GCVB Recognizes Tourism Award Winners and Creates CID Partnerships

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Caryn McGarity
Executive Director of the Gwinnett Convention & Visitors Bureau

Throughout 2007, the GCVB has been working hard to create and enhance new partnerships to sell Gwinnett County as a destination for meetings, sporting events, conventions and leisure travel. Sometimes, though, you don”t realize that some of your strongest partners are already in your own backyard.

Gwinnett”s three Community Improvement Districts – Gwinnett Village, Gwinnett Place and Evermore – have a challenging and complex mission. All three should be commended for the hard work and progress they have made addressing critical infrastructure, transportation and crime issues.

Over 45 percent of our hotels are located within the confines of one of the three CIDs, and simply put, their future is our future. That is one of the reasons we are pleased to announce our 2007 tourism grant awards recipients – the Gwinnett Village, Gwinnett Place and Evermore CIDs.

The CIDs were recently awarded a combined $20,000 to create destination maps and brochures, highlighting their restaurants, hotels and retail options. We”ll work closely with the CIDs to create useful and effective marketing pieces and to assist them in their mission of getting people to live, work, shop and visit in the respective districts.

So it seemed only fitting that Gwinnett Village CID Executive Director Chuck Warbington was also recently recognized at the GCVB”s December 2007 holiday luncheon with our 2007 Community Relations Award.

Our annual Tourism Awards are just one way that we can publicly recognize the corporate supporters, hoteliers, or other hospitality employees who go above and beyond in not only supporting the GCVB, the Gwinnett Sports Commission and our local community. Our 2007 Tourism Awards winners include:

Industry Professional of the Year
(Winners are chosen by their peers in the Gwinnett hospitality industry)

Kevin Hill, general manager, Homewood Suites Sugarloaf

Saira Gillani, director of sales at Holiday Inn Express Duluth

Friend of Tourism Awards

PGA Tour Superstore, Duluth – They have truly proven to be a major partner and supporter of both the sports and meetings industry, including being the new lead sponsor of the Gwinnett Sports Commission”s USTA 50K Women”s Classic.

Leyla Thompson, Sales Manager/Medieval Times – Every time, every project, she is willing to participate fully and enthusiastically.

Maria Arzuaga, Community Relations/ Costco – Maria Arzuaga and her staff have been one of our strongest corporate supporters throughout 2007.

Unsung Hero
Larry Larsen, General Manager, Proof of the Pudding – Larry truly defines someone who works tremendously hard behind the scenes and rarely takes the stage for the congratulations that he deserves.

General Manager of the Year
Kevin Hill, general manager, Homewood Suites Sugarloaf – He can be counted on as one of the most consummately professional general managers in Gwinnett County. He is a very professional, customer-oriented sales professional.

Newcomer of the Year
Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center – The GEHC has proven itself not only to be a great addition for our student tour groups and leisure visitors.

Restaurant of the Year
L”il River Grill – Lil River Grill not only is one of Gwinnett”s most popular fine dining and event destinations, but is a huge part of downtown Lawrenceville”s destination appeal.

Attraction of the Year
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournamen

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