2019 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award

The George S. Mickelson Great Service Award honors businesses, communities, or organizations that have done an exemplary job of exceeding visitors’ expectations in customer service. It marks the culmination of a yearlong hospitality program that involves hospitality training, customer comment cards, an employee recognition program, and an application for the Great Service Star designation.

One George S. Mickelson Great Service Award was presented for 2019.

Presented to
The Howard Johnson Inn & Suites

photo of Secretary Hagen, Tim Johnson and Governor Noem
Secretary Jim Hagen and Governor Kristi Noem present the
2019 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award
to Tim Johnson of The Howard Johnson Inn & Suites, Rapid City,
at the 2020 Governor's Conference on Tourism.

downloadable, hi-res version of this photo (300 dpi)

The Howard Johnson Inn & Suites, Rapid City, earned the honor in its first year of eligibility. They have created an entire culture of hospitality centered around one simple principle: Help Everyone.

Here, managers work side by side with employees to teach and show guest experience, awareness and appreciation.

This quote comes from one of those managers. “I take an active interest in my team and their service training because I know I’ll get an incredible return on my investment.”

“They’re not just a team, they’re all family. They treat our guest and each other like family and they treat the property like it’s home.”



Thank you to all of our industry members who participate in the Great Service Star program and to all industry staff who go above and beyond in the name of great service. Here are the finalists for the 2019 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award. In addition to the winners, these finalists also deserve recognition for all they do to make our visitors feel welcome:

1880 Train, Hill City
Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone
Black Hills Central Reservations, Deadwood
Children's Museum of South Dakota, Brookings
Comfort Suites Hotel & Convention Center, Rapid City
Crazy Horse Memorial, Crazy Horse
Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City
Royal River Casino & Hotel, Flandreau
Wylie Park, Aberdeen



Go to "Training & Hospitality" for more information about the
qualifications for the George S. Mickelson Award and the South Dakota Great Place Program.