Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director B.J. Harris understands the importance of tourism to Kansas: “Tourism in our area is crucial to overall economic development. Not only does it create additional revenue for local businesses, but many times it gives visitors their first glimpse of our wonderful community.”
The Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife, and Tourism reported in 2015 that the tourism industry statewide generates $6.5 billion in sales, with visitors spending more than $53 million in Crawford County, alone. The tourism economy also supported 94,126 jobs, 4.9% of all jobs in the state. Locally, nearly 800 jobs in Crawford County are supported by the tourism economy. Altogether, tourism has a $10.4 billion economic impact on the state of Kansas as 35.4 million travelers visit the state each year.
Locally in Crawford County, we recognize the impact that individuals have on the experience tourists receive. Our individuals working in travel-related markets represent the best characteristics of the area itself: a welcoming attitude, love for the local community, and a desire to impact everyone they meet in a positive way.
This year, we recognize six individuals as 2017’s Faces of Tourism in Crawford County. All our winners have gone above and beyond the call to impact our local travel industry. Members of the community nominated these individuals for their efforts and provided a few words as to why they should win, which you can read below. Each winner will receive a $50 gift card generously provided by Colton’s Steakhouse and Grill in Pittsburg and a certificate naming them a Face of Tourism in Crawford County.
And the winners are:
Keri Doherty, Assistant Manager
Comfort Inn & Suites
Keri is so friendly and welcoming with everyone and goes out of her way to do so. She is also one of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever met. It’s impossible to explain her importance to Comfort Inn & Suites on paper as she’s so much more than can be written down. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be on the front lines every day to take care of our guests and employees!
Nick Sell, Administrative Specialist
Crawford State Park
Nick always has a friendly disposition and often goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to Crawford State Park have a pleasant recreational experience. He takes time to make sure guests understand the directions to our facility, makes time to ensure they have proper equipment for their outdoor experience, and then facilitates their safe arrival. He is a true ambassador for the park and region.
Roger & Rebecca Lomshek, Owners
Roger and Rebecca Lomshek of Tailwind Cyclists are the face of community based cycle tourism in our region. Their work in the community is tireless and of impeccable, world class quality. They are cheerfully involved in community activities and give tirelessly of their resources and talents.
Sherman Martin, General Manager
Colton’s Steak House & Grill
Sherman has the very highest standards in his work quality and ethics. He does what he says he is going to do, he is the one you can count on. Sherman has completely engulfed himself in the community of Pittsburg. He spends all of his time teaching and growing the staff at Colton’s. He is a young, dedicated, honest, professional and hardworking servant to the many visitors in our area.
Andra Stefanoni, Freelance Journalist & Communications Specialist
Andra Stefanoni works tirelessly to report the world around her. She shows the world what Crawford County has to offer in a way that brings humor and a lightness of attitude that invites all to visit. She is a smiling face, ready to ask “How are you today?” and truly mean it. Andra cares very much, and it shows in the way that she writes about our community in the many ways she does so.