The former head of Cheyenne’s tourism agency was named the winner of the top award from the state’s tourism industry Tuesday.
Darren Rudloff, former chief executive officer for Visit Cheyenne, was named winner of the “Big Wyo” Award, given to a member of the private sector who has done an outstanding job of promoting and improving the state’s tourism industry.
The award, given to Rudloff on Tuesday during the Governor’s Hospitality and Tourism Conference in Cheyenne, has been handed out annually since 1977, when it went to Harry Smith, at the time the owner of Cheyenne’s Hitching Post Inn. Other winners include Paul Smith, also a former owner of the Hitching Post Inn and Pat Sweeney, former owner of the Parkway Plaza in Casper.
Rudloff called the past winners “giants in our industry.”
“To be considered among them is truly amazing,” he said. “I don’t know if I really deserve this honor, but I’ll appreciate it and revere it for the rest of my life.”
The annual Hospitality and Tourism Conference, hosted by the Wyoming Office of Tourism and the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, ended Tuesday.