This past season, Grand View Lodge was christened with two awards of excellence and leadership in the tourism industry. Adding to its growing awards and accomplishments, Grand View accepted these honors at two recent ceremonies.
Last October, at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Annual Dinner, Grand View was presented the Business Excellence Award. General Manager, Mark Ronnei, was there to accept the award to a standing ovation, and it wouldn’t be the last time. In February, Ronnei was named Outstanding Individual in Tourism at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference where hundreds of tourism professionals gathered to recognize the how tourism has expanded and those who contribute significantly.
The Business Excellence award is nominated each year to three finalists from varied industries throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area. This year, Grand View was up against two companies with different expertise; one from the auto marine industry and another that manufactures ultrasonic transmitters. The award was created as a way to recognize outstanding business which can motivate other organizations to step outside of their comfort zone. The award signifies companies that excel at risk taking, overcoming challenges, and progress at marketing innovations.
Grand View was acknowledged for embracing technology as a way to enhance the guest experience and to help the work force behind the scenes. They were also noted for their incredible work making the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener a tremendous success and beating many of the state’s records in community and tourism focus. Engaging in community involvement and service with commitment to both the resort and employees were all a part of being chosen as a finalist for the award. “This is a great tribute,” Ronnei said, noting business success is all about relationships. “I have phenomenal team.”
Last month, Ronnei was recognized at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference as the Outstanding Individual in Tourism. The award recognized him for his long-term work and commitment to the Minnesota Tourism industry. During his 35-year tenure at the historic property on Gull Lake, he has been actively involved in state and local development and tourism initiatives, with a passion for preserving Minnesota’s cherished resort industry.
“This is truly a great honor,” Ronnei said in a news release. “I work with the best team imaginable and we strive everyday to make the Brainerd Lakes Area an incredible place to live and work. Providing the finest vacation experience is important to our guests and it is our mission in everything we do. To be recognized by Explore Minnesota Tourism is very flattering and means the world to me.”
Ronnei previously held positions from dishwashing to resort operations. Since then, he has gained the title of General Manager at Grand View Lodge, making him responsible for the management of the whole resort. He represents the company in the areas of planning and permitting for new developments and projects. He also chooses to serve as a representative of resort preservation and strives to design models that allow for economic stability and sustainability of the resources that help the resort community.
Grand View’s owners, the Cote Family, bought the resort for $85,000 in 1931. Grand View had already survived the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. The resort was established in 1916 and will be celebrating 100 years of creating memories in the year 2016.