titles, plus a reputation for unmatched eye care in the Springs.

Lens Crafters
Charlotte's Optical
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2012 Winners Car Dealer

Voter's Choice

Mile High Car Co.

Dedication to core values is what took this local dealer from a small operation to one of the premier used-car dealerships in southern Colorado. Known for offering quality cars and superior service to customers, regardless of their credit history.

Heuberger Motors
Phil Long
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2012 Winners Grocery Store

Voter's Choice

King Soopers

If there’s one kind of shopping that’s necessary for everyone, it’s grocery shopping. Convenient to neighborhoods and businesses, King Soopers is Colorado Spring’s favorite for deals, selection and customer experience.

Whole Foods Market
Safeway
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2012 Winners Pawnshop

Voter's Choice

Ace Loans

If you’re downsizing your life or just need money fast, readers have told us Ace Loans offers the best selection, service and return on goods when it comes to getting that quick advance.

Acme Pawnshop
EZ Pawn
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2012 Winners Sporting Goods

Voter's Choice

Dick's Sporting Goods

When you leave Dick’s Sporting Goods, you’ll walk away prepared everything from foul balls to duck calls. With rock climbing walls and basketball hoops in the store, perusing the inventory is a motivating, educational and calorie burning experience.

REI
Sportsman's Warehouse
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2012 Winners Eyebrow Tamer

Editor's Choice

Bindu Sharma

Well-groomed brows give your face an instant lift. Threading, the technique of using a double strand of thread to pull hairs out by the follicle, provides the cleanest and most precise set of brows, and it lasts longer than waxing. Bindu Sharma is a brow queen, giving your brows the perfect shape for your face.

— Chosen by Tanya Bell