2010 Best of UV


Every year we turn over a few of our glossy pages to you, dear readers, with our Best of Utah Valley survey. So in our September/October 2009 issue, we called for the best and brightest nominations in categories ranging from services to restaurants to beauty — and boy did we get what we asked for. 

The tallies piled high in our inboxes with votes of confidence and adoration for your local favorites. And then we (the lucky editors that we are) got to put them into words. 

May we present Utah Valley Magazine — readers’ style. 


Best Customer Service

1. Nordstrom

2. Suggestions Salon

3. Cascade Collision Repair


Best Grocery Store

1. Macey’s Food and Drug

2. Smith’s Food and Drug

3. Harmons


Best Dance Studio

1. Center Stage Performing Arts Studio

2. The Pointe Performing Arts Academy

3. Tie: The Dance Club / The Shelley School of Irish Dance


Best Product Made in UV

1. Lehi Roller Mills Brownie Mix

2. Heritage Makers

3. Shade Clothing


Best Radio Station

1. 102.7 FM KSL

2. 97.1  FM ZHT

3. 96.3 FM X96


Best Medical Care

1. Utah Valley Regional

Medical Center

2. American Fork Hospital

3. Timpanogos Regional



Favorite Part of Utah Valley Magazine

1. Love it all!

2. Lookalikes

3. Eating Out

Best Car Wash

1. Supersonic Car Wash

2. Firehouse in American Fork

3. Penrod’s in Salem

Supersonic plays clean — and customers love them for it.

Supersonic plays clean — and customers love them for it.


Supersonic Car Wash wins Best Car Wash

For 25 years, Supersonic Car Wash has washed the snow away from Utah Valley’s dreaded winters — well, on cars at least.

The past three consecutive years, Supersonic has landed the Best Car Wash honor in the Utah Valley Magazine “best of” contest because of its exceptional customer service and quick turn-around.

The Orem location has two soapy offers. The first is an exterior-only wash, and the second is a one-way trip down the 210-foot tunnel of cleanliness — followed by an interior scrub-down. In addition, Orem’s Supersonic offers 18 complimentary car vacuums.

Supersonic thinks fast, but it also thinks long-term by caring about the environment. The car wash was nationally recognized for its water reclamation system.

Plus, in 2010, a portion of its proceeds will go to fight diabetes.

In the current economic environment, some car washes have washed away. But Supersonic isn’t going anywhere because it treats customers like the valuable commodities they are.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about giving customers a positive experience,” says Cindy Carson, marketing director of the Utah Valley Supersonic Car Wash.


Best Cheap Eats

1. Wendy’s

2. J Dawgs

3. Costa Vida


Best Place to spend the big bucks

1. Chef’s Table

2. Spark Restaurant Lounge

3. Sundance


Best non-fast food place to take kids

1. Pirate Island

2. Pizza Factory

3. Brick Oven Restaurant


Best Pizza

1. Brick Oven Restaurant

2. Pizza Factory

3. Pizzeria 712

Best Steakhouse

1. Outback Steakhouse

2. Ruby River Steakhouse

3. Texas Roadhouse


Best Mexican Food

1. Café Rio

2. Los Hermanos

3. Costa Vida


Best Health-Conscious Restaurant

1. Blue Lemon

2. Kneaders Bakery & Cafe

3. Zupas


Best Place for Dessert

1. Magleby’s Grill

2. Spark Restaurant Lounge

3. Kneaders Bakery & Cafe


Best Burger Joint

1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries

2. JCW’s Restaurant

3. Burgers Supreme


Best Take-Out

1. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

2. Panda Express

3. Café Rio


Best New Restaurant

1. Terra Mia Ristorante

2. Spark Restaurant Lounge

3. Tie: Blue Lemon/Pizzeria 712

Best Overall Restaurant

1. Spark Restaurant Lounge

2. Bombay House

3. Tie: Sundance/Magleby’s/Chef’s Table

Since its opening in 2008, Spark and downtown Provo have become a match made in heaven.

Since its opening in 2008, Spark and downtown Provo have become a match made in heaven.


Spark Restaurant Lounge wins Best Overall Restaurant

Beginning in October 2008, Spark Restaurant Lounge exploded onto the downtown Provo scene offering a unique dining experience — something Provo hasn’t always been known for.

With Spark, customers enjoy a contemporary ambiance, exceptional food and amazing customer service.

“Dinner is our favorite time — by far,” says Blake Ballard, owner of Spark. “Customers get the full Spark treatment because there’s that feeling of leaving Provo and having the total dining experience.”

Fun is a simple yet accurate word to describe Spark. Known for its extensive non-alcoholic beverage menu, the restaurant’s house drinks include the ever-popular Mango Mohito, Shirley Temple (complete with cotton candy) and seasonal martinis — apple, berry and kiwi.

“Everyone has their favorite drink,” Blake says. “People like to try all of the options, but in the end, most choose a favorite.”

Late night nosh, which runs from 10 p.m. to close, is popular because of the upbeat music, drinks and late-night menu.

Blake says the late-night atmosphere appeals especially to those wanting an outside-of-Utah, metropolitan experience — think upscale city nightlife, but affordable and without the alcohol.

In addition to winning Best Overall Restaurant, Spark landed second in several categories — Best Dessert, Best Place to Spend the Big Bucks and Best New Restaurant. Plus, Blake came in second for Utah Valley’s Favorite Business Owner. Blake attributes these recognitions to his staff and the innate details of the restaurant.

“We pride ourselves in trying to be as perfect as we can possibly be. The staff is great and we have great guests,” he says. “People get treated right, and at the end of the day, it’s our people coming in everyday and putting their hearts into the business. In the restaurant business, you have to have the right people.”

Out and About

Best Place to Walk Your Dog

1. Provo River Parkway

2. Hobble Creek Trail

3. Alpine Loop


Best Picnic Spot

1. Provo Canyon

2. American Fork Canyon

3. Rock Canyon Park


Favorite Family Night Outing

1. Fat Cats

2. Thanksgiving Point

3. Color Me Mine


Best Weekend Getaway

1. Park City

2. Sundance

3. Midway


Best Camping Area

1. American Fork Canyon

2. Hobble Creek Canyon

3. Payson Lakes


Best Golf Course

1. Hobble Creek Golf Course

2. Thanksgiving Point

3. Cascade Golf Center


Best Place to People Watch

1. University Mall

2. BYU

3. Provo Towne Centre


Best Movie Theater

1. Cinemark University Mall

2. Cinemark 16 Provo Towne Centre

3. Cinemark American Fork


Best Place to go for a Cultural Experience

1. Covey Center for the Arts

2. BYU Museum of Art

3. Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple


Best Date Spot

1. Downtown Provo

2. Classic Skating

3. Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple


Downtown Provo is the hip and happenin’ spot for love birds.

Downtown Provo is the hip and happenin’ spot for love birds.


Downtown Provo wins Best Date Spot

“You can pretty much travel the globe within a few blocks,” says Joel Wallin, executive director of The Downtown Business Alliance of Provo.

With a statement like that, it’s not hard to see why Utah Valley voted downtown Provo as the best date spot.

Home to more then 40 restaurants, any hungry passersby can deliciously appease their appetite. Classic downtown restaurants include Los Hermanos, India Palace, Stumpy’s Burger and plenty of Asian restaurants serving authentic cuisine. And don’t forget new, trendsetting restaurants like Communal and Gloria’s Little Italy.

Restaurants aren’t the only date-worthy attractions. There’s the Covey Center for the Arts and ComedySportz — and don’t forget The Loft and Salsa Chocolate, which provide fun environments for locals to get their groove on.

Downtown Provo continues to change and expand. Currently, a new Zions Bank building is under construction, and in March, a new convention center will hit the streets.

Now that’s what you call up-to-date.


Favorite Utah Reality TV Star

1. Chelsie Hightower

2. David Archuleta

3. Donny Osmond/ Julianne Hough


Most Influential Person

1. Stephen Covey

2. Gov. Gary R. Herbert

3. Tie: Steve Young/LaVell Edwards/Robert Redford


Favorite UV Author

1. Brandon Mull

2. Gerald Lund

3. Anita Stansfield


Best Local Blogger

1. Stephanie Nielson, NieNiedialogues.blogspot.com 

2. Veronica Chapman, Prodigitalphotos.blogspot.com

3. Robyn Openshaw, GreenSmoothieGirl.com 


Best Local Photographer

1. Dan Hixson

2. Busath Photography

3. Willie Holdman


Best Local Artist

1. David Lindsley

2. James C. Christensen

3. Greg Olsen


Most UV Spirit

1. Cosmo

2. Bronco Mendenhall

3. Pat Walker


Favorite Local

1. Max Hall (Editor’s note: Ute fans must not have voted.)

2. Steve Young

3. Harvey Unga


Favorite Business Owner

1. Ori and Sergio Martins, Martins Collision Repair 

2. Blake Ballard, Spark

3. Dan Morck, Medallion Limousine


Favorite Local Philanthropist

1. Alan and Karen Ashton

2. Brent Crane

3. Nu Skin



Brent Crane named as second favorite local philanthropist 

Brent Crane started as an intern at the Food & Care Coalition in 1988 — and he’s been changing lives ever since.

Brent Crane started as an intern at the Food & Care Coalition in 1988 — and he’s been changing lives ever since.

For Brent Crane, a soup kitchen wasn’t good enough for the needy in Provo; instead, he planned for shelter, food and medical amenities.

Brent got involved with the Food & Care Coalition a couple months after it was formed in the fall of 1988. He was an intern assessing the Coalition’s services, and he’s continued with the organization ever since. In April 1993, he was named director.

“Social justice has always been a part of me,” he says. “It was natural that I fell into this position.”

Brent quickly learned to make a change in an individual’s life by engaging the community — and that individual — in service. One of the programs he implemented helps someone in need utilize the offered amenities, such as dental or medical care, and then give back and serve the community.

“I want the homeless to feel like, ‘I am a person of worth and therefore I have hope,’” he says.

Brent has given new meaning to the word hope with the Coalition’s new 36,000-square-foot facility in Provo, which offers a full-service dental clinic, a barber shop, laundry and shower services, classrooms and a licensed therapist on staff.

“You can’t find another facility like this anywhere in the country,” he says.

And you’d be hard pressed to find another Brent.


Best Place for a Saturday Afternoon Shopping Spree

1. University Mall

2. Shops at Riverwoods

3. Provo Towne Centre


Best Craft Store

1. Roberts Crafts

2. Michaels

3. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores


Best One-stop Shop

1. Wal-Mart

2. Target

3. Costco


Best Children’s Store

1. The Children’s Place

2. Gap Kids

3. Kid to Kid


Best Jeweler

1. Sierra-West Jewelers

2. Wilson Diamonds

3. Goldsmith Co. Jewelers


Best Car Dealership

1. Brent Brown Automotive

2. Ken Garff Automotive

3. Doug Smith Autoplex


Best Gift Baskets

1. Kneaders Bakery & Cafe

2. Carol’s Country Gifts

3. Bath and Body Works


Best Kept Secret Clothing Store

1. Blend Fashions

2. Soel Boutique

3. Karma Boutique


Best Place to Window Shop

1. Shops at Riverwoods

2. University Mall

3. Nordstrom


Best Home Décor Store

1. GateHouse no. 1

2. Rod Works



Best Source for Outdoor Gear

1. Cabela’s

2. Park’s Sportsman

3. REI


The Lehi Cabela’s has had outdoors fanatics drooling ever since it opened its doors in 2005.

The Lehi Cabela’s has had outdoors fanatics drooling ever since it opened its doors in 2005.


Cabela’s wins first place in Best Source for Outdoor Gear

Cabela’s — the gateway to Utah’s outdoors.

OK, that might not be its motto, but it certainly describes the store.

Cabela’s in Lehi is one of 30 Cabela’s stores nationwide. The 150,000-square-foot store requires the average outfitter (Cabela’s employee) to walk three to seven miles a day.

“It’s an absolute ball to work at Cabela’s,” says Tom Bean, the Lehi Cabela’s event coordinator and advertising director. “Every morning we have a staff meeting and everyone is just pumped to be there.”

At Cabela’s, it’s all about experiencing the outdoors. While hosting 92 events a quarter (that’s eight classes a weekend), Cabela’s seminars teach customers how to use different outdoor equipment. It also hosts TWR Hunter Gun Safety Courses.

“Our ultimate goal is to be a part of the outdoor fun,” Tom says. “People refer to our store as the Disneyland of outdoor sporting goods.”

And just like Disneyland, customers flock from all over Utah to experience Cabela’s.

Fifty percent of the customers travel more than 100 miles to visit the store, and many customers stay an average of four hours.

In addition to the stellar employees, customer service and iconic retail space, Cabela’s likes to involve and give back to the community. The Lehi location hosts a “Hometown Heroes” special where the local police, firefighters, military personnel and emergency medical specialists receive the employee discount.


Best Place to Pamper

1. Remedez HairSpa

2. Suggestions Salon

3. Spa at Sundance


Most Beautiful Person

1. My wife

2. Stephanie Nielson

3. Marie Osmond


Most Beautiful Place

1. Sundance

2. Provo Canyon

3. American Fork Canyon


Best Salon 

1. Suggestions Salon

2. Remedez HairSpa

3. Metropolitan Salon


Best Place to Stock up on Beauty Supplies

1. Sally’s Beauty Supply

2. Suggestions Salon

3. Taylor Maid Beauty Supply


Favorite Spa

1. Spa at Sundance

2. Remedez HairSpa

3. Primrose Retreat


Best Place to Get a MAssage

1. Mainspring Day Spa

2. Spa at Sundance

3. Remedez HairSpa


Favorite Place to Exercise

1. Gold’s Gym

2. At home

3. Sweaty Chix Fitness


Gold’s Gym wins Favorite Place to Exercise

Come January, Utah Valley residents flock to Gold’s Gym. Can you say New Year’s resolution?

Come January, Utah Valley residents flock to Gold’s Gym. Can you say New Year’s resolution?

It’s everywhere — on buses, billboards, even across from University Mall. There’s no escaping the draw of iron and cardio equipment from Gold’s Gym. With the total Utah Valley takeover, it makes perfect sense for Gold’s Gym to be named most popular place to workout in Utah Valley.

We talked with Kirk Livingstone, director of operations for the Utah Gold’s Gyms, and found out just how strong this fitness club is.

Check it out:

• On an average day in January, 120 people will sign up for a new membership — that’s at least five new clients per hour (night-time included).

• In Utah Valley, about 1,350 people work out at Gold’s Gym a day. Some days the number is closer to 2,100.

• The average treadmill at Gold’s will see 50 to 60 miles a day. With 1,350 people running on the treadmills, more then 15,000 miles are run a day in Utah Valley’s Gold’s Gyms.

• Because Utah Valley residents are so intense when it comes to exercise, approximately 700 calories are burned per workout. That means more than 1 million calories are burned a day at Gold’s Gym.

• Cardio equipment is the most popular training apparatus. Eighty-three percent of Gold’s Gym members typically use cardiovascular training, and 81 percent also use some form of strength training.

In other words, Gold’s Gym creates exercise machines out of its members — from January and beyond.

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