UD, Newark hotels receive state tourism award
Timothy Morgan (right), director of tourism for the state of Delaware, presents the Governor’s Tourism Award to Bill Sullivan, managing director of the Courtyard-Newark University of Delaware hotel.
4:22 p.m., June 22, 2007--Destination Newark, a marketing partnership established in March 2005 between hotels in the Newark area and the University of Delaware, recently received a 2007 Governor's Tourism Award. The group celebrated the honor before its regular business meeting held Thursday, June 21, in the Marriott Center for Hospitality and Tourism in the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware hotel.

Announced at the Sheraton in Dover on May 31, the award recognizes “leading employers in the tourism industry for their innovative ideas and their hard work, which greatly contribute to the state's economy.”

UD President David P. Roselle joined senior administrators and Newark Mayor Vance Funk III in praising the efforts of the partnership that works to jointly promote conference, recreation, dining and shopping facilities and the availability of 1,000-plus hotel rooms.

“This award is a wonderful example of the great things that can happen when UD, the city of Newark and others in the community cooperate to make good things happen,” Roselle said.

Destination Newark, Roselle noted, is the result of a cooperative venture between academia, government and private industry, with each playing an important role in promoting Newark as a destination.

“These efforts are paying dividends, and not only in receiving the Governor's Tourism Award,” Roselle said. “Both UD and city of Newark officials were proud of a recent article in the Washington Post that highly recommended that folks get off I-95 and visit our community. Of course, we couldn't agree more.”

Roselle also highlighted the importance of the contributions of students, faculty and staff in UD's Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM).

“The [Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware] hotel provides a stellar learning environment for students in our highly regarded program,” Roselle said. “It's also part of what makes Newark a great destination.”

Funk lauded the contributions of Destination Newark partner organizations and the benefits of an increased level of cooperation between UD and the city of Newark in recent years.

“Every time we have an event in the city, we try to incorporate UD students and staff as participants, and that is why the events that we have in the city of Newark are considered the best in the state and in the region,” Funk said. “Every event that goes on in the city is a partnership effort. The University is an important part of this, and it is one of the reasons why we are doing so well.”

David Hollowell, UD executive vice president and treasurer, said the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware hotel serves both as a great laboratory for HRIM students and as an valued amenity for visiting alumni and their guests who use the the University facility and other area hotels operated by Destination Newark partner establishments.

“We thought the hotel would be a good way to steer more business toward Clayton Hall [the UD conference center located adjacent to the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware] and to generate more business for other hotels in the community,” Hollowell said. “We think this has worked out well in terms of getting this group together and working to be a part of this group. We are now seeing the results, including receiving this award.”

Barbara Kreppel, associate vice president of administrative services, noted how the cooperative venture has played an important role in providing services for guests attending UD and city of Newark events.

“We [Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware] are a 126-room hotel, so we really need to work together as a team,” Kreppel said. “Destination Newark has done so much, and this has been very rewarding.”

Timothy Morgan, director of tourism for the state of Delaware, said that the award recipients are selected by an independent group of judges from areas outside the state.

“We have people from around the country come in and do the ratings,” Morgan said. “If you are nominating somebody for an award, be sure to substantiate your claims as much as possible, because the judges look at the backup and support of the nominees.”

Bill Sullivan, managing director for the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware hotel, said that Destination Newark is a model for area businesses because of the ability of its members to respond quickly in meeting the needs of the community and the customers it serves.

“We have responded well, and I think that you can attribute that to the fact that we have the support of our University, our mayor and all of you in this room, including the business owners and the staff that work for you,” Sullivan said. “That is what makes receiving this award so special. It has been a privilege to be part of the process and to get to know all of you.”

Article by Jerry Rhodes
Photo by Kathy Atkinson