Annual Tourism Celebration Honors Hospitality Standouts During Speakeasy-Themed Evening
Colorado Springs, Colo. – October 11, 2018 – Visit Colorado Springs celebrated tourism and industry leaders Thursday night at The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel. Remarks were made by Colorado Springs Mayor, John Suthers, VCOS Board Chair, Barry Brown and VCOS President and CEO, Doug Price. Tourism industry members were recognized for their leadership, customer service, collaboration and community involvement.
The night’s 1920s speakeasy theme included nearly 300 guests in roaring 20s costume, themed drinks, a jail, complete with fingerprinting and mug shots, and a mystery-solving scavenger hunt. Mayor Suthers highlighted two important capital campaigns, the Pikes Peak Summit House and the Springs Rescue Mission and challenged VCOS partners to hold fundraising events and donate to one or both projects. Brown recapped annual tourism numbers, VCOS’ Destination Master Plan initiatives and the Colorado Tourism Office’s regional rebranding.
Once again, 23 million business, leisure and group visitors traveled to the region in 2017. The community-wide Destination Master Plan revealed 30 initiatives, a third of which VCOS will take the lead on. Brown also spoke about the new organization name, Visit Colorado Springs, and shared the new Colorado Tourism Office’s state map that highlights the rebranded regional boundaries. The region that includes Colorado Springs has shifted from “South Central” to a more accurate and inspirational moniker, “Pikes Peak Wonders.”
Doug Price presented a variety of VCOS acknowledgements and Industry awards.
Outgoing VCOS Board Members
Andy Neinas - Echo Canyon River Expeditions – six years of service on the VCOS board
Peter Udall - The Navigators - six years of service on the VCOS board
DeAnne McCann - El Paso County – four years of service on the VCOS board
Floy Kennedy (Director of Travel Industry Sales) – 10 years with VCOS
Chelsy Offutt (Director of Communications) – 10 years with VCOS
Tourism Industry Awards
Hospitality Customer Service Award: KumSuk Cano – The Broadmoor
Tourism Customer Service Award: Jake Mestas – Certified Folder Display Service
Tourism Leadership Award: Kathy Vinson – Space Foundation
Most Responsive to Leads – Entertainment: Bully Moose Pulpit, Don Moon
Most Responsive to Leads – Event Venues: Spruce Mountain Events
Most Responsive to Leads – Restaurants with Meeting Space: tie
The Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery
Phantom Canyon Brewing Company
Most Responsive to Leads – Transportation: Hermes Chauffeured Services
Best Collaborator with Visit Colorado Springs: Adventures Out West
Most Innovative New Business Concept: SCP Hotel Colorado Springs
Most Innovative Remodel: DoubleTree by Hilton Colorado Springs
Visitor Services Award: Mecca Motel
Volunteer Support Award: City of Cripple Creek
Women of Worth (W.O.W.) Awards:
Spirit of Tourism Award: Becky Leinweber – Angler’s Covey and Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance
Spirit of Caring Award: Sherry Von Riesen – Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center
Quintessential Woman of the Century: Mary Lou Murphy
Attendees sipped and swirled spirits courtesy of nine local craft beverage companies including: Axe and the Oak Distillery, Blue Fish Distillery, Bristol Brewing Company, Colorado Gold Distilling, Goat Patch Brewing Co., 3 Hundred Days of Shine, Peaks N Pines Brewing Company, Rocky Mountain Brewery and the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Event sponsors included: The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel, Best Western Executive Inn / Best Western Plus Peak Vista, Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, Ent Business Banking, Gray Line Tours – Colorado, Hotel Eleganté Conference and Event Center, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, DocuMart Copies and Printing, Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and Downtown Partnership.