The highest tourism honor of the state of Indiana declared

Published on : Monday, August 21, 2017

The highest tourismMel Riegsecker, the founder of Shipshewana-based Blue Gate Hospitality is the receiver of 2017’s Will Koch Indiana Tourism Leadership Award. It’s the highest tourism honor of the state. Mel Riegsecker received it as part of the annual Hoosier Hospitality Awards at the Indiana State Fair.

In Blue Gate, one can find a restaurant, inn, theater, and event center. Moreover, Blue Gate Hospitality welcomes over half of a million visitors each year. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says Riegsecker “helped shape Shipshewana’s tourism profile.” Riegsecker describes the award a “tremendous honor,” and tributes the honor to his wife and others.

This famous award is named after Will Koch, the long-time owner and president of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. An eight-member panel which comprise representatives from Grow INdiana Media Ventures, the Indiana State Fair, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Purdue University and the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association helps in selecting the winner.

The names of the 2017 Hoosier Hospitality Award winners include (by name, organization, county)

Patricia Badgley, Hampton Inn & Suites, Howard

Anne Beach, French Lick Resort, Orange

Tiffany Conrad, Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site, Noble

Christine Flohr, Visit Wabash County, Wabash

Dave Fox, Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site, Noble

Diane Gordon, Horseshoe Hammond, Lake

Christy Heavilon, Hampton Inn & Suites, Howard

Tray Heinke, Indiana Caverns, Harrison

Doug Huff, Oasis Diner, Hendricks

Mary Huggard, Visit Indy, Marion

Sasha Krebs, The Country Shops of Grabill, Allen

Maureen Lambert, Anderson/Madison County Visitors Bureau, Madison

Grace Liang, Horseshoe – Hammond, Lake

Daniel Orr, FARMbloomington, Monroe

Jan Tellstrom, French Lick Resort, Orange

Marsha Tellstrom, West Baden Springs Hotel, Orange

Dyan Wheeler-Quilter, Lake County Parks Department, Lake

Henry Wilhite, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, Spencer

Opportunity Enterprises Cleaning Crew, Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, Porter


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