Minnesota Lodging Association Presents 2011 Awards



The Minnesota Lodging Association annually honors some of the best hoteliers and companies in the state. MLA’s 2011 awards were presented December 8 at a gala awards ceremony at the Minneapolis Hilton. This year’s recipients include:

  • Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame Inductee ~ Jon Kennedy, GrandStay Hospitality, St. Augusta
  • 2011 Hotelier Of The Year ~ Nancy Vaske, AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Worthington
  • 2011 Allied Vendor Of The Year ~ IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Minneapolis
  • 2011 Property Of The Year (50 Rooms or Fewer) ~ Water Street Inn, Stillwater
  • 2011 Property Of The Year (More Than 50 Rooms) ~ Holiday Inn New Ulm


2011 Property of the Year (50 Rooms or Fewer) ~ Water Street Inn, Stillwater

The Property of the Year awards are presented to properties that provide outstanding customer service and that distinguish themselves as leaders in the community and the industry. The Water Street Inn is housed in the historic Lumber Exchange Building in downtown Stillwater. Built in the 1890s by lumber barons during the boom years of logging on the St. Croix River, the structure was equipped from the beginning with modern heating, plumbing, electricity and one of the first elevators in the state. The building featured 10 large walk-in vaults, which were used to house the wealth of the rich lumber families. Over the years, the building has been home to a variety of companies. In 1994, three local innkeepers worked closely with the Minnesota Historical Society and National Trust to restore the building’s historical qualities and begin converting it to a lodging establishment. The Lumber Baron’s Hotel, Restaurant and Conference Center opened in 1995. Part-owners Chuck and Judy Dougherty bought out their partners in 2003 and renamed the business the Water Street Inn. The inn features 41 guest rooms, all with double whirlpool baths and most with fireplaces, along with fine dining and casual dining restaurants, a pub and banquet/meeting rooms for up to 300 people. A $1 million renovation of the ballroom and guest rooms was recently completed. Owners Chuck and Judy had previous experience in the lodging industry, owning the Rivertown Inn B&B in Stillwater from 1987 to 1999. In 1993, they purchased another historic home in Stillwater, which they renovated and operated as the Cover Park Manor. They continue to run the manor, where they live with their four daughters

 Water Street Inn, 101 Water Street South, Stillwater MN 55082 – 651-439-6000, www.waterstreetinn.us

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