News for the Hospitality Executive
|By Jeff DeMoss, Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Mar. 12, 2004 - An Ogden resident and long-time advocate for local tourism has been chosen to lead the largest promotional group for Utah's $4 billion hospitality industry. The Utah Hotel and Lodging Association recently selected Teri Burns, who has spent the last 25 years managing lodging properties and serving on a multitude of tourism-related committees, bureaus, and boards, as its new Executive Director.
Burns, who was previously general manager of Sherwood Hills Resort in Cache County, replaces Ann Gambrino, who resigned last October after a seven-year tenure. Burns has been the UH&LA's interim director since Gambrino's departure and has been involved with the association for more than eight years, having served on its board of directors as well as the executive committee. She said the main focus of the UH&LA under her direction will be to make it the primary educational and supportive resource for the local hospitality industry.
"There's a lot of room for us to grow, with most of that growth in smaller properties," she said. "We want to be the greatest resource they have."
She said 375 Utah lodging properties, or about 35 percent of the state's total, currently belong to the association. Burns and UH&LA staff have kicked off a series of educational seminars, and are developing a frequent stay rewards program for members statewide. They are also working on expanding insurance programs for smaller members with limited capital and upgrading the annual Utah Accommodations & Vacation Guide.
Born in Farmington and raised in Vernal, Burns moved to Ogden in 1982 and managed several properties in the area, including what is now the Days Inn at 33rd St. and Washington Blvd. (previously Holiday Inn) and the Red Roof Inn in Riverdale (previously Roadway Inn), which she helped revive from bankruptcy.
Burns said the association under her reign will maintain a strong presence on capitol hill in trying to create a more favorable business climate for Utah's lodging and tourism industry. She cited the UH&LA's lobbying efforts as a major reason why a bill giving counties the option of charging an additional 1.5 percent transient room tax failed in this year's legislative session.
"We're proud of that, and will continue to be active in the legislative arena," she said.
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(c) 2004, Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. CD, IHG, ACRFY,