Darius Watson receives SHORE Award at Shores & Islands Ohio Annual Meeting

Apr 23, 2024 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

SōLSTAY Lodging & Marina was honored with the 2024 Extraordinary Destination Enhancement Award during the Shores & Islands Annual Meeting.

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Eighteen years ago, Darius Watson was hired as a bellman at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky. On April 16, he was honored with one of the region’s top hospitality awards, the SHORE Award, during the 2024 Shores & Islands Ohio Annual Meeting in Kalahari’s River Rooms. Kalahari General Manager Brian Shanle called Watson’s service “legendary.”

“The SHORE Award recognizes superior hospitality, and Darius Watson lives superior hospitality,” he said.

Shores & Islands Ohio President Larry Fletcher, left, poses with SHORE Award recipient Darius Watson during the Shores & Islands Ohio Annual Meeting at Kalahari.

Watson, who received 194 positive guest reviews, letters and surveys in the last year alone, said he is supported by a strong team.

“I have tremendous leaders. I have good people to look up to and a great team,” he said. “Helping people is not only our job. It’s our passion.”

SōLSTAY Lodging & Marina was honored with the 2024 Extraordinary Destination Enhancement Award for its contributions to the Shores & Islands region.

“This is awesome,” said SōLSTAY owner, Joe Lisa. “I moved to this area about three years ago, and there’s no place I’d rather be.”

The Beacon Editor Sheri Trusty, left, and The Beacon Assistant Editor of Community Calendars Corrie Shiplett, right, had the privilege of conversing with State Senator Theresa Gavarone, center, at the Shores & Islands Ohio Annual Meeting at Kalahari on April 16.

Shores & Islands Ohio President Larry Fletcher provided an update on the organization’s growth and impact during 2023, and he highlighted many Shores & Islands Ohio partners throughout the region. Through his position, Fletcher understands better than most the number of people who mirror Lisa’s sentiment that he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Many people are familiar with summertime lake life, but Fletcher stressed the importance of recognizing the entertainment and tourism opportunities that the area offers all year long. He said Shores & Islands Ohio partners need to stress that the region is a year-round destination.

“Let’s stop saying ‘off-season,’” he said. “Let’s say it’s spring season. It’s birding season. It’s roller coaster season. Let’s change that messaging.”

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