Something about the Wright Awards sends me home with a huge smile on my face. It could be the hundreds passionate people buzzing in one huge gallery. It’s likely something to do with the gushing love and pride of Colorado, and it’s definitely partly caused by the creativity and ingenuity that we see in each of the twelve companies who made the top of this year’s nomination pool.  It’s a night to mark your calendar for next year, folks.

The Wright Awards are presented annually by Something Independent. A panel of esteemed judges cast their votes based on 90-second videos that each contender submits to represent their company’s vision, approach to their craft, and their western inspiration. Check out this video to really immerse yourself in what the Wright award experience is all about – The Wright in 152 seconds.

This year’s flight of contenders was full of powerhouse companies that represented ten different communities around the Centennial state. The contenders included: Big Agnes, Backcountry Access, Bonsai Design, Borealis Fat Bikes, Corbeaux, Hala Gear, Johnson & Held, Ouray Ice Park, Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival, South Main, Vintage Overland, and Waste Farmers.

Governor Hickenlooper made a cameo appearance as a judge this year and presented the award to the overall winner, South Main, at the conclusion of the event. “These twelve companies reflect a mindset that embodies the Colorado spirit. They represent a way of thinking that couples leadership with cooperation. We are grateful for their presence in our state, their contributions to the region’s economy, and their commitment to their craft.”

The runners up were Bonsai Designs and Ouray Ice Park who participated in a Q&A with winner South Main, prompted by the judges in front of a live audience. Bonzai Designs, a spunky husband and wife team, hails from Grand Junction and offers team-building zip line courses that highlight the natural wonders of the areas they construct their projects in. Ouray Ice Park helps propel the winter economy for the small town of Ouray, which they call home. Climbers come from near and far to test their skills on the man-made ice just five minutes from downtown Ouray.

South Main, the Wright Award winners, walked away with $5,000 cash prize and the honor of winning outright in this star-studded crowd. South Main is a free water-park with public access riverside trails, surrounded by a exuberant neighborhood of homes, shops and community resources. South Main is only twenty percent completed, which means we all have a lot more to look forward to from this award-winning company.