Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team wins Voice of Sarasota Award for 2018

Visit Sarasota County honors members of tourism industry during National Travel and Tourism Week celebration

Images from the Ski-A-Rees website

The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team has been named the 2018 recipient of Visit Sarasota County’s prestigious Voice of Sarasota Award.

On May 2, Visit Sarasota County (VSC) celebrated the 2018 National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) during a luncheon held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the county’s tourism agency announced. Along with learning the winners of a number awards, attendees listened to keynote speaker Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, a destination marketing agency, a news release notes.

Thompson unveiled highlights from the firm’s new IMAX film America’s Musical Journey, which he discussed as a creative way to promote the diversity of the United States, the release adds. He also shared his thoughts on the future of tourism in the United States.

In recognizing the Sarasota Ski-a-Rees Water Ski Show Team, the VSC board of directors based its decision on the team’s “ability to build positive awareness of Sarasota County and affect tourism through [team] programs, outreach and actions,” the release explains.

With a Star Warsthemed performance, the members of the Sarasota Ski-A-Rees brought national attention to Sarasota when they were named national champions at the 43rd Indmar Marine Engines Division 1 Show Ski National Championships, held in 2017 in Rockford, Ill, the release adds. “Furthermore, they have been thrilling visitors year after year with their free performances at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota,” the release says.

“The hard-earned recognition of the Sarasota Ski-A-Rees is a testament of their commitment to the sport and their passion for the Sarasota community,” said Steven High, chair of the Visit Sarasota County Board of Directors and executive director of The Ringling. “Throughout the Ski-A-Rees’ journey, their appreciation and pride for Sarasota is always evident and inspires fellow tourism partners to emulate their success,” he pointed out.

Stephanie Brown. Rachel Hackney photo

The following additional awards were presented to members of the travel and tourism industry, the release notes:

  • Stephanie Brown of the Siesta Key Oyster Bar won the Guest Service Excellence — Managementaward, which recognizes exemplary management-level service consistently provided to guests.
  • Sally Krause of The Resort at Longboat Key Club was honored with the Guest Service Excellence — Front Lineaward, which recognizes exemplary service consistently provided to guests by an individual who is in direct contact with the public daily.
  • Marcia Carlson Pack of The Circus Arts Conservatory was honored with the Guest Service Excellence — Heart of Houseaward, which honors an organization’s staff member who consistently adheres to a high standard of excellence.
  • De Emerick, a volunteer with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, was honored with the Guest Service Excellence — Volunteeraward, which recognizes volunteer commitment to enhancing guests’ experiences.
  • Asa Thomas with the Art Ovation Hotel was honored with the Sarasota County Rising Star Award, which recognizes an emerging leader within the tourism industry.