For the past three decades, Gastronomy partners John Williams and Tom Guinney have made long-standing contributions to Utah’s tourism industry and put the state on an international stage. Williams and Guinney have renovated historic downtown Salt Lake City buildings into bustling centers of entertainment and played an active role in community and arts-related causes. Gastronomy founded its first restaurant in the renovated historic New York Hotel in 1978. Today, the company employs about 700 people. Williams and Guinney have hosted journalists, international dignitaries, and royalty from around the world, as well as orchestrated gala celebrations during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and other major events. They have been active members and supporters of many of Utah’s tourism-related organizations, including the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Alliance, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, and the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition.
“Their many years of volunteerism, advocacy, and dedication to the hospitality industry and their efforts to enhance Utah’s reputation as a world-class travel destination clearly make them worthy of being inducted into the Utah Tourism Hall of Fame,” said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Edgar Stern, founder of Deer Valley Resort in Park City, is being honored posthumously. Stern passed away last October. He came to Park City in the early 1970s and acquired rights to 7,000 acres, including what was then Treasure Mountain Resort (currently Park City Mountain Resort), as well as additional property that would eventually become the site of Deer Valley Resort. On December 26, 1981, Stern’s dream of combining the sport of skiing with the service, food and the amenities of a fine hotel were realized with the opening of Deer Valley Resort. Today, Deer Valley Resort is a world-class resort that boasts 22 lifts serving 100 runs and six bowls on six mountains, three day lodges, and over 2,200 employees. A corporate philosophy of commitment to excellence runs deeply throughout the entire company and shows itself in trend-setting amenities such as ski valet service, on-site childcare, parking lot shuttles, complimentary ski check, immaculately groomed slopes and on-mountain cuisine that has won countless awards. This attention to detail and commitment to excellence in service has not gone unnoticed by the ski community, which has consistently ranked Deer Valley as one of the top resorts in the country.
“Edgar was a true visionary and pioneer in the ski industry,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley, in the nomination. “His passion and determination over the years are evidenced in the day to day quest of our staff to provide unparalleled service and ultimately the finest ski vacation experience for our guest.”
Harold Lyman, director of the Blanding Visitor Center, has been involved in economic development and travel promotion activities in Blanding and San Juan County since 1958. Lyman has been instrumental in the development of local travel and tourism infrastructure from participating in the naming of the “Trail of the Ancients,” which is now a national scenic byway to negotiating the purchase of the property and development of what is now Edge of the Cedars State Park. While serving as executive director of the Blanding Chamber of Commerce, he established “Base Camp to Adventure” as the Blanding brand, which continues to be used to promote the area today.
"Harold is constantly innovative and on endless quest to improve visitor services in Blanding and San Juan County,” said Charles Delorme, director of San Juan County Economic Development and Visitor Services. “Our success in tourism would not have been possible without Harold laying such a great foundation."
For information on the Utah Office of Tourism, visit www.travel.utah.gov. To plan your Utah vacation, visit www.utah.travel.