Visit Brookings hopes to give away $25,000

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BROOKINGS – Visit Brookings (formerly the Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau) is planning a promotion which includes a chance to win $25,000 during National Travel & Tourism Week, May 2-7. The promotion is intended to show support to those in the tourism industry who have endured a lot over the last two years. 

“When travel shut down in 2019, our friends who work in the hospitality industry were suddenly thrust into a world of uncertainty,” Visit Brookings Executive Director Laura Schoen Carbonneau said. “First, they weren’t sure if they would have jobs. Then they worried for their own health as they served the traveling public. Now that travel is nearly back to normal, those same employees are now finding themselves working incredibly long hours for little pay. This is a way to show them how much we appreciate their dedication to the tourism industry.” 

The promotion is called the Brookings Great Faces $25,000 Sweepstakes. It is open to employees who work in hotels, bars, restaurants/food service, attractions, convenience stores and event venues. Those employees will be able to come to the Visit Brookings office May 2-4 and May 6 during National Travel & Tourism Week to play the sweepstakes game. There is only one catch: they must be employed in the industry from April 1 through May 6. Schoen Carbonneau hopes the promotion will provide an incentive to stick with the industry.

“Over the past two years, the hospitality industry has seen a tremendous turnover in employees. It’s hard to attract and retain good people, yet they are essential to the industry. Travel is not possible if we don’t have staff to clean hotel rooms, serve food and greet guests with a warm and welcoming smile,” Schoen Carbonneau said. “We want all hospitality employees in Brookings to know we see what they are doing to help our community rebound, and we thank them for their efforts.” 

In addition to the chance to win $25,000, the Brookings Great Faces Sweepstakes offers other prizes including $100 cash awards, $25 gift certificates, Brookings T-shirts, tickets to Brookings events and attractions and other tourism-related prizes. “We want everyone who plays to win something,” Schoen Carbonneau said. 

There’s no charge to participate in the Brookings Great Faces Sweepstakes, but employees in the Brookings tourism industry must register on the Visit Brookings website, www.visitbrookingssd.com. The website also has an opportunity for the public to submit stories of great customer service they have encountered or to assist with recognizing the efforts of tourism employees by donating prizes. 

Other NTTW events in Brookings include a Celebration of Tourism on May 4, Spring Hospitality Training and the Glacial Lakes & Prairies Lit Drop on May 5.

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