MEDIA RELEASE: March 8, 2005
CONTACT: ANN CARLON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (651) 675-5544
Eagan CVB names 2004 Business,
Person of the Year at Annual Luncheon
Bureau introduces 2005 Extreme Team Campaign
Eagan, MN – Eagan Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrated its tenth anniversary with an awards luncheon and laser show at Royal Cliff Banquet Center in Eagan March 8.
“A Decade of Serving Eagan Visitors” set the tone for the luncheon, attended by travel and tourism representatives throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area. The bureau began in 1994 with one employee and operated from a lodging tax from four hotels. Today, the bureau has grown to 3.75 full-time employees who promote 15 Eagan hotels, besides area restaurants and attractions.
The annual luncheon is a time to reflect on the previous year’s achievements and to name an individual and a business that have contributed to the success of Eagan’s hospitality industry.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Minnesota was named the 2004 Business of the Year by the Eagan CVB. BCBS moved its headquarters to Eagan in 1970. A majority of its 3,700 employees work at the multiple Eagan locations. The insurance giant utilizes more than 1,000 rooms per year in several Eagan hotels. They also use meeting rooms, including the new Eagan Community Center Oaks rooms. A loyal member of the Northern Dakota County Chambers of Commerce, BCBS is civic-minded and involved in many community projects and activities. Accepting the award for BCBS were Kevin Fossum, Purchasing Manager and Jill Medcraft, Travel Buyer. Previous Business of the Year recipients include Retrouvaille, Pan Am International Flight Academy, Atlas Air, Farm Bureau, Silicon Graphics, Lockheed Martin, West Group and Cedarvale Lanes.
Bud Lutz, an Eagan resident and model railroad enthusiast, was named 2004 Person of the Year by the Eagan CVB. Lutz did not intentionally go into the tourism business but now that he is, he greets visitors with enthusiasm and wearing a conductor’s cap and train whistle. For the past three years, he has worked to create a backyard railroad garden. Hundreds of feet of track are laid among flowers, trees and train trestles to create a unique landscape. A series of open houses have drawn visitors from every generation to enjoy the miniature villages placed along the tracks. Last year, his garden attracted the attention of Rebecca Kolls and was featured on Home & Garden Television. Viewers across the nation got a glimpse into the Lutz backyard not once, but twice when the segment was repeated. For a schedule of 2005 open houses or to schedule a private group tour to the Lutz Railroad Garden, contact the Eagan CVB at (866) EAGAN-20. Past recipients of the Person of the Year award include Margo Danner, Steve Patnode, Kay Gustafson, Pat Thomas, Michael Ferber, Patsy Schroeder, Jill Anderson, and Raleigh Seelig.
In addition to celebrating a decade of visitor services, the Eagan CVB also introduced its 2005 promotional campaign with a surprise laser show, produced by Lasertainment. The show ended with the four CVB staff members entering the room as the Eagan Extreme Team.
“Travel and meeting planners can feel confident that our staff will go to extremes to make your visit special,” said Ann Carlon, executive director. Carlon also was honored at the luncheon for her 10 year service anniversary.
Ann Carlon, Eagan CVB executive director, presents the 2004 Person of the Year Award to Bud Lutz of Eagan.