Big WYO Award

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.

If you would like to nominate someone for this prestigious award, please email your nomination to Chris Brown, Executive Director of WLRA.

Criteria for the Big WYO Award:

  1. 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 if their fulltime work is not in the travel industry.
  2. The person has been a member and served actively on civic, community or travel industry association groups.
  3. 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. They could be nominated later.

2018 Big WYO Winners

Doug & Kathleen Campbell

Owners of Wolf Hotel – Saratoga, WY 

The Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association (WLRA) and the Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT), on behalf of the entire hospitality and tourism industry, are pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the annual “Big WYO” award, Doug and Kathleen Campbell of Saratoga, Wyoming. More than 275 industry partners celebrated the Campbell’s award at Tuesday’s “Salute to the Industry Gala” where Governor Matt Mead presented them with the award.“For over 40 years, Doug and Kathleen have continued the incredible history of the Wolf Hotel with style and grace,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “The Campbells’ kind and welcoming ways, coupled with their beautiful restoration of this historic property, have made the Wolf Hotel a staple of tourism in Saratoga and the State of Wyoming. Congratulations to them on receiving the 2018 Big WYO Award!”Each year, the “Big WYO” award is sponsored by the WLRA and given to an individual (or individuals) who has done an outstanding job promoting and improving the tourism industry in Wyoming.


“Since 1977 the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association has proudly awarded the BIG WYO award to a private sector individual who has done an outstanding job promoting tourism for the State of Wyoming,” said WLRA Executive Director Chris Brown. “Doug and Kathleen Campbell have owned and operated the historic Hotel Wolf for more than 40 years and during that time they have absolutely exemplified all that the award stands for. We are so grateful for all that Doug and Kathleen have done to promote and protect Wyoming’s hospitality and tourism industry.” Doug and Kathleen Campbell have been the heart and soul of the Platte Valley since they returned to Wyoming in 1977 with their four children. “It’s a marvelous thing to receive this award,” said Doug Campbell. “Tourism has been supportive in everything we have done. We treasure this award.” Tireless advocates and supporters of lodging and tourism in Wyoming, the Campbells are noted for their love of the Cowboy State, their welcoming hospitality, their generosity and their loyal support of the University of Wyoming athletics. “When you spend time with Doug and Kathleen you can’t help but notice the feeling that you are in the presence of family because they are true leaders in the hospitality and tourism community,” added Brown. 2018 marks the 41st year that the “Big WYO” award has been given.


Past Big WYO Winners

  • 1977 Harry Smith
  • 1978 Marv Harshman
  • 1979 Bob Dohse
  • 1980 Duane Von Krosigk
  • 1981 Peter Hassrick
  • 1982 Ralph McMullen
  • 1983 Norm Parker
  • 1984 Dorris Stalker
  • 1985 Bill Bragg
  • 1986 Governor Ed Hershler
  • 1987 Clarene and Creed Law
  • 1988 John Olson
  • 1989 Quin Blair
  • 1990 Pat Self
  • 1991 Paul Smith
  • 1992 Pat Sweeney
  • 1993 Jim Hearne
  • 1994 Carol Waller
  • 1995 Clay James
  • 1996 Don and Doris Bunn
  • 1997 Wayne Worthen
  • 1996 Don and Doris Bunn
  • 1997 Wayne Worthen
  • 1998 Gene Bryan
  • 1999 Bill Sniffin
  • 2000 Trudy McCraken
  • 2001 Gene & Carol Kupke
  • 2002 Ted Blair
  • 2003 Jeff Heilbrun
  • 2004 Edna Kennell
  • 2005 Manuel Lopez
  • 2006 Claudia Wade
  • 2007 Dave Rader
  • 2008 Chuck Box
  • 2009 Jim McCaleb
  • 2010 Governor Dave Freudenthal
  • 2011 Steve Meadows
  • 2012 Rex Brown
  • 2013 Chuck Cook
  • 2014 Kari Cooper
  • 2015 Clay Miller
  • 2016 Jerry Blann
  • 2017 John Johnson
  • 2018 Doug and Kathleen Campbell