Park City Area Lodging Association helps to elevate the industry
January 9, 2015
Over the last 30 years, a revolving group of dedicated leaders from several of Park City’s lodging companies has worked to benefit the entire town. Their efforts to support each other, through both prosperous and lean times, have required heaping doses of commitment, foresight and imagination, as well as a healthy sense of humor. All of those traits were on display Wednesday as the PCALA hosted its first annual Black Diamond Awards celebration.
Attendance at the event exceeded the organizers’ expectations. But in retrospect, it was no surprise that so many turned out to celebrate the everyday heroes of Park City’s success as a destination resort.
The association solicited nominations in seven categories to ensure that those whose work is too often taken for granted received recognition. As a result, 47 individuals, including a diverse array of managers, cooks and housekeepers, were singled out by their peers and supervisors for their hard work and professionalism. Twenty local vendors were also nominated for their contributions to the lodging industry. Of those, seven earned this year’s Black Diamond Awards.
The testimonials from friends and coworkers of the award recipients offered detailed accounts of the lengths to which many local employees go to ensure the town’s guests are happy and comfortable. They were also full of stories about how managers and team leaders support each other, both personally and professionally.
While the individuals, many of whom were unaccustomed to the outpouring of attention, received their due, the overarching message was that each had contributed to Park City’s overall success.
Two of the awards were especially noteworthy in that respect.
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The first-ever Black Diamond Vendor of the Year Award went to All Resort Group. Speakers at the event credited the transportation company with fueling the success of all of the lodges in town. All Resort President Gordon Cummins and CEO Richard Bizzaro were on hand to accept the honor. And all of us who count on All Resort’s buses, cars and vans to deliver guests to our hotels, special events or the airport know how critical those services are.
The biggest honor, the Double Black Diamond Inspiration Award was given to Deer Valley President Bob Wheaton. In his video tribute, Lessing Stern, chairman of the board for the resort’s parent company, Royal Street Land Company, lauded Wheaton for his efforts to not only raise Deer Valley’s profile, but to help showcase all of Park City and the state.
"He understands profoundly how important it is for the community as a whole to be successful," said Stern.
The same could be said of the PCALA members. As some of the association’s earliest leaders, including Rob Slettom, Rhonda Sideris and Kim McClelland, and current leaders Chris Eggleton and Greg Gendron, have shown — by offering professional development opportunities, lobbying for rigorous industry standards and working together, they have elevated Park City’s reputation as a global destination. And now we are all sharing the rewards.