Gumbiner named hospitality person of the year | SteamboatToday.com

Gumbiner named hospitality person of the year

Tourism industry pros tell stories from the trenches

Christina Gumbiner danced out of the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom Thursday night with a trip for two to Key West, Fla. Gumbiner, manager of the Thunderhead building for the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., was named “Hospitality Person of the Year” during the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Genuine Prom.

Gumbiner should have stories to tell when she returns from the Keys. However, there were ample stories to share at the Prom, which honors people who work, often anonymously, in Steamboat’s hospitality industry.

Jesse Calhoun and Leonard Tafoya, maintenance workers for the city of Steamboat Springs, also were recognized during the awards banquet. The two men were crossing the Fifth Street Bridge in their work truck last month when they were flagged down by desperate parents who were calling out that their son had fallen into the Yampa River. The young boy, Sam, had dragged himself to a snow-covered boulder, but he was cold and wet.

Tafoya leapt across seven feet of water to the boulder, grabbed the boy and then retreated to the shore, where he handed Sam up a steep snowbank to Calhoun. Calhoun then pulled up his colleague.

The two men were given a special award during the ceremony Thursday night.

Karen Drake of the Steam–boat Grand Resort Hotel tied with Dee Sweetser of the Hol–iday Inn for first place in the lodging category. Drake stayed well beyond the end of her shift at the hotel one night this winter to ensure the needs of a grieving family were met.

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The evening’s emcee, Mark Walker of Alpine Taxi, called out the name of another veteran of the transportation industry. Richard Brandt, retiring this year after more than 20 years as a mechanic for Steamboat Springs Transit, earned first place in that category. He has helped millions of people reach their destinations in Ski Town, USA.

“During his tenure, Richard has kept the buses running for 15 million miles, and 7 million people rode the buses during that time,” Walker said.

The complete list of winners is: Hospitality King, Duncan Draper of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.; Hospitality Queen, Jackie Andrews of Steamboat Kids; and special recognition, Jesse Calhoun and Leonard Tafoya of the city of Steamboat Springs.

Lodging industry: In a tie for first place, Karen Drake of the Steamboat Grand and Dee Sweetser of the Holiday Inn; second place, Evenza Jameson of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort; and third place, Shannon Craig of Steamboat Resorts.

Retail: First place, Barbi Johnston of Kali’s Boutique; second place, Allana Hagin of Steamboat Ski Rentals; third place, Tyler Kitchen of Sportstalker-Gondola Square.

Restaurants: First place, Christina Gumbiner of Ski Corp.; second place, Terri Steele of Village Inn; third place, Matt Elkins of Sheraton Steamboat.

Recreation: First place, Eric Fisher, a snowboard school supervisor for Ski Corp.; Donna Mae Hoots of Steamboat Resorts; third place, Michelle Petix of Ski Corp. Central Reservations.

Transportation: First place, Richard Brandt of Steamboat Springs Transit; second place, Bob Printy of Alpine Taxi; third place, Bill Hamilton, a Ski Corp. shuttle driver.