HOUSTON, TX – Before a convention delegation of more than 500 travel professionals, the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) presented five distinguished nominees with its coveted Phoenix Awards for 2008.
The SATW Phoenix Awards serve to recognize those travel destinations, attractions, accommodations, and amenities that have successfully concluded or are continuing to manage a significant preservation, conservation, or restoration project. Projects must add to the overall economy and energy of the travel industry in their respective communities as well.
Qualifying projects, programs, or individuals are nominated by SATW members and reviewed and recommended to the SATW board of directors by an award committee. This year, there were 10 nominees.
At a special awards luncheon during the convention, Phoenix Awards Committee co-chair Eric Miller, director of public relations for the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council, announced the five successful nominees:
Bedford Springs Resort, Pennsylvania
This all-year resort and spa includes the Bedford Springs Historic Hotel National Historic District with seven historically-significant buildings, a restored golf course, and eight natural mineral springs. Its threeyear and US$120 million renovation has placed this property among America’s finest remaining examples of the mineral springs resort phenomenon of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Chambers Bay, Washington
This multifunction, municipally-owned parkland has been fully restored from a blighted gravel quarry and water treatment plant to miles of hike and bike trails surrounding an 18-hole golf course, which has already been recognized the Best New Course in America by several major golf publications. The course will host the 2010 US Amateur and 2015 US Open Championships.
Colonial Theatre, Berkshires
Originally opened in 1903, this gilded, aged structure has been fully restored to a working theatre, combining stunning architectural features with contemporary entertainment. Designed by noted 19th century theatre architect J.B. McElfatrick, the theatre’s unique acoustic properties have made the theatre a recording site for James Taylor, among others.
The Quays, Manchester, England
This waterfront area has undergone an unparalleled US$68 million transformation from unused and derelict docks to a vibrant leisure and cultural hub featuring three iconic visitor attractions, including the Manchester United Football Club, the Imperial War Museum North, and the Lowry, which includes many leisure and tourism businesses.
The Tourism Cares for America Program
This program brings volunteers in the tourism industry together to clean up and restore historically- and culturally-significant tourism sites in need of care. In 2008, nearly 350 volunteers came together to repair and revitalize the Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, a victim of Hurricane Katrina. In one day, the volunteers were able to do what would have taken park staff months to accomplish. This nearly US$100,000 project included tourism partners from throughout New Orleans and Louisiana.
“Each of these worthy awardees represents years of commitment and vision on the part of many partners,” noted SATW president Bea Broda. “SATW is pleased to recognize these impressive accomplishments that strengthen the tourism industry, which in turn improves our world economy and adds to our quality of life.”
Established in 1956, SATW is the preeminent professional organization for travel communicators. Representing more than 1,300 members worldwide, SATW promotes responsible journalism, provides professional support, and encourages the conservation and preservation of travel resources. SATW’s 2008 Convention was held in Houston, Texas on October 18-22, 2008.