Ronnei named outstanding individual in tourism
ST. PAUL - During the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference at the Saint Paul RiverCentre this year several individuals, organizations and tourism-related businesses were recognized at an awards banquet for their contributions to the state'...
ST. PAUL - During the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference at the Saint Paul RiverCentre this year several individuals, organizations and tourism-related businesses were recognized at an awards banquet for their contributions to the state's travel industry.
Mark Ronnei, general manager of Grand View Lodge near Brainerd, was named the "Outstanding Individual in Tourism" for his long-term work and commitment to the Minnesota tourism industry. During his 35-year tenure at the historic property on Gull Lake, he has been actively involved in state and local development and tourism initiatives, with a passion for preserving Minnesota's cherished resort industry.
"This is truly a great honor," Ronnei said in a news release. "I work with the best team imaginable and we strive everyday to make the Brainerd lakes area an incredible place to live and work. Providing the finest vacation experience is important to our guests and it is our mission in everything we do. To be recognized by Explore Minnesota Tourism is very flattering and means the world to me."
Ronnei previously held a position in sales, real estate and resort operations. Since then he has gained the title of general manager at Grand View Lodge, making him responsible for the management of resort operations. He represents the company in the areas of planning and permitting for new developments and projects. He also chooses to serve as a representative of resort preservation and strives to design models that allow for economic stability and sustainability of the resources that help the resort community.
Ronnei is also a member of the following nine organizations: Minnesota Tourism Council, member; Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, board member; Brainerd School District Community Budget Committee, member; Central Lakes College President's Advisory Committee; Nisswa Library Board member; Christian Business Men's Connection member; Church Congregational Care Committee chairperson; Lakewood Evangelical Free Church chairperson; Habitat For Humanity Finance Committee.
Other awards were given to recognize creative and successful travel marketing programs by Minnesota tourism entities. This year's Travel Marketing Awards of Excellence went to Visit Cook County for their public transit-based awareness campaign, and Mall of America for its targeted approach to reach high-income oil workers in North Dakota's Oil Patch.
Awards of Merit were presented to the Thief River Falls Convention Bureau for an outdoor media familiarization (FAM) tour and to the Ely Chamber of Commerce for its annual April Fool's Day campaign, which featured the fictional Ely Cable TV Channel in 2014.
The Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference brings together hundreds of Minnesota tourism partners and helps raise awareness of Minnesota's continued growth as a travel destination, for both domestic and international visitors. Preliminary research indicates that Explore Minnesota's spring/summer 2014 marketing campaign generated 3.12 million trips that would not otherwise have taken place, resulting in $320.2 million in visitor spending and $29.7 million in state and local taxes.