When we started a weekly newspaper, we always knew we had to do a reader's poll, a staple of urban weeklies across the nation. On April 6, 1994, we published our first Best of the Inland Northwest issue — only our 25th issue, weighing in at a whopping 32 pages. This week you can pick up Inlander Issue No. 1269 here during our 25th anniversary year, with 132 pages for your reading pleasure.
It's always fun to crack open an old Inlander and take a peek. Amazingly, many winners in 2018 were already ensconced in our collective notion of excellence back in 1994. Dick's, Auntie's and Riverfront Park are all winners this year and were winners then as well. Other 1994 winners live on only in the mists of our memory, like Harry O's, Swackhammer's and T.W. Fisher's brewery.
We concluded that first Best Of with this question: What's the best thing the Inland Northwest doesn't have yet? Your answers then provided a clear marker of how far we've come since. "The north-south freeway," "open minds," "a new coliseum," "civic pride" (aka "our inferiority complex about Seattle") and "a classy after-Symphony restaurant" were a few of your answers.
Well, the freeway's funded, minds are more open (I believe), the Spokane Arena is enjoyed by all (especially Garth Brooks), civic pride is on the rise (Spokane doesn't suck) and we have multiple "classy" options for after the Symphony or any cultural event. Check, check, check, check and check.
Thanks to all of you who voted. We hope you enjoy another edition of our annual here's-what-makes-this-place-so-great issue!
— Ted S. McGregor Jr., Publisher