Visit Mankato

Travel and Tourism Awards

Visit Mankato

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2017 Travel and Tourism Awards

As part of the 34th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, which is May 7 through 13, Visit Mankato will recognize outstanding ambassadors of Mankato for making visitors feel welcome.

There are four award categories that recognize an individual(s) who advocate and support travel and tourism in Greater Mankato. The categories are: restaurant employee, hotel employee, attraction employee and retail employee. Each award recipient will be recognized throughout National Travel and Tourism Week May 7-13.



Curt Van Asten, taproom and events manager at Mankato Brewery, will be awarded the Attraction Travel and Tourism Award for his planning, professionalism and personality, which have led to the brewery’s national recognition as Best Beer Bar in Minnesota by the Brewers Association.


Emilee Mailhot, breakfast bar attendant at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, will be awarded the Hotel Travel and Tourism Award for exceeding her customers’ expectations every day. As one of the first people the guests see in the morning, Emilee and her friendly attitude and creative messages written on bananas delight visitors and keep them coming back for more.

Christopher and Patrick Person and Natasha O’Hara, owners of Mankato Independent Originals restaurants, will be awarded the Restaurant Travel and Tourism Award. Their four locally-owned restaurants cater to all kinds of visitors’ appetites and they personally work to improve the community and the visitor experience.

Lori Benike, assistant store leader/event coordinator at Scheels – Mankato, will be awarded the Retail Travel and Tourism Award for being the face and voice of Scheels. She has a variety of important roles to make Scheels a better place for the customers, employees and our community.

View past Travel and Tourism Award Winners. Go>