Compiled by Explore Big Staff

The people have spoken! Voter participation in the fourth annual Best of Big Sky survey increased by 120 percent over last year as locals and visitors logged onto explorebigsky.com or filled out paper ballots to vote for their favorite businesses, people and events of 2014.

This year, winning businesses were awarded the framed wall certificates we’ve given in the past, in addition to a $500 Outlaw Partners marketing credit. Thank you to everyone who voted this year and congratulations to all the winners!

Community Member of the Year

First place: Krista Mach

For the second year in a row championing the Best of Big Sky’s Community Member of the Year category, Krista Machcomm_member_of_year_Krista has again proven that nothing will slow her down.

In August, Mach, a Big Sky resident for 26 years, suffered a severe stroke. After stints in Billings Advanced Care Hospital and Denver’s Craig Hospital, she returned home on Dec. 4 and is making progress in measures of leaps, according to her sister Karol Grimes who’s living at Krista and her husband J.D.’s house helping out.

“She has gotten so much stronger on her right side,” said Grimes, adding that Krista is attending physical, speech and occupational therapy sessions three times a week. “Her physical therapist said there’s no doubt she will walk again.”

Congratulations Krista! Thank you for your tireless dedication to Big Sky, your beautiful smile, and your trademark sass. You have again given the community reason to believe.

Second place: Tom Owens

Third place: John Zirkle

Best restaurant: Big Sky

First place: Lotus Pad

For the fourth year in a row, Lotus Pad is the reigning champion as Big Sky’s best restaurant. This cozy joint may not have sprawling seating options, but it has big Thai flavors and Asian Fusion dishes. Patrons not only choose from a variety of classic options, but decide their spice Best_restaurant_big_sky_lotus_padpreferences according to a scale resembling the difficulty of ski runs (Green is mild, while triple black diamond is extreme spicy).

Stop by to enjoy stellar food, tantalizing signature cocktails and a comfy atmosphere, all while dining among Big Sky’s easygoing locals. lotuspadbigsky.com, (406) 995-2728

Second place: Gallatin Riverhouse Grill

Third place: Olive B’s

Best restaurant: Bozeman

First place: Dave’s Sushi

Dave’s Sushi brings a laid back dining experience with high-quality ingredients to create unique rolls and dishes. Stop by for a classic Philly Roll (cream cheese, green onions, avocado, and cucumber inside, smoked salmon outside) or try something a little more eccentric like the Bubba Gump Roll (spicy crawfish,165848213_e2041c3f3e_o green onions, mango, avocado and cucumber inside, shrimp and sweet chili sauce outside).

Hint: If you write a haiku on the napkin, your waiter will bring you a secret menu.
davessushi.com, (406) 556-1351

Second place: Blackbird Kitchen

Third place: Montana Ale Works