NEW YORK, NY, May 13, 2015 – The Independent Lodging Congress, the annual hospitality conference for the lodging industry’s leading professionals, has announced their first annual INDIE awards, a national award campaign recognizing the achievement and innovation in the independent hotel space. The Independent Lodging Congress will be held from October 21 – October 23, 2015 at The Highline Hotel in New York, with the INDIE Awards Presentation taking place on October 22 from 4:30 – 6:00pm.

The Independent Lodging Congress offers participants the opportunity to engage and interact with other professionals through dynamic panels, informative breakout sessions, and lively social events offering unparalleled access to some of the most important players in the independent lodging sector.

Award nominations are open to the public via until July 15, 2015, in the following four award categories:

*“BEST OF THE BEST IN INDEPENDENT LODGING”– The finest independent hotel out there. This individual hotel blew the industry away with innovation, brilliance, creativity, and service.

*“INNOVATIVE HOSPITALITY DESIGN”– A design firm or individual designer that has broken the existing molds of hotel design in a new, inspirational way through an independent hotel.

*“BEST HOTEL BAR OR RESTAURANT”– An IT place in the industry to dine and drink, this culinary hot spot is either ‘tried and true’ or the newest place to see and be seen.

*“BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN”– A cool campaign, website or techie tool that entices past and future guests to check out the hotel through its site, social media or online marketing campaign.

Nominees will be narrowed down to the Top 5 finalists in each category and, beginning on July 25, anyone with a valid email address will have the opportunity to vote for their top pick one time per category.

The key award dates are:

*April 14: Nominations open to the public for submission

*July 15: Nominations closed

*July 25: Voting opens for the Top 5 finalists

*October 22: Winners announced during Award Presentation at the Independent Lodging Congress

The Independent Lodging Congress will also be presenting its 2015 Start Something Award to Liz Lambert, CEO and owner of the Austin-based Bunkhouse Group (Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San Jose, Hotel Havana and more). The annual award honors industry leaders who have inspired others and is backed by Big Brothers Big Sisters, the conference’s lead charity. Past award winners include 2014 recipient Niki Leondakis, CEO of Commune Hotels & Resorts.

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