‘Death to doilies:’ City Councilor honored by innkeeping industry
Many know Liza Simpson as a member of the Park City Council. Or they may see her working at Dolly’s Bookstore.
Simpson, though, also is a veteran of the lodging industry, spending time at what once was one of Park City’s smaller properties, the now-shuttered Old Miner’s Lodge.
Simpson recently was honored by an international trade group dedicated to advancing smaller lodging properties like inns. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International, based in Charleston, S.C., honored Simpson with the Hardy-Bell Award, given to someone for their service to the organization and the industry.
Simpson has been a member of the association since the early 1990s, starting while she worked at the Old Miners’ Lodge, which once operated in Old Town. Her service with the association started years ago when she would assist in organizing conventions and trade shows. She served on the association’s advisory council for four or five years before being asked to join its board of directors, Simpson said. The award honors her work with the association rather than her time at the Old Miner’s Lodge.
Simpson said she recently retired from the board of directors after serving approximately six years. Simpson said the Hardy-Bell Award is given out once a year, at most. She is not sure who nominated her for the honor.
Simpson said now is a "cutting edge" time for the innkeeping industry, noting that younger people are becoming involved in the business. There is a "death to doilies" movement in the industry meant to dispel notions that inns are old-fashioned places to stay, Simpson said.
Simpson said Park City’s inns offer alternatives to the larger lodging properties in the community, saying that, in her opinion, they are better places to stay. Inns, she said, are part of a resort town’s overall lodging portfolio.
"To put an end to the stereotype that all bed and breakfasts are sort of grandma’s house" where cats will be sleeping in the beds, Simpson said about the association’s ‘death to doilies’ campaign.
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Leaders in Park City and Summit County this week approved identical resolutions essentially opposing a Utah Department of Transportation concept for a major redo of the S.R. 248 entryway.