Charlotte's Partners in Tourism Award Winners Announced

January 27, 2016

The CRVA/Visit Charlotte announced the winners of the 10th Annual Partners in Tourism Awards at an awards breakfast and ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center today. Charlotte’s top hospitality and tourism professionals were in attendance to recognize the front-line organizations and individuals that directly impact tourism in the Charlotte region. 

CRVA/Visit Charlotte Director of Partnership Kamin Brennan described the event as a special time to celebrate the champions of the hospitality and tourism industry in the Charlotte region. "For many visitors, their first impression of Charlotte is based on their interaction with our partners in the hospitality industry," Brennan said. "The Partners in Tourism Awards are a special time each year when we can recognize and celebrate businesses and individuals for their exceptional effort, collaboration and customer service to visitors throughout the year. Because of their impact, the visitor economy continues to thrive in the Charlotte region."

According to 2014 data from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina and conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, visitors infuse $6.3 billion in domestic spending and over 61,000 jobs are supported by the tourism industry in the Charlotte region. In Mecklenburg County alone, state and local tax revenues from travel totaled $341 million, representing a $336 tax saving for every county resident.

For the past 10 years, the CRVA/Visit Charlotte has held the Partners in Tourism Awards to celebrate exceptional contributions to Charlotte tourism. Winners were nominated by Visit Charlotte employees and partners. Award categories included Full Service Hotel, Select Service Hotel, Attraction, Nightlife/Entertainment, Restaurant, Retail and Service. Individual honors given at the event included the Hospitality Unsung Hero Award, Outstanding Ambassador Award, Local Champions Awards and Hospitality Professional of the Year Award. 

The 2016 Partners in Tourism Award winners are:

Full Service Hotel of the Year: Sheraton Charlotte Hotel / Le Méridien Charlotte

Select Service Hotel of the Year: Residence Inn Charlotte Piper Glen

Attraction of the Year: Charlotte Knights

Nightlife/Entertainment Venue of the Year: The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Restaurant of the Year: Mimosa Grill

Retail Establishment of the Year: Charlotte Premium Outlets

Service Company of the Year: Party Reflections

Hospitality Unsung Hero Award: Pearline Howze, Executive Housekeeper at Fairfield Inn & Suites Charlotte Uptown

Outstanding Ambassador Award: Charles Wahrenberger, Guest Service Representative at Sonesta ES Suites Charlotte

Hospitality Professional of the Year: Ron Kimble, Deputy City Manager for the City of Charlotte 

Local Champions Awards: Ben Knight, Owner of three FastSigns locations (helped book the company's 2015 Sales Summit in Charlotte);

David Doctor, President of E4 Carolinas (helped book three engineering and manufacturing shows in Charlotte);

Heidi Walters, Director of Partner & Industry Relations for Visit NC (brought tour operators and the Travel South International Showcase to Charlotte)

Hospitality Professional of the Year: Ron Kimble, Deputy City Manager for the City of Charlotte 

Learn more about the CRVA/Visit Charlotte partnership program at