Contacts:                                                                          UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 5:30 P.M. TODAY
Bri Warner: 434.970.3632 – warnerb@charlottesville.org
Brantley Ussery: 434.970.3008 – usseryb@charlottesville.org                   

KIRBY HUTTO OF CHARLOTTESVILLE PAVILION
RECEIVES 2018 TOURISM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Annual award ceremony held today at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (May 1, 2018) – The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB) presented its 2018 Tourism Achievement Award (formerly Tourism Person of the Year Award) to Kirby Hutto, General Manager of the Charlottesville (Sprint) Pavilion. This community leader was recognized for his extraordinary contributions to the local tourism industry and arts scene throughout his years of work in conjunction with the Charlottesville Pavilion. The award was presented at the CACVB’s annual Tourism Recognition Awards event, which was held at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel, in conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week.

Located on the east end of the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, the Charlottesville (Sprint) Pavilion is the city’s premier outdoor venue for live performances. Open since July of 2005, it features premium seating, a spacious lawn, and a professional stage house. The Pavilion regularly hosts local and national performing artists and attracts a significant number of visitors to the Charlottesville & Albemarle County destination each and every year. Major artists to perform at the Sprint Pavilion include: Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Beck, Alabama Shakes, and Snoop Dogg to name a few.

The selection committee chose Kirby Hutto for this prestigious award due to his countless contributions to the local tourism industry over the past decade. His award reads: “Recognized for his commitment to the arts & entertainment by providing the best in musical performance at the Sprint Pavilion, Jefferson Theater, and The Southern Café & Music Hall, entertaining locals and visitors, positively impacting local commerce and elevating Charlottesville as a significant music destination in Virginia.”

Bri Warner, CACVB’s Interim Executive Director, remarks, “Over the years, Charlottesville has become an amazing destination for music fans. We are treated to such a wide array of performers from all genres, and music is celebrated and accessible to everyone, with offerings such as Fridays After Five, which has become such a wonderful tradition. Kirby has worked tirelessly to make it all happen and this award is so greatly deserved,” she said. “This is why he was selected as this year’s recipient of the CACVB Tourism Achievement Award.”

Previous Tourism Achievement Award winners include:

2017                 Paul Beyer, Tom Tom Founders Festival
2016                 Chris Eure, The Paramount Theater
2015                 Lynn Easton, Easton Events
2014                 LOOK3 – Festival of the Photograph
2013                 Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.
2012                 Monticello Artisan Trail
2011                 Bob Stroh, Downtown Business Association
2010                 Gary O’Connell, Albemarle County Service Authority
2009                 Leonard Sandridge, University of Virginia
2008                 Michael Quinn, Montpelier
2007                 Richard Herskowitz, Formerly of Virginia Film Festival
2006                 Greg MacDonald, Michie Tavern
2005                 Felicia Rogen, Virginia Wines (Oakencroft)
2004                 Nancy Damon, Virginia Festival of the Book
2003                 Kat Imhoff, Formerly of Monticello
2002                 Bryan Elliott, CHO – Regional Airport
2001                 Bobbie Cochran, Formerly of CACVB
2000                 Helen Driver, Wintergreen Resort
1999                 Patricia Kluge, Virginia Film Festival
1998                 Susan Allen, Former First Lady of Virginia
1997                 Forrest Marshall, Former Board of Supervisors Chair, Albemarle County
1996                 Dan Jordan, Monticello

The annual tourism reception and award presentation allows the hospitality community the opportunity to celebrate the collaborative efforts of the local tourism industry while acknowledging the efforts of one particular individual or group who has shown great leadership through their commitment to tourism in our region.

The 2018 event also marked the eighth year of a now well-established tradition; individuals working in the local tourism industry were recognized for their commitment and excellence in customer service in the following categories:

- Best Server: Restaurant, Bistro, Café, Lounge or Pub – Mable Hawkins, Omni Charlottesville Hotel

- Best Chef: Curtis Shaver, Hamiltons’ at First & Main

- Best Customer Service: Attractions – Deborah Hoal, Taste of Virginia Food Tours

- Best Customer Service: Transportation Services – Anna Quillon, Monticello Wine Tour & Coach Co.

- Best Customer Service: Lodging – Kate Farley – Stay Charlottesville

In tourism and hospitality, a business’s success is realized in large measure by the direct contact a person has with someone who is usually on the front-line or who provides customer service.  National Tourism Week is the perfect opportunity to recognize some very special people in our community who have provided a memorable experience for visitors and local patrons.  Winners of the above awards were selected through a public nomination process, which took place March 13 through April 11, 2018.

Additionally, the CACVB recognized an outstanding staff member again this year.  Tom Buchanan, Welcome Ambassador, was presented with the 2018 Shining Star Award for outstanding excellence in customer service.


About the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB):
In addition to serving as the global resource for marketing the tourism assets of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, through www.visitcharlottesville.org, the CVB assists tour operators, meeting planners, reunions and other groups in planning visits to the destination.  CACVB’s mission is “to enhance the economic prosperity of City and County by promoting, selling and marketing the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle, as a destination, in pursuit of the meetings and tourism markets.”  CACVB operates the Downtown Visitor Center (610 E Main St) which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a second visitor center, the Albemarle Tourism and Adventure Center in downtown Crozet (5791 Three Notch’d Rd) at the historic train depot; it is open Wednesday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The CACVB also provides a touch-screen kiosk at Monticello’s Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center.  The official website of the CACVB is www.visitcharlottesville.org.  In addition, the organization manages powerful social media channels; ExperienceCharlottesville on Facebook, @VisitCVille on Twitter, CVilleVA on Pinterest, and @CharlottesvilleVA on Instagram and Vimeo.

About National Travel & Tourism Week

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. National Tourism Week was established when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities."                              
 

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