Cheyenne, Wyo - The Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT), on behalf of the entire tourism industry, is proud to announce this year's recipient of the annual "BIG WYO" award was Jerry Blann of Jackson. The entire tourism industry came together to recognize Blann Tuesday night during a gala at the 2016 Wyoming Governor's Conference on Hospitality and Tourism at Little America in Cheyenne. The Big WYO award is sponsored by the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association (WLRA) and is given out each year to an individual who has done an exceptional job with the promotion and advancement of the tourism industry on behalf of the state of Wyoming.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead introduced a video shown at the ceremony and presented Blann with the prestigious award with heartfelt congratulations.
Blann has been the President of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) since 1995 and has guided the resort through several years of intense development and growth. His achievements include the 2008 replacement of Jackson's iconic aerial tram, North America's longest vertical at a ski resort and the recent development of a new lift and new terrain in the Crags area of the mountain to mark the 50th anniversary they are currently celebrating. He has also guided the resort to consistently reach over 500,000 skier visits during the past several years, one of only 20 such ski resorts to do so. His commitment to guest service has earned JHMR (for the third year running) the #1 Rating by Forbes Magazine in the editor's pick category and the #1 Rating by Ski Magazine in the skiers'choice category.
Blann is currently serving an unprecedented fourth term on the JH Airport Board and serves on the Wyoming Business Alliance and the Teton Village Association, Improvement Service District. He is a former member of the National Ski Areas Association, where he was Chairman of the Environmental Committee for ten years.
Diane Shober, Executive Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, proudly congratulated Blann after the award was presented. "Jerry's passion and dedication to his work has helped elevate Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the city of Jackson and the state of Wyoming to the world class destination it is today," Shober said. "Together, Jerry and his incredible team and their commitment to serving guests and members of their community have made Jackson and the state a better place to live, work, play and visit. There is no one more deserving of this award."
"The Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association could not be more proud and appreciative of Jerry's tireless efforts. He is a universally respected leader not just in the ski industry, but within the entire Wyoming tourism community. Our most sincere thanks and congratulations go out to Jerry, his family and his amazing team at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort," said WLRA Executive Director Chris Brown.
After viewing a video with friends adding their messages of congratulations, Blannwas excited and humbled while he graciously accepted the award Tuesday night. "I want to say thank you to everyone who helped put this together," Blann said. "I wouldn't be right without properly sharing this with the 800 employees at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, our incredible marketing team sitting right here as well as all the partners we work with day in and day out."