|By Tom Hintgen, Fergus Falls Daily
Journal, Minn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 16--Sara Piekarski, a 1996 graduate of Fergus Falls High School who later graduated in communications from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, joined AmericInn, Fergus Falls, as director of sales and marketing in September 2001. She was promoted to general manager a year later.
She previously served as a summer intern for the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
The national general manager of the year award from AmericInn is based on demonstration of "expertise and excellence in the AmericInn brand."
Jeremy Nelson of Fergus Falls, regional manager for Discover Lodging Management, said the AmericInn managed by Piekarski is a high-quality lodging facility.
"Through Sara's leadership, the AmericInn in Fergus Falls attained 98 percent quality assurance," said Nelson. "That's fantastic, with data provided following inspections by AmericInn national management. This also is an indication of the dedication of employees who work for Sarah at the AmericInn."
The AmericInn in Fergus Falls has 59 rooms for guests, meetings rooms, a swimming pool and other amenities.
For her part, Piekarski said the hospitality business is all about meeting customer needs, and customer demands.
"People today expect free, high-speed internet and other amenities such as flat-sreen TVs, HBO, ironing boards and hair dryers." she said. "Another change, over the years, is that more people register for rooms on line. Gone are the days when it was mostly walk-ins or people simply making phone calls for reservations."
Piekarski praises the 20 to 25 employees who work in any given year at the AmerinInn, Fergus Falls.
As for meetings rooms, that's a big part of their business. People make reservations for birthday parties, wedding receptions, bridal showers and one-day and two-day meetings.
"When I was growing up in Fergus Falls, I didn't know much about hotels and motels and what they offered for guests," said Piekarski. "There have been lots of changes over the years. This is an exciting business."
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