VCOS Celebration Honors Region’s Tourism Superheroes - Visit Colorado Springs

VCOS Celebration Honors Region’s Tourism Superheroes

The local tourism industry caps off a year of recovery with the return of an annual awards celebration

Colorado Springs, Colo. – October 15, 2021 – Last night, VCOS brought back its annual industry awards celebration after not holding the event in 2020 due to the pandemic. The 2021 Tourism Awards Celebration presented by Southwest Airlines took place at The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel and recognized several tourism superheroes as nominated by industry peers.

Award wins included:

  • Hospitality Customer Service Award: Rick Rhody, Director of Catering and Conference Services at Hotel Eleganté
  • Tourism Customer Service Award: Erin Nelson, Manager of Guest Experiences at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
  • Community Outreach Award: Greg Howard, Former President of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association
  • Tourism Leadership Award:
    • Terri Hayes, Executive Director of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development and Visitor Center
    • Leslie Lewis, Executive Director of the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Office of Economic Development
  • Superhero Team Award: El Paso County Nature Centers
  • Tourism Resilience Award: Leigh Ann Wolfe, Owner of Flying W Ranch

Several VCOS staff members were also recognized for their notable milestones with the organization, including: President & CEO Doug Price (10 years), Director of Partnership Development Kimberlie Griffis (10 years), Chief Financial Officer Jim Cassidy (15 year), Director of Visitor Services Christy Long (15 years) and Chief Innovation Officer Amy Long (15 years).

The event was emceed by Doug Price, VCOS President & CEO. Remarks were also made by Jennifer Ferrante, National Account Manager at Southwest Business, Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Tim Wolfe, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office and John Register, Veteran and Paralympic Silver Medalist. More than 200 guests attended, some dressed in festive superhero attire, including members of Red Herring Productions.

Sponsors included Southwest Airlines (presenting), The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel (host), Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain (gold), Garden of the Gods Resort and Club (gold), Gray Line Tours of Colorado (gold), The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway (gold), Hotel Eleganté (silver), Colorado Springs Airport (silver), Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs (bronze), Design Rangers (bronze), Colorado Springs Sports Corp (bronze), Better Business Bureau (bronze), DocuMart (printing) and Garden of the Gods Trading Post (awards).