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Lt. Governor Cooney Presents 2019 Montana Tourism Awards at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation

Monday, April 15, 2019/Categories: Market MT, Tourism, Film

HELENA, Mont. – Lt. Governor Mike Cooney joined attendees of the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation Monday night in Butte to congratulate the finalists and winners of the 2019 Montana Tourism Awards.

The annual awards celebrate outstanding communities, businesses, organizations and people who dedicate themselves to strengthening Montana’s tourism industry. Their hard work directly contributes to the positive economic impact tourism has on local economies across the state.

“Tourism and recreation drive Montana’s economy,” said Lt. Governor Cooney. “That’s in no small part because of the talented Montanans working to develop and promote these industries. The Montana Tourism Awards give us a chance to celebrate their work and the impact it has on our lives across the state.”

Nominations were open to the public, and judges from each tourism region chose the finalists and winners. To see finalists, visit MTGOVERNORSCONFERENCE.COM. This year’s winners were:

  • Film Community of the Year: Darby and Hamilton for “Yellowstone”
    • This drama TV series created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson and starring Kevin Costner premiered in June 2018. Darby and Hamilton are being recognized for their contributions to supporting the production.
  • Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award: Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild, Lincoln
    • This rural sculpture park celebrates the industrial, environmental and cultural history of Montana. Surrounded by the beautiful scenery Lewis and Clark County has to offer, the sculpture park invites international sculptors to create site-specific work, made of locally harvested material, uniquely inspired by Montana.
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year: Gardiner Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • The “Winter in Wonderland” campaign was the first of its kind to provide comprehensive winter trip planning information for the Gardiner area, critical for a summer destination that has a reputation of shutting down in the winter months.
  • Outstanding Tourism Volunteer: Stephanie Sorini, Butte
    • Sorini recently purchased the Butte 100, a prestigious mountain bike race and an essential event for Butte. The race will celebrate its 12th run on July 27. Competitors come from all over the world and often arrive early to enjoy what Butte has to offer.
  • Private and Public Collaboration Award: The City of Shelby and the Carousel Rest Area
    • The Shelby Carousel and Rest Area is a wonderful amenity and encourages people to stop and spend time when passing through town. It appeals to history buffs, amusement park enthusiasts and, most importantly, parents looking for family entertainment during their Montana journey.
  • Tourism Ambassador of the Year: Betty Stone, Glasgow
    • Stone is currently a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the Missouri River Country Tourism Region, Two Rivers Economic Growth, Glasgow Downtown Association, Glasgow Tourism Business Improvement District, Montana State Parks and the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association. Betty facilitates the development of the Glasgow Tourism Business Improvement District and is instrumental in the City of Glasgow’s new brand and wayfinding projects.

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation is presented by the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development within the Department of Commerce and continues Tuesday.


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