Carlson Hotels Worldwide honored its top- performing hotels, managers and employees at the company’s annual business conference held in Las Vegas. Following are highlights of the top award winners for Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlsonsm and Park Inn.
Special Recognition Awards
Three special awards were presented at the annual business conference, including two Diamond Awards to two general managers in New Orleans who showed great leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and a Guest Satisfaction Award to a hotel group that is a champion of delivering guest service excellence at its Radisson hotels.
In August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the Radisson New Orleans Airport Hotel, lost all communications, electricity and much of the bottom two floors. General Manager Weylan Rhame and a handful of employees remained at the hotel, working to secure generators and clean water, while repairing, cleaning and drying out mildly damaged rooms on the upper floors. Rhame and key management remained on site throughout the emergency, ultimately housing 550 relief workers, media and locals, who were allowed to stay after running out of money.
Guy Dinmore, reporting for the United Kingdom Financial Times, wrote, “If New Orleans were to make an award for entrepreneurial spirit in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, then Weylan Rhames, general manager of the Radisson Airport hotel, would be a top contender.”
Near the French Quarter, General Manager Mike Larose of the Country Inn & Suites New Orleans, also without communications, sheltered 100 guests and employees during the storm as the rising flood waters reached with a block of the hotel and then arranged for their safe evacuation.
For their unparalleled courage and spirit in the wake of one of the most destructive natural disasters to occur in the U.S., the two New Orleans hotel general managers were presented with Diamond Awards.
The third special award, the Radisson 100% Champion Award, was presented to Radisson Hotels of Latin America for overall exceptional guest service at its hotels throughout the region.
Radisson Hotels & Resorts honored 68 of its hotels and resorts with its prestigious President’s Award, based on performance in 2005. The award- winning hotels were selected from among over 200 Radisson properties in The Americas, Asia Pacific and a portion of the United Kingdom. The top- performing President’s Award hotel for 2005, the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre in New York, was recognized as the best of the best with the coveted Pinnacle award. The President’s and Pinnacle award-winning hotels excelled in property quality and cleanliness, property management, marketing and sales, leveraging the revenue generating tools of the brand and delivering total guest satisfaction.
Country Inns & Suites By Carlson presented its 2005 Presidential Award to the Country Inn & Suites in Lewisburg, Penn. This award is presented to the property that displayed outstanding sales and marketing efforts, distinguished itself with a high level of commitment to guest service, supported the Country Inns & Suites brand and has had exceptional financial success.
The Presidential Award for the Park Inn brand recognizes the hotel that demonstrated its commitment to guest service by consistently receiving scores of at least 90 percent in qualifying criteria during its annual Quality Performance Review. The Park Inn in Brunswick, Ga., was selected as the 2005 winner based on a vision that includes: Focus on the Customer; Provide Individualized Marketing and Services; and Empower Employees.
Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts awarded a Guest Services Award to the Park Plaza Bariboo, Wisc. This award recognizes the hotel that delivers the best overall guest service noted by top scores from guests indicating that they would stay again, the lowest number of guest complaints, and overall responsiveness to guest concerns. Park Plaza awarded the Park Plaza Toronto Airport with the Most Improved Property Award, based on the biggest improvement in revenue generated per available room (RevPAR), guest service and quality assurance scores from 2004 to 2005.
Top General Managers
Kelly Krier, general manager of the Country Inn & Suites in Kearney, Neb., was honored as Country Inns & Suites By Carlson’s 2005 General Manager of the Year. The award is presented to the general manager who has provided the highest standards of leadership, particularly in the areas of sales and profit achievement, guest service and human resource development.
The General Manager of the Year for the Park Inn brand is Raju Patel of the Park Inn Orlando Winter Park in Florida. Patel was selected for his leadership excellence, which creates an engaging work environment that attracts and retains employees that are empowered to help the hotel achieve success. Patel has maintained superior performance at his hotel with little staff turnover.
Radisson Hotels & Resorts awarded Managing Director German Fayad of the Radisson Hacienda Cancun Hotel in Mexico the brand’s top manager in The Americas. The Esprit Award is awarded annually to the top manager who establishes a high level of employee and guest engagement is recognized for excellence in guest services, RevPAR and profit growth, and who is an active participant within the brand. Under Fayad’s leadership, the hotel was the first in Mexico to subscribe to the ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) program supporting the Carlson Hotels Worldwide institutional campaign, and it weathered two hurricanes. Following the storms, guest comments hailed Fayad’s disaster planning and crisis management skills, which enabled the hotel to recover quickly, provide care to guests and maintain staffing.
Employees of the Year
Radisson selected Nadia Pinder, conference services manager at the Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, as the company’s 2005 Employee of the Year. Pinder was chosen for her commitment to quality work, demonstration of a Yes I Can! attitude, and ability to create meaningful and positive experiences for guests and fellow employees.
Mohamed Abdi, front office manager at the Park Plaza Hotel Phoenix/Chandler, Ariz., was selected as that brand’s Employee of the Year. Throughout 2005, Abdi regularly received complimentary guest comment letters, which told of how he displayed Park Pride toward guests to ensure they had a positive experience while staying at his hotel. To be considered for this award, nominees must display consistent, outstanding performance; a commitment to quality and excellence in their responsibilities; and an ability to create meaningful and positive experiences for Park Plaza guests and other employees.
Country Inns & Suites’ Employee of the Year Award was presented to Nuve Quito of the Country Inns & Suites By Carlson in Des Moines-West, Iowa. Quito was the employee who by attitude and action most displayed the spirit of Country Hospitality in 2005, and is considered a team player who consistently goes beyond the call of duty to satisfy guests.