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AH&LA honors winners of 39th annual stars of the industry Achievement Awards

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) honored the winners of the AH&LA Achievement Awards, part of…

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) honored the winners of the AH&LA Achievement Awards, part of the AH&LA/iBAHN Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon, held during the Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The awards, created in 1966, recognize individual hotel properties that have developed outstanding public relations campaigns. Categories include community service; Good Earthkeeping; guest relations; and special events, one-time only and ongoing.

The Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado, Calif ., won the community service award, less than 150 rooms category, for its community service program, which was developed and implemented by their in-house staff. In 2004, the Inn donated bedding, televisions, and furniture to Just In Time, a nonprofit organization that helps foster children furnish their apartments once they are officially out of the foster care system. In addition, the property hosts breakfasts, luncheons, and networking events for local organizations. The Inn is also the winner of the guests relations award, less than 150 rooms category, for the third consecutive year. With 42 percent of business from returning guests and their referrals, Glorietta Bay Inn continues to provide countless small, considerate touches and customize services, with the mansion and town`s rich history offering a special appeal to history buffs. The Inn`s general manager personally responds to each guest comment card received, either by sending a letter acknowledging the guest`s comments or by calling the guest-demonstrating the Inn`s commitment to guest service.

The Westin Copley Place in Boston, Mass., and The Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club in Lihue, Hawaii, were double winners for community service, more than 150 rooms category.

The Westin Copley Place created a mentorship program for managers and supervisors. The program teams the managers and supervisors with an executive committee member who mentors them in regard to their individual development. Each team is encouraged to participate in two community service events each year.

As a pledge to community service, the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club created the Spirit to Serve Our Community program. Associates of the Kauai Marriott have embraced helping charitable organizations such as the United Way, Children`s Miracle Network, and the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association`s Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk. In addition, the hotel had an astounding 1,583 volunteers assist a variety of nonprofit organizations.

The Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat in Leavenworth, Wash., won the Good Earthkeeping award, less than 150 rooms category, for its mission and vision-reverence for natural landscape and its commitment to serve as a model for the eco-tourism industry through environmental conservation. Two classes from the University of Washington use the grounds of Sleeping Lady as a living laboratory. Students return each year to make observations and record data concerning natural landscaping.

The Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., is the winner of the Good Earthkeeping award, more than 150 rooms category. As the lodging and resort operator at Yellowstone, the hotel recognizes the importance of balancing guests` experiences with the vital need to preserve the park`s fragile natural resources. With 2,100 rooms to 4,700 park visitors, the hotel has been successful in implementing an effective environmental policy in its core values and culture.

The Monhonk Mountain House Retreat in Leavenworth, Wash., winner of the guest relations award, more than 150 rooms category, created a service initiative to train each employee to provide the highest level of customer service. A service guide and a new hire checklist was also created for managers to review with all new hires within two weeks of their hire date.

The Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vt., won the special events ongoing award, less than 150 rooms category, for its Hot Air Balloon Festival. The event, which celebrated its 18th year, features 25 ballons and a weekend of food, games, and activities.

The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., won the special events ongoing award, more than 150 rooms category. The Loews Loves Kids event, now in its 12th year, enabled more than 150 local children to learn the power of giving by assembling special gift bags for the patients at Vanderbilt Children`s Hospital. Several former patients who received gift bags in the past, returned to donate their time to make bags for other ill children.

The Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., won the special events one-time only award, more than 150 rooms category, for its Teaching Kids to CARE program, which consisted of hotel employees working with fifth and sixth-graders at a local charter school. The theme of the program was to teach students about the election process. The students voted from five categories-the military, doctors and nurses, firefighters, police, and homeless shelters-and the winning group would receive Doubletree cookies. The participants delivered 2,004 cookies to the local military, where they were shipped the soldiers serving in Iraq.

Many of AH&LA`s partner state associations choose their own property award winners, that are then submitted to the association for national judging. Making the decisions in this year`s competition were Phil Hayward, editor, Lodging magazine; Ginger Croce, director of communications, American Bus Association; and Allen Kay, manager of industry relations, Travel Industry Association of America.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.