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Gallup establishment named ‘Hotel of the Year’

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Comfort Suites makes finalist in two categories; wins Top HAT award

The turnout for the 2018 New Mexico Top Hospitality and Tourism Awards, held Nov. 8 at the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in Bernalillo, was “amazing” this year, Kenneth Riege, general manager of the Comfort Suites in Gallup, told the Sun Dec. 5.

The annual event is held in honor of the best in the state’s hospitality and tourism industry.

This year, Comfort Suites at 3940 E. Hwy 66 was a finalist in two categories — its lobby museum in the Best Attraction category, and the hotel itself in the Limited Service Hotel of the Year category.

The latter “category was split last year,” Reige said. “It used to just be ‘hotel of the year,’ but it was decided that it should be split into two categories, Full Service and Limited Service.”

The 66-room hotel — or as Riege put it, “66 very spacious suites” — made it as a finalist in the Hotel of the Year category in the past, too, he said, so to win this year was extra special.

“And while we did not win in the Best Attraction Category, that was fine because with winning Hotel of the Year, our amazing lobby museum is included in this award,” Riege said.

Over the years, the Comfort Suites has received many awards and accolades, from Choice Hotels International to Trip Advisor. But Riege said the New Mexico Hospitality and Tourism Limited Service Hotel of the Year award takes the cake when it comes to recognitions.

It’s also the first time a Gallup hotel has received an award of this caliber — but hopefully, Riege said, it’s not the last.

“This is for the entire state, and there are a lot of hotels in New Mexico,” he said. “And to be considered the best, well, we will take that badge of honor and wear if very proudly.”

According to Riege, to win Hotel of the Year is a true testament to the hard work his team of 19 employees puts in, not to mention their dedication to the hotel and its guests.

“We have been very blessed here at the Comfort Suites and are thankful to Pratrixia and Yogash Kumar and his family for all their support they have provided us over the years,” Riege said. “I would like to thank the entire team here at the Comfort Suites in Gallup for all their hard work and dedication; to all our guest who have supported us throughout the years; the City of Gallup for all their support; but most importantly, my family who have been there all along helping me and supporting me in all my endeavors.”

Visit: www.newmexicohospitality.org/2018-top-hat-finalists