The illusion that you are heeding nature’s call while actually in nature—sometimes even under water while aquatic creatures swim above you—is clearly an experience that appeals to the American voting public.
Indeed, the public is so wild about the restrooms at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, FL—where tarpon, otter, osprey, and sea turtle sculptures provide an underwater wildlife illusion—that it voted the wildlife refuge the winner of the 2018 America’s Best Restroom® contest.
“We’re thrilled that the public is as wild about our restrooms as we are,” said Toni Westland, Supervisor Refuge Ranger, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. “As one of 566 national wildlife refuges around the country, we saw the restrooms as a major missed opportunity for educating visitors, which is why our new Learning Lavatories encourage visitors to become entirely immersed in refuge habitat and wildlife.”
In addition to the underwater illusions, photographic tile murals depict a lush, watery mangrove scene on one wall. Close-up professional bird photos wrap stall doors, with identification information on the inside. These Learning Lavatories dazzle, but also educate along the walk with interpretive messaging about the wildlife and saving the environment.
“We’ve been hosting this contest for 17 years and we’re still blown away by facilities like J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which find new and innovative ways to make the restroom experience memorable,” said Sean Mulcahey, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “This contest serves as a great reminder that investing in your restroom facilities is more important than ever because it can impact the success of your business.”
The other finalists in the 2018 America’s Best Restroom contest included:
- Barrio, Chicago
- Bryant Park, New York City
- Dream Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, CA
- Green Bay Botanical Garden, Green Bay, WI
- Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, La Jolla, CA
- MI VIDA, Washington, DC
- Morgan Manufacturing, Chicago
- The Mud House, St. Louis, MO
- The Progress, San Francisco, CA
Cintas revealed the 10 contest finalists in August and voting was open to the public through September 18. Finalists were selected based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements.
As the winner, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will receive $2,500 in Cintas products and services for restroom cleaning or facility management to keep their restrooms Ready for the Workday®, along with a lifetime of bathroom bragging rights.
Does your facility have a toilet that’s tops? Nominate a restroom for the 2019 contest here.