The answers to all of your BOM questions.

Why BOM?

Morgantown magazine started Best of Morgantown in 2011 to let our readers recognize and celebrate the excellent dining, shopping, and other services that make Morgantown a great place to live. We awarded the winners for the first time in 2012, and the competition has grown every year since.

When does BOM happen?

Determining the best of the best in a way that’s thorough, fair, and fun is a six-month process.

It starts in August, when Morgantown magazine staff work together to create the upcoming BOM ballot. We learn from each year’s experience, so each year’s BOM is a slightly different mix of categories as we tweak the wording to make categories more clear, drop categories that had too few contenders or failed to inspire nominations, and add categories that were suggested in the previous year.

The nomination-round survey goes live online as the October / November print issue hits newsstands and stays online for about a month. The nomination round ends in early November. We tally the votes to determine the finalists in each category—usually three, but ranging from two to six depending on the number of legitimate contenders and the competitiveness in the top ranks.

The final round goes live in mid-November, online only. We keep this round up through mid-December. Per contest rules, one vote per device—no ballot box stuffing here!

In late December and early January, we contact winners to congratulate them and, except in the case of perennial winners, to learn more so we can write profiles for the Best of Morgantown issue of the magazine. We ask winners to keep it to themselves until the BOM issue of the magazine is published.

The February / March Best of Morgantown issue hits the stands in early February, letting everyone know who’s won. Invitations to the annual celebration go out to winners.

Finally, in late February or early March, the best of the best get together at the BOM party to celebrate another good year in Morgantown.

Note that we may shift this schedule any year to accommodate our publishing needs and opportunities. Again, the best way to stay on top of it is to subscribe and follow.

When does the BOM survey go live?

Typically, the nomination round goes live in mid-October and the final round in mid-December. But it’s no secret. The best way to be informed is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on social media.

Who can be nominated?

The nomination process is open-ended: Anyone can be nominated. We love learning about new things going on in town through BOM nominations. We also take suggestions in the nomination round for categories for the following year’s BOM.

Can nominees be based outside Morgantown?

We consider nominees that are based outside Morgantown on a case-by-case basis. It’s rare but, if an out-of-town nominee that also operates in town legitimately fits the category and rises to the top, we let it into the final round. We know some people don’t think our Best of Morgantown contest should ever include out-of-towners, but we say competition is a good thing—may the best contender win!

Can chain stores and franchises be nominated, or is it only for locals?

While we love to see our hometown businesses shine, some categories just don’t have many locally owned businesses. It’s up to the voters to say what they support: Do they prefer the broad selection and hard-negotiated prices that big corporations can offer? Or do they prefer the individual expertise and personalized service we get from a neighborhood business? We’re happy to say that, over time, we’ve seen more local businesses nominated in nearly every category.

Who can vote?

Anyone can vote in the nomination and final round—we ask that people keep it to one ballot per device.