Umstead Spa was on the list, and the SAS clan (Goodnights) also own that, so they certainly knew about the nomination process.
Maybe SAS asked not to be considered; it probably doesn't do anything for them except increase applications.
Of course SAS is a great place to work. I remember going to orientation as a new employee, and they spent the whole time talking about benefits. There were so many, the new employees became giddy. It was the strangest orientation and consisted of them telling us, "You get this and this and this and this..." One asked me, laughing, "When will we have time to work?"
I think few employers can compare in the Triangle or even in the entire country.
Even if SAS pays slightly less than other employers, I think the benefits more than make up for it. I would think that in this economy, they are getting more applications than ever.