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'Five Diamond' status given to two Utah hotels

Published October 31, 2006 12:00 am

AAA ratings: Stein Eriksen Lodge, Grand America Hotel earn top marks from travel organization
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley and Salt Lake City's Grand America Hotel once again received "Five Diamond Awards" from AAA, the only Utah lodging establishments to receive that designation from the nation's largest travel organization.

This is the fifth straight year AAA has honored Stein Eriksen Lodge, which has embarked on a $7 million renovation project designed "to create a more contemporary and elegant atmosphere, with high-end finishes and custom elements that will retain a Norwegian feel, keeping with the heritage of the lodge's namesake, [skiing legend] Stein Eriksen," said general manager Russ Olsen.

"We're thrilled to be recognized once again," he added. "It's a tremendous achievement and represents the dedication to excellence by our staff."

Renovations include the expansion of the Glitretind restaurant and the Troll Hallen Lounge, while the lobby is being enlarged and redecorated to include a grand staircase, a new elevator and detailed woodwork. Daily winter regular season rates range from $725 a night to $1,960 for a suite.

The Grand America Hotel has received Five Diamonds for three consecutive years.

"This is another coup for us as we go out to get more East Coast business. New York, Boston and Chicago are huge for us. They produce a large amount of room nights," said Bruce Fery, executive vice president of Grand America Hotel and Resorts. "This is something we've worked very hard to get and maintain. It's not just because we have a beautiful building. It's because we have a well-trained staff and pay attention to details."

Grand America also was listed recently among the top 100 hotels in the United States by Cond Nast Traveler magazine. Rates run from $229 a night to $349 for a suite.

AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough said "these properties enhance Utah's reputation as a world-class vacation destination . . . exemplifying the highest level of service in the industry." Her organization, she noted, uses 65 full-time, professional evaluators annually to rate nearly 60,000 restaurants and lodging establishments in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

mikeg@sltrib.com