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Base lodge named best in Air Force

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexandria Fulton
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Oh-- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was just recognized as winner of the 2021 Air Force Innkeeper Award.

The competition is divided into two categories. WPAFB took home the award in the large division (286 or more rooms), while the small base winner (285 or less) was Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

Lodging Manager Janelle Bailey said the entire Wright-Patterson Inns team was excited that all its hard work throughout the year paid off.

“Winning this award was incredible,” she said. “I am so proud of my team and the hard work they do every day — they stood up, stood tall and continued the mission, no questions asked. I couldn’t ask for a better team and they deserve this win.”

Created in 1981, the Air Force Innkeeper Award Program recognizes installation-level lodging facilities providing the most outstanding accommodations and customer service to Air Force travelers.

Each lodging operation was evaluated on customer service, financial measures and related support activities. 

This award was won through staff determination to keep Wright-Patterson Inns open while maintaining a safe environment throughout COVID-19 restrictions, Bailey said. Not a single room had to be shut down as the base lodge constantly flexed with each change to provide top-notch guest care.

Along with delivering the best service to guests, the lodging team was also one of the few bases to stay within 1 percent of its operating budget and give to the Air Force Lodging fund.

To be able to do all this and win the award, the WPAFB team “followed the intense innkeeper checklist daily and continuously found ways to ensure the customer was the No. 1 priority,” Bailey said.

Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, praised Wright-Patterson Inns for bringing home this award.

“This is a tremendous honor recognizing the extraordinary work of our 70-plus-strong dedicated lodging team,” Miller said. “Over the course of the past year, we’ve flexed lodging space to provide isolation rooms for COVID-positive teammates, served as an aggregation installation bedding down over 1,500 deployers for ‘restriction of movement’ operations prior to deploying to the (Central Command area of responsibility) and supported a litany of mission partners … all in an extremely challenging COVID operating environment.”

The Air Force Innkeeper Award is a win for the entire base, Bailey said, adding it wouldn’t have happened without widespread support from multiple WPAFB organizations and units.

“The leadership and support that lodging receives from the bottom to the top is unparalleled,” she said. “Without their support, we would not have been able to keep the high standards it takes to win this award. My staff and I are very thankful to all of the support we receive and share this award with Team Wright-Patt.”

Bailey said it’s a “phenomenal feeling” for all lodging team members to be recognized and they remain committed to customer satisfaction throughout a year when so much has changed.

“Being recognized as the best of the Air Force is incredible with the amount of fantastic Air Force Inns there are across the globe,” she said. “It is also validation for all of the hard work that the lodging staff does on a daily basis.”