Every year, the Collegiate Times unveils its Best of Blacksburg list.
The list, covering food establishments, stores and other services serve as tools for students and members of the community in making decisions for business.
One of the categories in the Best of Blacksburg list is Best Tattoo Parlor, which Ancient Art won in 2007. However, customers entering into rival parlor Rendezvous could be easily mislead, as the parlor, which came in third for 2007, hangs two fake first place "Best of Blacksburg 2007" signs.
"We don't have a dispute, but we just want to let everyone know who the best store is," said Vicki Rose, a piercer at Ancient Art. The signs at Rendezvous were first noticed in May.
"Our regulars were telling us Rendezvous had a sign up that looked ghetto," Rose said. "We've been trying to handle this respectfully."
Workers at Rendezvous were hesitant on talking about the certificates.
"(We got the certificate) whenever they sent it in the mail," said Patti Rowan, manager of Rendezvous.
Though this would appear to explain for the false sign, the odds of this explanation being true are not good.
"It would never happen," said Xavier Herrera, advertising director for College Media Solutions and Business Manager of the Collegiate Times when the Best of Blacksburg were unveiled for 2007. "We only print out a single certificate for each winner, and from what we can tell, the certificate was photo-shopped.
The fake certificates inside of Rendezvous can appear to look legitimate. The main difference between the fake and the real sign is the font used for the writing of "First Place." While the real certificate at Ancient Art has "First Place" written in blue italicized font, the fake sign found at Rendezvous has "First Place" written in straight black font. The two fake signs are hung at the door and by a couch by the parlor's portfolio.
Rendezvous' dishonesty has shocked Ancient Art, who has had a strong record on the Best of Blacksburg, with many first place prizes in recent years.
"We've been the best tattoo place in Blacksburg since we opened up 10 years ago. We just want to let everyone know who rightfully holds the title," Rose said.
Voting for the 2008 Best of Blacksburg is already underway, with voting coming to a close Sept. 21.