2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Denver & Colorado Tourism Industry Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding individuals who through their leadership, dedication and professionalism have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in Denver and Colorado.


Lannie Garrett is a Denver institution with that rare combination of popular and critical appeal. In addition to being named Denver’s “Favorite Female Vocalist” repeatedly by her fans, she has garnered that same title with the readers of 5280 Magazine and Outfront. Lannie has headlined at Boettcher Concert Hall and Red Rocks Amphitheater with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, acted in a campy, “B” movie opposite movie star, Anthony Perkins and has worked with a diverse group of national entertainers, including BB King, Ray Charles and Roseanne. Her music is played on stations across the country. Her eclectic collection of shows run the gamut from classy and jazzy to naughty and bawdy. She can change her onstage feathers easily becoming the glamorous chanteuse fronting her 10 piece big band, “Any Swing Goes,” or becoming the self-deprecating clown in her hilarious country comedy spoof, “The Patsy DeCline Show.” She has been selling out shows for over 3 decades. In 2006, Lannie and actor, Jefferson Arca, teamed up to open a nightclub bearing her name. This gorgeous, intimate showroom, Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, is located in the heart of downtown Denver, under the D&F Tower, and features her many shows, as well as national acts and the best in Colorado entertainment. For a decade, it has been a popular downtown venue for tourists and locals alike. For being a longtime fixture in Denver’s entertainment scene and for adding to Denver’s downtown nightlife for a decade, Lannie Garrett is inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame.


Few people in Colorado’s history have been so strongly associated with not one, but two huge tourism attractions, as was Jerry McMorris, who played pivotal roles with both the Colorado Rockies and the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo. McMorris graduated from the University of Colorado, School of Business in 1962 and while still attending college started his first transportation company, which grew over 40 years into the $400 million trucking giant, NationsWay Transport, serving all of North America. In 1993, McMorris and the Colorado Rockies ownership group brought Major League Baseball to the Rocky Mountain Region for the first time. For 12 years, he served as Chairman, President & CEO of the team as it broke every attendance record in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, drawing the all-time-record 4,483,350 fans to Mile High Stadium during their inaugural season. He sold his interest in the Colorado Rockies in 2006. While in MLB, he served as a member of the Executive Council, Finance and Compensation Committee and Chaired MLB’s Legislative Committee. From 1990 until his death in 2012, he was heavily involved with the National Western Stock Show, serving as a member of the executive committee, treasurer and vice chairman before becoming chair in 2006. In 2009, he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. For his leadership in bringing the Colorado Rockies to Denver, his guidance over the team in its early years, and his many contributions to the National Western Stock Show, Jerry McMorris is remembered as a member of the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame. Posthumous Award


Chuck has been a driving force in the Colorado music community for over 45 years. After moving to Boulder from New York City in 1965 to pursue a doctorate in Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Chuck built the legendary Tulagi nightclub in Boulder (1970-1973), which included first tours by artists such as the Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, ZZ Top, and many others. Following Tulagi’s, he co-owned and managed the equally famous Ebbets Field nightclub in Denver (1974-1978) which also brought in early tours from such varied acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Martin, Dan Fogelberg, Carole King, Richard Pryor and more. Ebbets Field was Billboard Magazine’s “Club of the Year” in 1975 and 1976. After Ebbets Field, Chuck worked with the late Denver music promoter Barry Fey (another Tourism Hall of Fame winner in 2013) as Sr. Vice President of Feyline Presents. After leaving Feyline Presents, Chuck started his own management company, Chuck Morris Entertainment, managing the careers of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lyle Lovett, Highway 101 and Leo Kottke among others. Chuck later went on to form Bill Graham Presents/Chuck Morris Presents which subsequently continued to run as Live Nation. Chuck then moved on in 2006 to be President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains and the Northwest. During these many decades, Chuck was responsible for building the Fillmore Auditorium, developing the 1STBANK Center, putting together the Mile High Music Festival and the re-development and takeover of the Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre. He has also been involved in nearly 1500 shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre during his long career. He is a board member of the American Transplant Foundation, and a trustee of the University of Colorado Foundation. In the past, he has also been involved in events for Brian Griese’s Judi’s House, Kempe Foundation, Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Life Foundation, Children's Hospital, Denver Dumb Friends League, Denver Police Gala, Medal of Honor Convention, Outward Bound, concert for Hurricane Katrina, and the Catholic Foundations. Also, in May, 2013 Chuck was honored with a Doctorate of Sports/Entertainment/Event Management from Johnson and Wales University where he gave the commencement address. For his work in the entertainment and concert business and for building Denver’s national reputation as a center for live music, Chuck Morris is being inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame.


Senator Al White is affectionately known in Colorado as the “Reverend of Tourism” because of his career-long promotion of Colorado tourism. While a State Representative and a State Senator, Al White championed tourism’s economic strength as a valuable component of Colorado’s economic well-being. As a member of the Joint Budget Committee, he worked diligently to protect the tourism office’s budget. From 2011 to 2015, he directed the Colorado Tourism Office, helping to achieve a new record-breaking tourism year every year he served as director. Al White put together a team of professionals that raised the Colorado Tourism Office to new levels, while overseeing award-winning marketing and advertising campaigns that helped establish Colorado’s tourism brand around the world. In 2014, 71.3 million visitors spent $18.6 billion in the state, an all-time high, supporting 155,000 jobs. These visitors contributed $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. Without tourism, the average household would have to pay $538 a year more in taxes. No figure in the 21st Century has been more associated with Colorado tourism than Al White, who retired from the Colorado Tourism Office in September 2015. For his work in supporting tourism funding in Colorado and promoting Colorado’s brand around the world, Al White is being inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame.

2015 Tourism Stars

“Tourism Star” awards are presented to organizations and attractions that had a significant impact on Denver’s tourism industry during the preceding year.


The AT&T Major League Soccer All-Star Game took place on July 29, 2015 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, with live televised coverage on Fox Sports and UniMás in the U.S. and TSN and RDS in Canada. The MLS All-Stars defeated England’s Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in front of a soldout crowd. In additon to the game, there were numerous concerts, events and player appearances in and around Denver. World superstar Kaká, who plays for Orlando City SC, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, scoring one goal and adding one assist. The MLS All-Star teams are now 9-3-1 in the current format, having outscored the opposition 24-21. MLS teams are 5-2-1 vs. teams from the English Premier League in the All-Star Game.


David Ingemie joined SIA in 1976 as marketing director and became president of the non-profit organization in 1981. Over the span of his 39-year career at SIA, David worked diligently to grow snow sports and turn SIA’s annual Snow Show into the largest snow sports trade show in the world. Six years ago, Ingemie and SIA signed the largest convention contract in Denver’s history, committing the Snow Show to the Colorado Convention Center for 11 years. The show continues to bring record audiences each January with more than 20,000 attendees generating in excess of $35 million in spending. David Ingemie will be stepping down as SIA president after the January 2016 Snow Show in Denver. In honor of his great contributions to the city, the state of Colorado and its ski industry, David and SIA will be presented with a Tourism Star.


In 2015, the Denver Art Museum hosted In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism, which explored the development of floral still-life painting in the impressionist era with 60 paintings by famed artists such as Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh.


Denver Botanic Gardens hosted Deborah Butterfield: The Nature of Horses, which featured 15 life-size bronze sculptures of horses created by Montana artist Deborah Butterfield. The works appear to be made of wood, but are cast bronze from molds of tree limbs, welded into graceful horses. They were displayed throughout the York St. garden settings. The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are among the many places displaying Butterfield’s work.


The Denver Museum of Nature & Science continued its string of blockbuster exhibitions with Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids. From Bigfoot to a 17-foot-long dragon, the exhibit featured dazzling statues and models depicting legendary creatures that have captured people’s imaginations for centuries, using real fossils and cultural objects to examine some of backgrounds behind these enduring fantastical beings.


Denver Zoo featured Nature Connects, Art with LEGO Bricks. Created by artist Sean Kenney, the exhibit offered 38 animal and plant sculptures made from LEGO bricks. The life-size (and sometimes even larger than life) sculptures were scattered throughout the zoo grounds and included a 400-pound bumblebee, a hummingbird with an eight-foot wing span and a full-scale African lion. The exhibit was designed to fill children with a fondness of science, engineering, technology and math.


The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek represented the largest and most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world, second only to the Olympics with racers from 68 countries. Since 1950, the event has only been held in the United States four times – all of them in Colorado and three of them in Vail Valley. More than 220,000 spectators attended the opening and closing ceremonies and racing events, setting a new U.S. record for number of attendees at a ski racing event. For two weeks, the event was broadcast around the world with global broadcast viewership of more than 800 million, and racking up more television broadcast time in the U.S. than any previous ski racing event in history.


The History Colorado Center presented Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, a whimsical exhibition of themed rooms that encouraged visitors to play and let their imaginations run wild. From Barbie and Mr. Potato Head to Slinky and Hot Wheels, the exhibit examined the stories behind the toys, from their inventors to the adults who bought them, and showed how these toys were a reflection of changing American life.

Get more details about the 17th Annual Tourism Hall of Fame Dinner

The Denver & Colorado Travel Industry Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding individuals who through their leadership, dedication and professionalism have made significant contributions...

“Tourism Star” awards are presented to organizations and attractions that had a significant impact on Denver’s tourism industry during the preceding year.