Ruby’s Inn won the Outstanding Community Initiative Award at the 2017 Utah Tourism Conference. The award was given to Ruby’s Inn for its service rendered through its “Dollar Check-Off” program. This program allows guests to donate to the Bryce Canyon National History Association when staying at one of Ruby Inn’s establishments.
“In this time where park visitations are increasing while park service budgets are decreasing, we are proud that our program makes a difference,” said Lance Syrett, general manager of Ruby’s Inn. “We never could have guessed the program would have such an impact or that we would win an award for it.”
Since 2004, Ruby’s Inn has partnered with the Bryce Canyon National History Association to raise $700,000 through its “Dollar Check-Off” program. Last year alone, Ruby’s Inn and its guests raised $75,286. Since January of this year, Ruby’s Inn has already collected over $50,000 for the Bryce Canyon National History Association and hopes to raise $5,000 more than last year.
This is the 14th year that Ruby’s Inn has implemented its “Dollar Check-Off” program. Guests at each of Ruby’s Inn’s three hotels — Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn, Best Plus Bryce Canyon Grand, and Bryce View Lodge — are given the option to donate $1 for each night of their stay. The dollar donations go directly to the Bryce Canyon National History Association. Ruby’s Inn does not keep any of the raised funds.
“Ruby’s Inn’s application stood out due to the nature of their relationship with the Bryce Canyon National History Association,” said Kaitlin Eskelson, executive director of the Utah Tourism Industry Association. “The Inn is a perfect example of a private sector business recognizing the need to help and choosing to give back. Ruby’s Inn has created remarkable synergy with its community; for that, we absolutely thought it should be awarded the Outstanding Community Initiative Award.”
The award had a total of 10 applicants, each involved in different aspects of the tourism industry. To qualify, the applicants had to hold an activity, event, or project that promotes tourism in Utah.
A total of five judges from the Utah Tourism Conference Planning Committee determined whether the applicants followed the award criteria. Some of the criteria included utilizing other organizations, demonstrating creativity and innovation, being accepted by the community, and building upon the tourism and economic development in the community.
“The dollar donation program has become a valuable resource to Bryce Canyon National Park by funding free print publications, special educational events, improving trails, and other activities in the park,” Syrett said. “The program now has a 98 percent participation rate among guests, with about 118,000 people contributing in 2016. We hope that the program will only continue to grow.”