The Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce this year’s GRIT Award recipients. The GRIT Awards were presented last night at the MovieLounge, the new dinner-cinema-event space. Over 100 people attended the premier, opening event for the MovieLounge, Fort Smith’s newest attraction/restaurant partner. This gathering of friends was to showcase the accomplishments these folks have made to assist our community and party in celebration of a job well done in the local hospitality industry.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau announced the recipients from the region’s growing tourism industry by category:
• Restaurant Partner of the Year : Taliano’s Italian Restaurant
• Lodging Partner of the Year: Holiday Inn City Center
• Attraction Partner of the Year: Clayton House
• Business Partner of the Year: Forward Fort Smith
• Polly Crews Hospitality Person of the Year: (a tie) Ben and Jennifer Boulden & Bert Wright
At the awards ceremony, the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau showcased the past year’s Hometown Hospitality Heroes, who have been highlighted each quarter in the City of Fort Smith’s Fast Focus e-newsletter. These recipients were, Ian Bullock, for Tideriders and the State Swim Meet, Roy and Juanita Culverson for their work in bringing the Southern Bowling Congress to Fort Smith, Jayne Hughes and Maggie Rice, for their work in obtaining the Arkansas Preservation Conference, and John Martini of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, for bringing Best Robotics.
Prior to the awards presentation guests were treated to an array of appetizers prepared by Will Greenwood, former White House chef. Following the awards presentation, guests were able to take a guided tour of the new MovieLounge. And one can only guess which cinema classics were playing in each theatre at the MovieLounge? Well “True Grit” (both the old and the new) of course!