Steamboat Springs Marion Gibson doesn't believe in retirement. She retired from nursing and teaching four years ago after 38 years in the field. But Gibson, 78, didn't really retire.
She went looking for another job.
"I never call it retiring," Gibson said. "It's phasing from one career to another."
Her career change is a decision neither she nor her new employer regrets.
The Sheraton Steamboat Resort hired Gibson as a concierge three years ago. It's a role she fills with pleasure.
"Marion Gibson is an example of the perfect chief concierge," Sheraton General Manager Chuck Porter said. "Her professionalism and personal interest in our guests has been consistently demonstrated in her three years here."
Gibson's professionalism and commitment to her work recently earned her statewide honors.
The Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association named Gibson the 2002 Concierge of the Year at its annual awards banquet in late November.
The association represents more than 500 hotels, motels, guest ranches and other lodging enterprises across the state.
An 11-member committee comprised of general mangers from hotels across the state selects winners in several categories of hotel service and
The committee received about 200 nominations this year and named 39 winners, said Kim Erickson, an administrative assistant with the hotel and lodging association.
The committee has selected fewer winners in the past.
"But all the nominations are so outstanding that the committee has a hard time choosing," Erickson said.
Porter, who nominated Gibson for the award, can rattle off many instances in which the Sheraton's chief concierge went the extra mile for guests by making last-minute trips to the airport, running unexpected errands, giving exceptional attention to special occasions such as birthdays and lending an understanding ear.
Porter nominated a few other Sheraton employees for recognition in other categories, but Gibson was the only person from Steamboat Springs selected for the honor.
"As a young, energetic 78-year-old, Marion is an example to us all of exemplifying Steamboat Springs hospitality and giving back to the community," he said.
Gibson received a crystal plaque that now sits in the Sheraton lobby and a night's stay with her husband at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.
"I was honored to represent the Sheraton," she said.
Gibson oversees several people at the concierge's desk as well as coordinating large groups who use the hotel's convention center.
She considered working as a concierge long before she pursued the position.
"I always thought it would be fun to do it," she said.
Her jump from nursing to hospitality was not such a big leap.
"It's still part of working with people and human services," she said.
The people Gibson serves keep her coming back day after day. Her job introduces her to people from across the country and around the world.
"I'm simply amazed at how many contacts I've made," she said.
Steamboat offers its guests plenty to see and enjoy and plenty of reasons to return, she said.
"They like coming to our small town," she said.
Gibson intends to see that her guests are well taken care of during their stay so they want to come again.
Going the extra mile is not out of the veteran concierge's way.
"We need to personalize everyone's visit and make that person feel that they can enjoy their stay here," she said.
When Gibson is not welcoming visitors to Steamboat, she is treating herself to all its amenities. She moved to Steamboat in 1974 with her husband. Her children and grandchildren span the country.
She skis, plays tennis and hikes. And she has no plans of retiring any time soon.
"I've done most all the activities," she said.
Except for a few things.
"I haven't done hang gliding," Gibson said after a long pause.
"But who knows?"