|By Ed Waters Jr., The Frederick
News-Post, Md.McClatchy-Tribune Business News
Feb. 1, 2007 - EMMITSBURG -- When Pat Larson was working his way through college by working nights at a hotel, he may not have planned to enter that field as a profession.
Larson, general manager of the Sleep Inn and Suites off U.S. 15, was named Hotelier of the Year by the Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association.
The Emmitsburg Sleep Inn and Suites earned the 2005 Inn of the Year award for the entire United States from Choice Hotels International.
"A lot of what the hotel earned in 2005 went toward the Maryland award for me," Larson said.
Although he received the award, he emphasized the hotel and staff really earned the honor.
A native of New York, Larson went to high school in Baltimore and entered the University of Maryland to study personnel management.
He worked midnight to 8 a.m. at a hotel in Washington, then attended classes.
His personnel management studies helped in his hospitality career, he said.
Larson served in a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter squadron during the Vietnam War.
He later worked in hotels in Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland.
"I was working at a hotel in Falls Church (Va.)," Larson said. "When the opportunity came at the Emmitsburg hotel, I took it."
Though accustomed to working at larger hotels with restaurants and banquet halls, "I had no problem with dropping in size," he said of the Emmitsburg hotel.
"And driving a half hour to work beat that two-hour commute to Northern Virginia," from his home of 20 years in Carroll County.
The Hotelier of the Year award notes that the Emmitsburg site had a 97 percent quality assurance score, termed impressive by the association.
Larson, a member of the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce, also is president of the Emmitsburg Professional Business Association and has worked to promote and improve the business environment in the northern county town. He also coaches a women's volleyball team in Westminster that has been successful in regional competitions.
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Copyright (c) 2007, The Frederick News-Post, Md.
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