Since 1977 The Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association (WLRA) has proudly awarded The Big Wyo Award to a private sector individual/s who has done an outstanding job promoting and improving the tourism industry for the State of Wyoming. This exceptional award is presented at the Salute to the Industry Gala which follows the annual Governor’s Tourism & Hospitality Conference.
- The individual has made major contributions to generating visitors, servicing and developing the travel industry in the state of Wyoming.
- These efforts can take place through their business or as a volunteer in travel-related organizations.
- The person has been a member and served actively on civic, community or travel industry association groups.
- There have been exceptions, but usually, the individual is not an elected official or travel industry public employee at the time of consideration. It is preferable that they not be currently serving on state boards and commissions.
2019 BIG WYO WINNER
Rick Hoeninghausen, Xanterra Parks & Resorts
On behalf of the entire hospitality and tourism industry, the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association and the Wyoming Office of Tourism happily recognized Rick Hoeninghausen as the 2019 recipient of the annual “Big WYO” award. Rick has spent over 20 years working to better the tourism industry. His joyous personality and hard work exemplify just a few of the many reasons he received the award. As an advocate and supporter of lodging and tourism in Wyoming, Rick is known for his love of the Cowboy State, his joy of working in Yellowstone and the care with which he raised a family in Wyoming . . .
Past Big WYO Winners
|1977 Harry Smith||1980 Duane Von Krosigk||1990 Pat Self||2000 Trudy McCraken||2010 Gov. Dave Freudenthal|
|1978 Marv Harshman||1981 Peter Hassrick||1991 Paul Smith||2001 Gene & Carol Kupke||2011 Steve Meadows|
|1979 Bob Dohse||1982 Ralph McMullen||1992 Pat Sweeney||2002 Ted Blair||2012 Rex Brown|
|1983 Norm Parker||1993 Jim Hearne||2003 Jeff Heilbrun||2013 Chuck Coon|
|1984 Dorris Stalker||1994 Carol Waller||2004 Edna Kennell||2014 Kari Cooper|
|1985 Bill Bragg||1995 Clay James||2005 Manuel Lopez||2015 Clay Miller|
|1986 Gov. Ed Hershler||1996 Don & Doris Bunn||2006 Claudia Wade||2016 Jerry Blann|
|1987 Clarene&Creed Law||1997 Wayne Worthen||2007 Dave Rader||2017 John Johnson|
|1988 John Olson||1998 Gene Bryan||2008 Chuck Box||2018 Doug & Kathleen Campbell|
|1989 Quin Blair||1999 Bill Sniffin||2009 Jim McCaleb||2019 Rick Hoeninghausen|