As Jeff Goldblum said in "Jurassic Park," "When you gotta go, you gotta go." Few people in a rush truly appreciate a good bathroom. Enter Cintas’ "America’s Best Restroom" contest where a meta-Kansas monument has quickly become the popular underdog.
A toilet-shaped restroom known as Bowl Plaza at the Grassroots Art Center in Lucas, Kansas is in second-place behind Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia. Not bad, considering it’s the only public restroom in the Russell County town with a modest population of 407 residents.
"It's been pretty exciting," says Grassroots Executive Director Rosslyn Schultz. "We've seen an increase in visitation to the public restroom" that took four years and thousands of volunteer hours to complete. People even donated items to be placed in the walls.
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So far, the center has seen visitors from 56 countries. Oviously, Schultz was thrilled, "for a small town like Lucas, that's a lot."
Here in Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens isn't scared. "We’re definitely trying to flush the competition," says Longwood Marketing Communications Associate Abbey Palutis, glee in her voice at the word play. "We’re pushing for our valued customers to vote."
The Gardens’ restroom is part of the largest Green Wall in America, containing over 47,000 different plant types. "It’s beautiful and resourceful at the same time," finishes Palutis with pride.
Other competitors include the American Girl Place in Chicago, the Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis and the Tiki Lounge in Pittsburgh.
Cintas is an Ohio-based company that provides a diverse range of services to businesses, restroom-design being one of them. Their bathroom competition began back in 2002 with a simple purpose: to find the most unique, impressive, elegant, and quirky public restrooms.
Since the competition's inception, bathrooms from Wisconsin to Texas have joined the prestigious Cintas Hall of Fame. A Candian version launched in 2010.
Bathroom enthusiasts can cast their votes and take the "Restroom Personality" quiz on the contest’s website until voting ends on Friday.