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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Florida Monthly magazine officially crowns Vero Beach as Florida's "Friendliest Small Town"

Florida Monthly magazine names Vero Beach as the state's official "Friendliest Small Town" in its "Florida's Best Of 2011" special edition September issue. Overall, 14 Indian River County, Florida attractions and businesses received accolades which include, McKee Botanical Garden, the Environmental Learning Center, the Vero Beach High School Athletics Program, the Vero Beach Book Center, Deep Six Watersports, the Vero Beach Museum of Art and the Sebastian Inlet State Park.

More than 115,000 print subscribers of Florida Monthly magazine participated in the 16th annual competition as they nominated their Florida favorites across 139 different categories. Readers write in their choice in each category and then submit their selection via e-mail or snail mail to publisher Doug Cifers. The Altamonte Springs based magazine collates the results and announces the winners in its September edition which is out now.
"We have some people who have participated in this every year since the first year," said Cifers. "And most of the time, you can attribute that to a very aggressive marketing campaign by a local chamber of commerce."

Tourism Director Susan Hunt at the Indian River Chamber of Commerce took action and encouraged local organizations to participate in this year's contest. Hunt e-mailed all of the chamber's members and asked them to submit names for consideration.

"We asked people to support our community by sending in nominations for the 'Best of Florida' contest," said Hunt. "And then we encouraged our businesses to have their customers go on-line and vote for them."

Cifers said that many organizations and businesses ask their customers to go to the Florida Monthly magazine website to vote for them.
"The whole idea is to provide a third-party endorsement," said Cifers. "We really have a lot of fun with this contest, and it's amazing the kind of nominations we receive. For years, we had a category called 'Best Hospital Food' and you would be surprised how many hospitals were competing with one another to win."

Winners of Florida Monthly's "Best Of 2011"survey receive a certificate and are profiled in the September edition. Florida Monthly is only available for purchase by subscription or through and cannot be found on any newsstand.

For a complete list of winners, go to

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