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Celebrating our Spirit of Hospitality Awards
In lieu of an in-person annual event this year, we have celebrated our 2019 Spirit of Hospitality awards over the past couple weeks through individualized presentations to the winners.
Lancaster County wouldn’t be such a special place to live and visit were it not for its people, and the annual Spirit of Hospitality awards program provides a great opportunity to honor individuals and organizations who exemplify the best of our travel and tourism community.
Tom & Debbie Prather - Lifetime Achievement Award
Tom & Debbie Prather, founders of Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, were honored with the Pat Burnley Lifetime Achievement Award for their crucial role in helping develop and shape Lancaster County’s tourism industry over many decades. From the beginning, Dutch Apple has been a first-class operation – innovative, guest-oriented, with fabulous food & magnificent productions – and all these values that Tom and Debbie cultivated still ring true today, under sons Will and David.
Jamie Burkhart - Rising Star Award
Jamie Burkhart of Amish Farm & House was honored with the Rising Star Award, which recognizes an individual who has been in the industry less than three years, but is already known for making positive change. Jamie has contributed so much to her team in the short time she has worked there. Her creativity and initiative set her apart and it shows in the successful marketing initiatives she has spearheaded, from new programs to an enhanced website and social media presence.
Lancaster Science Factory - Spirit of Creativity Award
Lancaster Science Factory received the Spirit of Creativity Award – which recognizes operational or product innovation – for the transformational expansion of its facility by 50%. This new space created more capacity for fun exhibits, technology, & educational programs, and has met with resounding success – with new offerings that emphasize movement, actively engage all five senses, and promote hands-on STEM education.
Michelle Gehman - Spirit of Leadership Award
Michelle Gehman of Hilton Garden Inn Lancaster received the Spirit of Leadership Award, which recognizes exceptional professionalism and guidance as a supervisory employee. Michelle has been a leader every step of the way in her career and recognized as such by her company and her Lancaster peers. She leads by example in always looking to help those around her – both team members and visitors – and has also been a constant leader in the community and the industry.
Frank Duffy - Spirit of Service Award
Frank Duffy of Kitchen Kettle Village received the Bill Luckenbaugh Spirit of Service Award, which recognizes industry members who distinguish themselves in promoting Lancaster County tourism through exemplary service and dedication to the consumer. Frank always takes his job to the next level in providing guests with exceptional service and a great experience. He is one of the most unique & vibrant team members at the Village, and is also a great mentor to younger employees.
Late Breaking: New State Order Impacts Travel
Yesterday afternoon, in addition to new mask mandates, the state announced that both travelers entering PA and PA residents returning home are required to have received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior or must quarantine for 14 days upon entering the state. The order is effective Nov. 20 and does not apply to people who commute to and from PA for work or medical treatment.
In response, our current messaging will be that travel should be informed & responsible, and that Lancaster County is ready when the time is right for you.
It does not appear that businesses are expected to verify a patron’s adherence to the above requirement, but we will share more details as we learn them.