WASHINGTON, DC— September 12, 2017, Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels, is presenting the 2017 Historic Hotels of America Lifetime Achievement Award to Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa (1876) in Riverside, California. This prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at the 2017 Historic Hotels Annual Awards of Excellence Ceremony & Gala on September 28, 2017, at The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) in Hot Springs, Virginia. This award is presented to individuals who are dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of legendary historic hotels over many years.
Since 1992, Duane and Kelly Roberts have contributed significantly to the preservation, restoration, recognition and celebration of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, California. Their dedication of time and resources continues to enhance this historic hotel which was previously designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Since their purchase of this legendary historic hotel in 1992, they have re-invested all operational profits back into the hotel to continue its legacy. Twenty-five years ago, the Roberts created and funded the acclaimed Festival of Lights annual holiday event where visitors can enjoy more than five million dazzling holiday lights and animated characters. This event shares the beauty and history of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. Building on the success of the Festival of Lights, the Roberts created a new festival, Festa dell’ Amore, to celebrate romance for the entire month of February in Riverside.
The Roberts are active leaders and role models in Southern California. Each year, they have generously donated money and their time to various charities and organizations. A partial list includes Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation, Fox Riverside Theater Foundation, Fox Performing Arts Center, Mission Inn Foundation, and the Mary S. Roberts Foundation that supports many charitable causes ranging from helping children with special needs, the homeless and hungry, and animal assistance.
“We are delighted to honor Duane and Kelly Roberts with the 2017 Historic Hotels of America Lifetime Achievement Award. Future generations will continue to benefit from their leadership and philanthropy in preserving, strengthening, revitalizing, and honoring the unique cultural and heritage treasures of Riverside, California,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “They saved a National Historic Landmark from demolition and continue to inspire others with their creativity, enthusiasm, and generosity.”
“We are incredibly honored to receive this award and we thank Lawrence Horwitz and Historic Hotels of America for bestowing this huge honor upon us,” said Duane and Kelly Roberts. They continued, “We are proud to be members of this prestigious community and it is great to be recognized amongst the greatest hotels in the United States. We are so proud of the accomplishments we have achieved since saving The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and it has been an amazing honor to be the Keepers of the Inn at this iconic luxury hotel.”
“Duane & Kelly Roberts are truly deserving of the Historic Hotels of America Lifetime Achievement Award for the 2017 Awards of Excellence. Their passion and dedication to conserving and revitalizing The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa along with the local community is an achievement that merits recognition,” states Riverside Mayor, William “Rusty” Bailey.