Hoteliers Recognized for Marketing Excellence

LAS VEGAS—Three Best Western hoteliers have been recognized with the Best Western INNfluence Award for their innovative and effective public relations and marketing initiatives that have helped increase exposure and drive business.

The award winners include: Susan Bullotta and Victor Martin from the Best Western Sterling Inn Banquet and Conference Center in Sterling Heights, Mich., Barbara Vogl of the Best Western Cottonwood Inn in Cottonwood, Ariz. and Nacho Martinez of the Best Western Alamosa Inn in Alamosa, Colo. The winners are being recognized this week at the Best Western International Convention in Las Vegas.

The INNfluence Awards are based on marketing and public relations programs with adaptability to small and large hotels. The programs must have measurable results such as increased sales or media coverage. Finally, the effort must show an innovative approach that would likely be emulated by fellow Best Western members.

The Winners:

The Best Western Sterling Inn was recognized for several programs including the “Newly Engaged Game,” a takeoff of the Newlywed Game designed to increase catering business. The hotel partnered with a local radio station and tuxedo company for increased exposure and prizes. They also hired Bob Eubanks, the original game’s host, to lead the show. The winning couple received a complimentary wedding reception valued at $2,500.


The Sterling Inn received extensive media coverage and more than 400 couples attended. After events costs and the fee for Mr. Eubanks, the hotel generated $60,000 in new business.

The Best Western Alamosa Inn was applauded for numerous local efforts. One such project came about when a nearby scenic railway, a popular tourist attraction, appeared to be headed for a summer-long shut down. Martinez, the hotel’s owner, got involved in forming a committee to successfully resolve the situation.

The hotel’s main objective for effective marketing is to show people they are active in the community. In addition to supporting the railway, Martinez promotes local business with in-room advertising pieces, printed mailings and familiarization tours to let people in on the secret gem of Alamosa.

The Best Western Cottonwood Inn used to be popular for accommodating the overflow of visitors to the Sedona, Ariz. area. Unfortunately, that didn’t last as development in the Sedona area grew. Part owner and general manager, Barb Vogl knew it was time to take action or lose business.

She partnered with local attractions including the Verde Canyon Railroad and the Blazing M Ranch to create packages and market Cottonwood as its own destination. Other area businesses jumped on board and together they created a marketing video of the things to see and do. The video has been shown at travel trade shows worldwide and was even put onto a compact disc for various uses. As a result, business has increased and the groups involved were awarded a $3,500 grant from the Department of Commerce.

“We are proud of the efforts of our INNfluence Award winners,” said Nils Kindgren, Best Western Board member. “They are wonderful representatives of what creativity, dedication and hard work can do for the bottom line.”

Best Western International is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN® with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries and territories. Best Western is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members.