Each year, the Colorado tourism industry nominates tourism employees to be recognized as Top Frontline Tourism Workers in celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week. These nominees are people who do an outstanding job of welcoming visitors to our state and providing them with the best experiences possible. The Colorado Tourism Office and tourism industry would like to thank and recognize these 2019 Top Frontline Tourism Workers for their dedication and hard work in attracting visitors to Colorado.
Canyons & Plains: John Carson
A proud park ranger and interpreter at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, John Carson, the great-grandson of Kit Carson, guides local school children and travelers alike through the history of the reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post. Both engaging and personable, Carson provides an accurate historical interpretation of life at the fort back in its heyday. Guests frequently comment on his welcoming nature as a highlight of visiting the National Historic Site.
Denver & Cities of the Rockies: Alison Hamling
A powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm, Alison Hamling was instrumental in establishing Colorado's very first entertainment district and used it as a platform to launch "Friday Fest," a widely popular concert series that draws thousands of tourists and residents year after year. The creation of this live music event set a foundation for successful events and Hamling has gone on to create two other award-winning festivals for the Downtown Greeley area.
The Great West: Mona Gilman
Even as she began her career as a night auditor at Craig's Candlewood Suites, Mona Gilman understood the importance of reading guests and understanding their needs. That unique skill set is what paved the way for her promotion as general manager at the hotel in just five short years. Under her leadership, the location has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction out of all the Candlewood Suites properties nationwide and has also gone on to win IHG's torchbearer Award for three consecutive years.
Mountains & Mesas: Jason Cox
By tapping into the 1440-degree heat of the world's deepest hot spring, Jason Cox and his innovative partners established the country's second brewery that utilizes geothermal energy for its operation. Jason is a passionate advocate for environmentally sustainable practices and has elevated Pagosa Springs as a global leader in this arena. He's most likely found talking with visitors, making new friends, and sharing his love for Pagosa Springs and Colorado.
Mystic San Luis Valley: Raleigh Burt
San Luis Valley native, Raleigh Burt works with his family in their full-service outdoor retail shop, Kristi Mountain Sports. The team pride themselves on customer service and serve as a shining example of small-town hospitality. It's common to see glowing reviews from locals and travelers alike who thank Raleigh specifically for going out of his way to "save the vacation." As an avid outdoorsman himself, he offers excellent advice and inspires the kind of trust you want when planning an adventure in rugged Colorado terrain.
Pikes Peak Wonders: KumSuk Cano
Having worked for the Broadmoor for a remarkable 27 years, KumSuk Cano is an exceptional housekeeper that keeps guests coming back because of the amazing service she provides. Setting the tone for the rest of the team, Cano has received more positive letter than any other housekeeping team member. She goes above and beyond for every single one of her guests and has a true gift for building and maintaining strong relationships.
Pioneering Plains: Lois Hilleary
With over 6,000 volunteer hours under her belt, Lois Hilleary has been greeting visitors to the State of Colorado since 1996-when the Colorado Welcome Center in Julesburg first opened its doors. Since then, almost five and a half million visitors have ventured in, many of them greeted by Hilleary. As a native, she is an expert in all things Colorado. Chatting about her favorite places to visitors, she has been responsible for extending many stays and driving economic development throughout the state.
Rockies Playground: Bill Kight
Bill Kight, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society, Frontier Museum and Doc Holliday Collection, is hands-on with Glenwood history. Bill is interactive with guests and impersonates 'Doc' during ghost walks that lead to the once-famous American gambler's gravesite. Kight has over 30 years of experience as a cultural resource manager, archaeologist, ranger, community liaison and public affairs officer for the BLM and USFS. As part of the recreation team on the White River National Forest, he helped lead cutting-edge practices for managing tourism on the most visited sit in the nation. Bill has earned his agencies the Stephen H. Hart Award and American Cultural Resource Association's National Award. He served on two Forest Service national teams: Tribal Implementation and Sacred Site Policy Development. Bill's passion for honoring America's native people has resulted in a reputation for unwavering support of an inclusive and holistic approach to indigenous resource management. For 20 years, his commitment to indigenous people and the public resulted in the Ute Trail Project.