Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Honors
Dale McFarland as the “Hotelier of the Year”

GURNEE, IL — KEYLIME COVE (, the popular Chicagoland Indoor Waterpark Resort, is proud to announce its General Manager, Dale McFarland, was awarded “Hotelier of the Year” in the statewide competition by the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association.  At the “Salute to the 2009 Stars of the Industry” Holiday Luncheon on December 17, McFarland was awarded this top honor as a result of his outstanding leadership and dedication to the KeyLime Cove culture.  Hotelier award criteria included examples of extraordinary support to fellow employees, great accomplishments, and effective community service. 

McFarland won the regional “Hotelier of the Year” honor for the Chicago Suburban designation in October.  He competed for the statewide award with the other regional winners:  Mike Magnelli of Omni Hotel Chicago and Dan Hance of Stoney Creek Hospitality Corporation, Moline.   McFarland will go on to the national competition hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Las Vegas, to be held June 15 and 16, 2010. 

In addition, KeyLime Cove took the top honor in the statewide Community Service award.  KeyLime Cove’s 600 full and part time employees participate in bringing smiles and friendly waves to the community as well as guests within the resort.  In the spring, KeyLime Cove partnered with United Way of Lake County to institute a Community Days program, selling daily splash passes during low occupancy times.  This effort raised over $67,000 for United Way, Gurnee Police Department, Gurnee Fire Department, and LifeSkills Center for Leadership.  The KeyLime Cove staff also participated in drives to benefit the Peace Corps., Special Olympics, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. 

McFarland joined the executive team at KeyLime Cove one year ago.  His innovative approaches to revenue, cost reduction initiatives, strategic partnerships, and management execution led the KeyLime Cove team to position McFarland as a candidate for the award.  As a result of his leadership, KeyLime Cove revenues increased 78.66 percent over prior year.  The water resort also launched a successful Community Days fundraiser with United Way of Lake County in the spring, and won community awards including three Daily Herald Reader’s Choice awards and “Business of the Year 2009” from the Lake County Chamber of Commerce. 

“We certainly would not be experiencing the positive results in our service, quality, and culture, retention of employees and guests, and financials without his leadership,” wrote April Schenck, Director of Retail Services at KeyLime Cove in her nomination.  “He exemplifies the qualities of a natural leader and has built a splash-tacular and terrific team that continues to flourish in a challenging and troubling economy.” 

The 414-room Keylime Cove
1700 Nations Dr
Gurnee, Illinois


Kimberly Eberl

Also See: Indoor Waterpark Resorts Grow and Face Challenges in 2009 / David J. Sangree / February 2009

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.