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Sun, Sept. 19

Harvest Festival wins tourism award

From left: Jocelyn Monteverde, Bruce Brossman, Governor Jan Brewer, Gioia Goodrum, Stephen Pelligrini, Laurie Purcell, Jamie Casey and Sean Casey. Submitted photo

From left: Jocelyn Monteverde, Bruce Brossman, Governor Jan Brewer, Gioia Goodrum, Stephen Pelligrini, Laurie Purcell, Jamie Casey and Sean Casey. Submitted photo

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) honored statewide tourism leaders at the 2014 Governor's Tourism Awards Gala held during the industry's annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.

Grand Canyon Railway, Bearizona, and the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce won the Cooperative Marketing award for their Alpine Harvest Festival.

AOT Director Sherry Henry presented the awards during the event held at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel July 17. More than 400 industry representatives were in attendance.

"You are our best ambassadors to those who look to move here, open a business or just spend their money here," Brewer told the group. "The value of our tourism industry extends well beyond the pure economics. Tourism helps our cultural and historic preservation. It improves our own quality of life for Arizona families."

Statewide nominations were submitted for the 12 award categories. Winners were selected on general evaluation of qualifications such as exceptional efforts, innovation, uniqueness and measurable results. The judging committee was comprised of a selection of tourism industry representatives and AOT staff.

"Tonight we recognize and honor statewide organizations or individuals who have made substantial contributions to the success of our tourism industry. Their outstanding examples of creativity, leadership, commitment and teamwork help define our industry and continue to make the Grand Canyon State the unparalleled travel destination it is today," Henry said.

Other winners include:

Tourism Champion of the Year: Greg Bryan, General Manager of the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, Mayor of Tusayan

Tourism Hall of Fame: James Ballinger, Director, Phoenix Art Museum

Spirit of Service - Individual: Jane Bliss, The Museum Club

Spirit of Service - Group: Support Sky Harbor Coalition

Innovative Promotion - Rural: Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, Reimaging and Marketing Campaign

Innovative Promotion - Urban: Visit Mesa, Destination Video - City Limitless

Arizona Preservation - Rural: Copper Art Museum

Arizona Preservation - Urban: Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center

Green Tourism: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Xeriscape Program

Special Events - Rural: Parker Area Chamber of Commerce, The 36th Annual Parker Tube Float

Special Events - Urban: Yuma Visitors Bureau, Centennial Celebrations

A complete list of past winners is available at www.azot.gov/industry-events-and-calendar/governors-conference-on-tourism/award-winners.

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