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Top operator

David Ryan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 13/06) - Faced with an industry that's evolving, its easy to understand the brand new direction theme behind the recent NWT Tourism Association's 10th anniversary conference and annual general meeting.
NNSL Photo/graphic

Ted Grant, operator of Simpson Air and Nahanni Mountain Lodge, received the operator of the year award at the 10th NWT Tourism Association conference and annual general meeting.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Industry award winners for NWT Tourism Association included:

Mike Stilwell Lifetime Achievement Award:

Trish and Glen Warner, owners, Bathurst Inlet Lodge

Operator of the Year:

Ted Grant, owner, Simpson Air/Nahanni Mountain Lodge

Service Excellence Award for Individual Achievement:

Joanne Kelly, office manager, Blachford Lake Lodge

More than 100 tourism operators and industry representatives flocked to the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife to attend three days of speaker sessions, networking, meetings and awards presentations.

Among the winners was Fort Simpson's Ted Grant, owner of Simpson Air and the Nahanni Mountain Lodge, who took home Operator of the Year honours.

"It's pretty nice to get recognized by my peers," he said.

"The award has a lot to do with people who I work with."

Grant took over Simpson Air in 1981 and Nahanni Mountain Lodge in 1985 and has since seen a host of changes in the industry, he said.

"There have been many changes, particularly in communication," he said.

The Internet has been a huge new medium operators can use to their advantage, he said, adding he found the on-line marketing workshop delivered by Susan Sweeny to be a great educational tool.

"It was done pretty well - it was a help to everyone," said Grant.

While the conference and meeting provided the time to listen to speakers and network with other operators, Grant was also glad to see that the NWT Tourism Association is making financial strides.

"Its good to see the budget back where it was," he said.

The NWT Tourism Association's revenue from funding for fiscal 2006 is almost $3 million.

Revenue was up by $748,806 above 2005's total of about $2.2 million.

The group's funding comes from GNWT's Industry, Tourism and Investment, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Canadian Tourism.