With so much attention being given to the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, it might be easy to overlook another important voting opportunity: There’s a tight race to win the crown in 2015 Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Contest. With less than a month left to select your favorite potty, you’ll need to cast your vote before October 31 to make your opinion count.
Currently in the lead is The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH and its “Alice in Wonderland”-style restrooms. Several other restrooms are close behind in the annual competition: Charleston Distilling in Charleston, SC; Town of Minturn public restrooms in Minturn, CO; The Fitton Center for the Arts in Hamilton, OH; and the Perry Lakes Park public restrooms in Marion, AL.
“The Music Hall has taken the early lead, but with a month left to vote, it’s still anyone’s game,” said John Engel, Senior Marketing Manager at Cintas. “We expect a close finish and encourage people across the country to go online and make their picks.”
Each year, Cintas stages the America’s Best Restroom Contest to promote the importance of hygiene and salute businesses which strive for restroom excellence in both function and design.
The vote tally is tight, and all 10 finalists are still in the running to be crowned King of the Thrones.
2015 America’s Best Restroom Contest Finalists
Cibo Wine Bar, Miami, FL
Located in Miami’s famed South Beach district, Cibo Wine Bar is a blend of old world rustic and modern industrial chic. The restrooms, the creation of Liberty Entertainment Group’s Vice President and Creative Director Nadia Di Donato, are stunning works of art. Guests are often intrigued by the faucets, which are mounted to the ceiling and activated by motion sensor.
Charleston Distilling, Charleston, SC
A restroom inside a whiskey barrel? At Charleston Distilling in South Carolina, which makes small batch handcrafted spirits, two restrooms are designed as giant wooden barrels. The creative place “to go” has become a popular attraction for patrons.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Hamilton, OH
The restrooms at The Fitton Center for Creative Arts were created by Cincinnati artist Jan Brown Checco as an homage to our relationship with the earth and the importance of conservation. In addition, students in the Fitton Center’s pottery classes and community members joined forces to create several of the tiles. In the women’s restroom, Mother Nature’s face is comprised of rainbows, flowers, seashells, fossils, colorful glass and clay tiles. In the men’s restroom the Greenman gives a nod to Hamilton’s Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer.
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, OH
The Cincinnati Reds, in partnership with Pampers and Fischer Homes, debuted the first-of-its-kind nursing suite at Great American Ball Park this season. The Reds talked with local moms to identify specific needs for the restroom. Five comfortable gliders, changing stations, kitchenette with a sink, ice and refrigeration, lockers for storing items, and flat screen TVs ensure mom doesn’t miss any of the game.
The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH
The team at The Music Hall, a performing arts venue in downtown Portsmouth, NH which dates back to the 1870s, says the restrooms are like a trip into a childhood fairytale. That’s because, during a recent renovation in 2008, designers drew on the mysticism of Gaudi and the classic touches of the Tiffany style to create a fantasy forest of cast bronze trees, branches and vines, gilded Corinthian columns, elegant velvet settees and creative tile patterns.
OB Warehouse, Ocean Beach, CA
At OB Warehouse World Food and Bar in Ocean Beach near San Diego, vintage artifacts blend seamlessly with modern, industrial design. The OB Warehouse restrooms feature retro, hand-held vintage mirrors, oil cans, and tools like vintage plumber pipe, a wrench, and metal letter stamps which read OB Warehouse over the men’s urinal. All the building materials are recycled from other buildings either in San Diego or locales around the world.
Perry Lakes Park, Marion, AL
Strolling through the woods at Perry Lakes Park near Marion, AL, you’ll find a fifty-foot structure (known as “Tall toilet”) that is part of a three-restroom complex built in 2003 by architecture students at Auburn University Rural Studio. In addition to “Tall toilet,” the students constructed “Long toilet” with long walls that frame a tree and “Mount toilet,” which sits atop the septic system for the restroom complex. All three use durable and local materials – a mix of cypress and locally-milled cedar along with anodized aluminum, stainless steel and concrete.
The Salty Pig, Boston, MA
Owners of The Salty Pig in Boston, Jim Cochener and Mike Moxley plastered their restroom walls with “The Far Side” comics. Guests take “extra” time drying their hands so they can read the comics, and many regulars challenge themselves to read a new comic each time they visit.
Strataca, Hutchinson, KS
At Strataca, the only underground salt-mine attraction in North America, the men’s and women’s restrooms are part of the museum experience. Located 650 feet underground, they’re both carved out of a stratified salt bed formed 275 million years ago.
Town of Minturn Public Restrooms, Minturn, CO
Minturn’s new public restrooms reflect the town’s mining past. The unique digitally fabricated shape of the men’s and women’s restrooms resemble an adit (horizontal passage way) into a Rocky Mountain mine. The concept is the product of several key players: the Town of Minturn, LaN Architecture – Monika Wittig, LGM 3d Studios and Noble Welding.
Have a favorite? Vote for your top pick online by October 31. Cintas will reveal the winner of the 14th annual America’s Best Restroom Contest during a nationally publicized media event this fall, and the winner and runner-up will secure a place in Cintas’ Best Restroom Hall of Fame.