LaPORTE | Indiana Dunes Tourism, Porter County's tourism bureau, joined with the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau on Wednesday to honor businesses, organizations and people for their outstanding service.
The R.O.S.E. -- Recognition of Service Excellence -- Awards ceremony at The Allure Banquet Center in LaPorte coincided with National Travel and Tourism Week.
"There are businesses and individuals that are doing a fantastic job of interacting with visitors, and the hospitality they show is essential in making Indiana Dunes country a destination to which visitors will return again and again," said Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism.
Indiana Dunes Tourism R.O.S.E. Award winners include:
Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast, Valparaiso, Hotel of the Year; Aukiki River Festival, Kouts, Festival of the Year; Pikk's Tavern, Valparaiso, Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year; Octave Grill, Chesterton, Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year; Chesterton Feed & Garden, Retailer of the Year; Best Western, Portage, Newcomer of the Year; Porter County Museum of History, Valparaiso, Attraction of the Year; Broken Wagon Bison Farm, Union Township, Recreation Location of the Year; DunesWalk Inn at the Furness Mansion, Chesterton, Partner of the Year; Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso, Putting Porter County on the Map; Central Park, Valparaiso, Turning Lemons Into Lemonade; Dave Arnell, Arnell Auto Group, Burns Harbor, Green Award; Carlos Rivero, Don Quijote Restaurant, Valparaiso, Professional of the Year; Elena Jambrina, Don Quijote Restaurant, Valparaiso, Professional of the Year; Jane Walsh-Brown, the Brown Mansion/Westchester Township History Museum, Chesterton, Professional of the Year; Eren Dogruyol, Holiday Inn Express, Valparaiso, Hospitality Professional of the Year; Dale Turner, Indiana State Police, Unsung Hero; Bret Mannes, Indiana Department of Transportation, Unsung Hero; Jim Salkeld, Indiana Department of Transportation, Unsung Hero; and Stacy Granzo, Smokey's Southern Barbeque, Chesterton, Shining Star Award.
The Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission for the Northern Indiana Art & Earth Trail won the Unity Award, presented by Indiana Dunes Tourism and the LaPorte County bureau.
LaPorte County tourism bureau award winners include Michigan City Chamber Music Festival, Best Fest Award; Juli Moore, Hampton Inn, LaPorte, Employee of the Year Award; Richard Warner, Golden Hand Award Award; The Allure Banquet Center, Green Award; city of Michigan City, Landmark Award; Johnny Martinez, Washington Park Zoo, Michigan City, LaPorte County Achievement Award; Laura Cutler, Lemonade Award; Roni Bostian, Cafe Elite & Catering, Shining Star Award; Serenity Springs, Team Effort Award; Tony Vendramin, Jeff and Janice Katz, and Ann Berkman, Unsung Hero Awards; and William Wild, Volunteer of the Year Award.