“We take it as a tremendous honor that the local community sees us as an asset and as something worth celebrating,” said Seth Hopkins, executive director of the Booth Western Art Museum. “We know that a lot of our local folks are loyal visitors but then we also see local folks when they have visitors from out of town, visiting family or friends, and they’re looking for something to do. I think they really take a lot of pride in coming and showing off the museum as being one of the great things about their town and being proud of it.”
Located at 501 Museum Drive in Cartersville, the 120,000-square-foot museum opened in 2003, became a Smithsonian affiliate in 2006 and currently features the largest permanent exhibition of Western art in the U.S. Three-quarters of its visitors — 412,000 since 2003 and 48,000 in 2012 — reside within a 1 1/2 drive of the venue.
Unlike the Booth, the other 2012 recipients were first-time winners of the People’s Choice Awards. Antonino’s Italian Grotto was named best restaurant and Spring Place Pottery & Artists’ Gallery was recognized as the best shop.
Through Labor Day, individuals can vote for their favorites at www.VisitCartersvilleGA.org. Only one vote can be cast per computer for the 2013 People’s Choice Awards.
“The overall purpose is kind of to answer the No. 1 visitor question that we get. [It] is, ‘What is there to see and do?’ And then it will be followed right behind [with], ‘Where can we go eat?’” said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for the local CVB. “Because we are not a membership organization, we like to know what the public thinks, what our local residents [think]. And that’s what visitors want to know. I know a lot of people travel and they want that consistency for their dollar but a lot of times people want the adventure. They want to discover those lesser known places that are magnificent and then they can tell their friends and family about.
“So that’s what people come to our Visitor Center seeking is those unique, local places. So for the shops and the restaurants, that’s where we’re really trying to target and then, of course, the attractions. We have plenty of wonderful attractions. But it’s always good to say, ‘This was our winner. This was our best of all of them for the year.’ So it’s a good starting point for our conversations with visitors.”
The winners of the contest will be revealed at the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn, 224 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. The accolades will accompany the CVB’s Hospitality Heroes Awards, which recognize instrumental current or former residents of Bartow County. While the People’s Choice Awards are voted on by the public, the Hospitality Heroes are nominated by various organizations, with the victors selected by the CVB board of directors.
For more information about the awards, call the CVB at 770-387-1357.
People’s Choice Awards
• Best Restaurant in Bartow County
2005 — D. Morgan’s
2006 — Appalachian Grill
2007 — Hearth & Harvest
2008 — D. Morgan’s
2009 — Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse
2010 — Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse
2011 — Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse
2012 — Antonino’s Italian Grotto
• Best Shop in Bartow County
2005 — Write on Main
2006 — c.a.n.o.p.y
2007 — Periwinkle
2008 — Periwinkle
2009 — Periwinkle
2010 — Gigi’s Hidden Treasures
2011 — Periwinkle
2012 — Spring Place Pottery & Artists’ Gallery
• Best Attraction in Bartow County
2005 — Booth Western Art Museum
2006 — Booth Western Art Museum
2007 — Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site
2008 — Red Top Mountain State Park
2009 — Tellus Science Museum
2010 — Tellus Science Museum
2011 — Tellus Science Museum
2012 — Booth Western Art Museum