FLORENCE — Larry Bowser, the general manager of Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, has been named Hotelier of the Year for Alabama.
The award was given through the Alabama Hospitality Association. It’s an annual award bestowed upon the hotelier whose property demonstrates top-rate qualities in customer service, employee relations and other achievements.
Both the hotel and restaurant have received four diamond awards from AAA, making it one of only 18 four-diamond hotels in the state.
The Hotelier of the Year award has been presented since 2000. Bowser received the award during an event recently at the Westin Huntsville Hotel. Having been nominated on previous occasions, this year was Bowser’s first win.
“I’ve been in the (hospitality) business for 23 years and here at the Marriott for eight,” Bowser said.
“It’s a great award for our hotel, our staff and community. What people remember about hotels is how they were treated and that’s where we stand out. The staff we have here is the best in the industry.
“We’re number one in (guest satisfaction) and number one in staff service out of all the Marriott properties.”
Bowser said getting to the spot of number one in the nation didn’t happen by accident.
“We’ve always had the philosophy that we hire those with positive attitudes and train them for the skills,” Bowser said. “The skills you can teach, the attitude, you can’t.”
Tony Davis, chief executive officer of PCH Hotels and Resorts, which manages eight Marriott properties in Alabama, said Bowser’s award is well-deserved. Like Bowser, he credits the hotel staff for creating a “whole package.”
“It’s exciting to see this operational team do so well and continue to drive the level of performance and service to the point they do,” Davis said. “Any time a general manager wins an award like this, it speaks to the whole team.
“This recognition of Larry is just another sign that he has brought that high level of quality to this hotel. From the dynamics of that (hotel) structure to Larry and his team all combine to make an awesome experience for customers and earns us repeat customers.”
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.