Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association names organization top attraction in Tennessee
By Andrew Green
The Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association announced Monday evening in Murfreesboro, Tenn. that the Smokies were the recipient of the association’s 2015 Attraction of the Year Award at its Stars of the Industry awards gala. Smokies Team Owner Randy Boyd was joined at the event by Smokies Team President Doug Kirchhofer, Vice President Chris Allen and Director of Community Relations Lauren Chesney to accept the award.
“The Smokies organization is honored to be recognized for our participation in the tourism industry—a key economic driver for our region and our state—and for involvement in our community, which is a high priority for our team,” said Smokies Team President Doug Kirchhofer of receiving the award.
As stated by the association, the Attraction of the Year Award is “presented to attractions that have shown excellence in tourist development and community service through special programs, events and marketing campaigns to attract new tourists and visitors to Tennessee. Eligible companies include event venues, golf courses, theme parks, zoos, dinner theaters, museums and convention centers.”
The honor comes after the club was named Sevier County’s Attraction of the Year by the Sevier County Hospitality Association. The association said the Smokies “… are always ready and willing to lend a hand. They want to be a good citizen through community service … the investment of not only dollars, but time through their employees’ involvement, makes them a strong asset to the local hospitality industry.”
The Smokies have a variety of programs to help make a difference in the East Tennessee community, including the Children’s Summer Reading, Caring Hands, Give A Kid A Ticket and Straight A programs, as well as player and mascot appearances and staff speaking engagements. Throughout the season, the organization also raises money for local charities through specialty jerseys that are worn by players and coaches and then auctioned and raffled off, as well as donation drives, which have included Second Harvest and Toys for Tots in 2015.
The organization also plans to upgrade and improve local youth baseball fields every year with help from the team’s front office and other contributors from the East Tennessee community. The team is currently accepting submissions from local ball fields and parks who would like to see their fields improved.
The purpose of the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association is to represent in an ethical and professional manner the common interest of members in the state’s hospitality and tourism industry, including political action and government relations, education and professional development, and industry advancements and development.