There are more than 1,000 Holiday Inn managers around the world, but Davenport's Felicia Weese is the best.
She won "GM of the Year" honors for 2018 from the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
The Holiday Inn brand honor is among the company's "Best of the Best," which recognizes individuals “who demonstrate outstanding and unique service to their hotel, guests and the community,” according to an IHG spokesperson.
Weese — chief operating executive for Holiday Inn & Suites, 4215 Elmore Ave. — was honored for “the great culture she has cultivated on her team through her leadership and passion, her diligence in meeting and exceeding hotel performance goals, and her dedication to ensuring that all guests have an outstanding service experience.”
In addition, the Holiday Inn & Suites Davenport earned a 2018 IHG Torchbearer Award — the company’s most prestigious award for hotels that achieved the highest levels of excellence in all aspects of operation, from quality to customer satisfaction — and was also a 2018 IHG Rewards Club Excellence Award winner, for highest level of excellence in terms of customer loyalty.
Only 20 Holiday Inns earned this designation out of nearly 900 hotels in the Americas, according to the company.
“These awards do not happen by accident and we truly appreciate the culture of excellence our team delivers to our guests every day,” said Scott Math, IHG brand operations leader for Moline-based Heart of America (HOA) Group.
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IHG represents 17 hotel brands (including Staybridge, Candlewood, and Kimpton), more than 5,600 hotels and nearly 843,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries.
“We're ranked above resorts in Acapulco,” Weese said. “We're bringing people to the Quad-Cities and you're not just staying at a regular Holiday Inn, you're staying at one of the best of the best.
“We've seen a lot of return to what they know is consistent and good,” she said of visitors. “We're hearing of our sisters and brothers opening new locations, wherever they're opening, but selfishly, we always want to bring people back to our property. But we're always cheering for them to be successful as well, because that's going to help us overall be successful in this area.”
“She just does an outstanding job of building a team, training a team,” HOA marketing director Michelle Sparkman said of Weese. “It's a beautifully designed hotel. They've got the J Bar, which is a great amenity, the outdoor patio. Hotel guests love that they don't have to leave if they don't want to.”
Hotels succeed by bringing two different experiences under one roof, with the bar/restaurant, said QCLA vice president Jessica Licko-Avants, sales executive at the Holiday Inn/J Bar. “I feel like I'm in a big city, but I don't have to deal with the traffic,” she said.
Today, there are 42 percent more hotels in the Quad-Cities than just 20 years ago. What's making the Quad-Cities a place people want to stay — and build so many new hotels?