- October 16, 2021
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Though leisure travel has begun to return to Atlanta and metro area residents are taking advantage of its hospitality, business travel has yet to make a comeback since the Covid-19 pandemic started in spring 2020. Area attractions, hotels and restaurants have been hit hard, but still deserve to be celebrated, as the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to do on Oct. 20 for its 22nd annual Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame event.
During the event, the ACVB will induct four professionals into the Hospitality Hall of Fame: Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of AMC, Inc.; Carl Adkins, executive director of Atlanta’s local organizing committee for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2020; Nancy Gordy Simms, chairman of the board and former CEO of The Varsity Restaurants; and Steve Smith, partner of Pendleton Consulting Group. Read about the new inductees on pages XXA-XXA.
The bureau also will honor Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson LLP, a labor and employment law firm, with its third annual Spurgeon Richardson Member of the Year award at its Oct. 20 ceremony, scheduled for Zoo Atlanta’s Savanna Hall.
Of its Member of the Year, ACVB CEO and president William Pate said, “Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp and Wilson provided time and resources to support members of Atlanta’s hospitality community to inspire more inclusive workplace cultures. Atlanta’s diversity is its strength, and Elarbee Thompson’s commitment to celebrating and embracing these values demonstrates tremendous support of our industry.”
While Atlanta’s hospitality industry may have a ways to go to return to its pre-pandemic state, Pate and others in the industry remain hopeful. “Just as the reduction in travel has had a significant economic impact on our industry and our city, pent-up demand for business and leisure travel both at home and abroad should drive an important economic rebound that could continue for several years,” Pate wrote in a Viewpoint on page XXA.
There still is a lot to celebrate.