The organizers of the annual America’s Best Restroom contest have flushed out a 2020 winner.
Cintas Corporation named the public restroom in Bancroft Park in Colorado Springs, Colo. as America’s best bathroom for the 19th annual contest.
The high-tech restroom self-cleans after every 30 uses, featuring a touchless automatic toilet paper, soap and water dispensers and hand dryers. An app alerts the park maintenance supervisor whenever supplies are running low.
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“We’re very proud to win this award since opening these new restrooms just a few short months ago,” Karen Palus, director of Colorado Springs parks, recreation and cultural services, said in a statement. “The amount of recognition we’ve received is a testament to the value people place in hygienic and memorable public restrooms.”
The bathroom went viral this summer after TikToker Yeti Tears featured it in a video that drew millions of views. He showed how the door opens with the push of a button and “slides like something out of ‘Star Wars.’” At the time, a memo displayed showed that 7,800 people had used the facilities in just two weeks.
“It is state of the art,” he said in the video.
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The city spent $301,000 on the high-tech restrooms during a larger renovation of the park, Fox 21 reported.
Steve Bodette, capital projects coordinator for the city, told the outlet that the self-cleaning automatic dispensing functions were meant to save money in the long run. He explained that a timer triggers an alarm every seven minutes, aimed at preventing vandalism the park’s bathrooms have suffered from in the past.
Kamlynn Poteet, who had tried out the restroom, told Fox 21 that she was “shocked” by the unusual facilities.
“It was very different,” Poteet said. “It felt like I was in the future.”
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Bancroft Park’s new restrooms beat out nine other finalists during an online vote that ran from Sept. 24 and Oct. 19. Those lavatory nominees include: AirTrain JFK’S Jamaica Station, Greeley Square Park and Kimpton Muse Hotel in New York, N.Y.; DFW Airport in Texas; Gaslight Bar and Grill in Cincinnati; Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Ore., Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in Scottsdale, Ariz., Swift’s Attic in Austin, Tex. and The Guild Hotel in San Diego.