Local businesses among Wright Awards finalists

Two area businesses have been selected as finalists in an annual awards program recognizing achievements in lifestyle industries in Colorado.

Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa east of Grand Junction and Hot Tomato Cafe & Pizzeria in Fruita are among 12  finalists in the latest Wright Awards program conducted by Something Independent. The Denver-based coalition promotes entrepreneurism through a variety of programs.

The finalists were selected from among more than 125 applicants for their connections to the outdoors and geographic diversity as well as their innovation, leadership and community connections. Finalists must produce a video that conveys their vision, mission and inspiration.
The winner will be announced during an awards night event set for May 3 that concludes a gathering of the outdoor recreation industry.

Powderhorn offers skiing and snowboarding during the winter and mountain biking and hiking during the summer in addition to lodging and food services.

The Hot Tomato Cafe & Pizzeria has become a popular eatery for visiting mountain bikers and other outdoor adventurers as well as a diverse local clientele. Owners Jen Zeuner and Anne Keller were selected as Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2015 as part of the Entrepreneurship Day event at Colorado Mesa University.

Since its inception in 2010, the Wright Awards program has recognized nearly 100 companies from across Colorado. Bonsai Design and Vintage Overland in Grand Junction were finalists in 2017. Bonsai Design designs and installs outdoor recreation facilities, including adventure parks, canopy tours and zipline courses. Vintage Overland builds lightweight teardrop camping trailers.