From Cincinnati-based Cintas, a release that makes me laugh -- and ask what on earth is an "electronic seat cover"? The announcement:
Immaculate, inviting and, most of all, memorable; finalists in the America’s Best Restroom IX contest, sponsored by Cintas Corporation, have established a new standard for restroom quality. These washrooms are testaments to their proprietors’ sense of taste, flair and attention to detail, and feature some of the world’s finest materials and customer comforts as well as a few surprises.
The public is invited to vote online through August 31 at www.bestrestroom.com. The site takes visitors on a photographic tour of each facility and then encourages them to choose their favorite. The winner will be announced in September 2010.
This year’s finalists for America’s Best Restroom are:
Rivue Restaurant & Lounge, Louisville, Kentucky. Custom light fixtures, translucent ruby washbasins, floor-to-ceiling stall doors and cloth towels.
Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah. Italian Carerra Marble, bronze and crystal chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling commodes, beautifully inlaid African Anegre Wood and hand- painted walls.
Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Egyptian design, fireplaces, gold columns and custom wainscoting.
Bryant Park, New York, New York. Beaux Arts design, full-time attendant, fresh cut flowers, scented oils and electronic seat covers.
The Fountain on Locust, St. Louis, Missouri. Hand-painted murals, ornate fixtures and designer mirrors.
Lawrence Dumont Stadium, Wichita, Kansas. Hand-painted murals, with the baby changing areas adorned as the “Lil’ Rookie Changing Station.”
The Muse Hotel, New York, New York. Individualized restrooms, each themed for a different Muse.
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California.
Ocean-themed with undulating roof form that evokes thoughts of a vintage wooden roller coaster or ocean waves.
Joe’s Farm Grill, Gilbert, Arizona. Futuristic design featuring TV’s, GI Joe and Barbie Dolls and automated fixtures.
China Grill at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dazzling fountains, with individual pods, each with its own TV.
While these finalists are all quite unique, they have one thing in common: all are exceptionally clean. Cintas created the Best Restroom award in 2002 to honor those businesses across America that place high value on hygiene and exceptional style in their public restrooms. Over the last eight years, the contest has attracted tens of thousands of voters. The 2010 winner will receive a plaque of recognition and a coveted place in America’s Best Restroom “Hall of Fame” section of the program’s Web site. Previous winners have included restrooms at the University of Notre Dame; The Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi; Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; the Fort Smith, Arkansas Airport; Wendell’s Restaurant in Westerville, Ohio: Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, Ohio, The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee and, in 2009, the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
“We like to think of this contest as a fun, light-hearted way of drawing the public’s attention to the very important issue of restroom hygiene,” says Cintas Marketing Manager Rich Bing. “People don’t think about such things until they walk into a poorly kept restroom, and then it matters. After that, the odds are they won’t be back.”