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Inland Northwest Tourism Awards Finalists Announced

— Visit Spokane has announced the slate of finalists for the 15th Annual Inland Northwest Tourism Awards. A team of nine Spokane-area judges from a wide range of industries made the 43 selections in two categories, individual and business.

Award recipients will be announced during the Tourism Awards ceremony, which begins at 3:00pm on May 15 at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

In addition to the finalists, the Visit Spokane Board of Directors has announced its recipient for the 'Leadership Excellence in Tourism Award.' This category is designed to honor an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and enduring commitment to the region's tourism industry. This year's recipient is Harry Sladich, Executive Vice President, Hotel Operations and Sales at Red Lion Hotels Corporation.

All award recipients will be announced and recognized during the awards ceremony. Finalists are:

Business Categories

Exceptional Festival or Event
Bling in the New Year
Empire Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Expo
Little Smoke Cigar Festival

Best Attraction
Discovery Playground
Spa Ssakwa'q'n at the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel
Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

Spirit of the Inland Northwest
The Essential Guide: Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Walla Walla
Mirabeau Point Park
No-Li Brewhouse

Rockin' Retailer
Davenport Home
The Tin Roof
United Hillyard Antique Mall

Creative Venue of Excellence
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
The Lincoln Center
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena

Extraordinary Everyday Eatery
Chinook Steak, Pasta and Spirits at the Coeur d'Alene Casino
Fatburger
Frank's Diner

Top Table
Herbal Essence Cafe
Masselow's Restaurant

Individual Categories

White Glove
Taylor Flute, Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Jasmina Mekic, Holiday Inn Express Downtown
Celeste Wilson, Oxford Suites Spokane Valley

Silver Spoon
Kristopher Holst, Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center
Sarina Peregrina, Chinook Steak, Pasta and Spirits
David Therriault, Ripples River Inn

Superior Service
Wesley Davidson, Red Lion Hotel at the Park
Nicole Patton, DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center
Anastasiya Tyatykh, Davenport Spa and Salon

Best Impression Meeting Sales and Services
Melissa Boland, Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Melody Breidenbach, Holiday Inn Express - Coeur d'Alene
Alex DiPofi, Red Lion Hotels, Spokane

Lights, Camera, ACTION
Jason Gaver, Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Monte Koch, Spokane Public Facilities District
Denny Marit, Silhouette Lights and Staging

Heart of the House
Bob Blum, Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Amiee McCabe, The Davenport Collection
Dave Randolph, Riverfront Park

Rising Star
Wesley Davidson, Red Lion Hotel at the Park
Sam Song, Riverfront Park
Becca Watters, Spokane Public Facilities District

Tourism Professional of the Year
Aaron Berenbach, Mobius Science Center
Matt Gibson, Spokane Public Facilities District

Leadership Excellence in Tourism Award Winner
Harry Sladich, Red Lion Hotels Corporation

The finalists and winners are selected by a group of judges representing a variety of industries within the Spokane region. This year's judges are:

Business Awards
Shelly Colomb, Sterling Bank
Marla Fruit, Associated Industries
Shannon Lawrence, Spokane Valley Mall
Andrew Rolwes, Downtown Spokane Partnership
Travis Tramp, Hotel-Motel Association

Individual Awards
Greg Lipsker, Barrister Winery
Stephen B. Pohl, NAI Black
Kathleen Schreiber, West Plains Chamber of Commerce
Tammy Tracy, Greater Spokane Incorporated

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