Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau

CONTACT:    Bri Warner   

Annual award ceremony held today at the Old Metropolitan Hall

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (May 5, 2016) – The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB) presented its 2016 Tourism Achievement Award (formerly “Tourism Person of the Year Award) to Chris Eure, Executive Director of The Paramount Theater for her visionary initiative, leadership, and community collaboration through which the historic venue has contributed to establish the greater Charlottesville area as a premier arts and culture destination. The award was presented at the CACVB’s annual Tourism Recognition Awards presentation, which was held at the Old Metropolitan Hall on the Downtown Mall, in celebration of National Travel
& Tourism Week.

Following its Thanksgiving Eve 1931 opening, The Paramount remained Charlottesville’s crown jewel until 1974 when its doors closed for good. Almost from that moment, efforts were launched to save the theater from real and constant threats of demolition. In 1992, the non-profit Paramount Theater, Inc. purchased the building. With a grant from the City of Charlottesville, the work began. Restored to its former glory, The Paramount Theater opened its doors to the public once more on December 15, 2004 – more than thirty years after it had closed. The theater is again a gathering place for Charlottesville and the region. Because of the efforts of so many – the architects, engineers, contractors, contributors, staff, volunteers, and of course the wonderful community who has shown such enduring support – The Paramount is not only a place to remember the past, but to celebrate the future.

Regarding winning the prestigious award, Chris Eure commented: “I am so honored to receive this award! The Paramount Theater has a profound impact on our community both culturally and economically. It is a privilege to serve the community by furthering the mission of The Paramount through high-caliber arts and enriching events, realizing the vision of all that the Theater offers our area. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the visionaries who lead the charge to save the Theater and have shepherded it to this point,” she said. “As Oscar Hammerstein said, “you have to have a dream; if you don’t have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?” The arts are an incredibly important component of a vibrant community,” she added, “and this award acknowledges all that the Theater does to keep a continuous stream of culture enthusiasts and patrons visiting our area all year long. This constancy of artistic programs and events is so important to keep visitors coming even during the “off” season.”

Kurt Burkhart, CACVB’s Executive Director, remarks “The Paramount Theater is one of the most cherished cultural and artistic institutions in Charlottesville. There is no question that it contributes to the touristic vitality of our destination.  Under Chris Eure’s leadership, The Paramount Theater has been thriving as a prime performance venue, as it continues for fulfill its education mission,” he said. “This is why she was selected as this year’s recipient of the CACVB Tourism Achievement Award.”

Past years’ Tourism Achievement Award winners include:

The annual tourism reception and award presentation allows the hospitality community the opportunity  to celebrate the collaborative efforts of the local tourism industry while acknowledging the efforts of one particular individual or group who has shown great leadership through their commitment to tourism in our region.

The 2016 event also marked the sixth year of a now well-established tradition; individuals working in the local tourism industry were recognized for their commitment and excellence in customer service in the following categories:

In tourism and hospitality, a business’s success is realized in large measure by the direct contact a person has with someone who is usually on the front-line or who provides customer service. National Tourism Week is the perfect opportunity to recognize some very special people in our community who have provided a memorable experience for visitors and local patrons. Winners of the above awards were selected through a public vote, which took place February 26 through April 13, 2016.

Additionally, the CACVB recognized an outstanding staff member again this year. Robert Crytzer, travel specialist, was presented with the 2016 Shining Star Award for outstanding excellence in customer service.

About the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB):

In addition to serving as the global resource for marketing the tourism assets of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, through, the CVB assists tour operators, meeting planners, reunions and other groups in planning visits to the destination. CACVB’s mission is “to enhance the economic prosperity of City and County by promoting, selling and marketing the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle, as a destination, in pursuit of the meetings and tourism markets.” CACVB operates the Downtown Visitor Center (610 E Main St) which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a second visitor center, the Albemarle Tourism and Adventure Center in downtown Crozet (5791 Three Notch’d Rd) at the historic train depot; it is open Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The CACVB also provides a touch-screen kiosk at Monticello’s Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center. The official website of the CACVB is In addition, the organization manages powerful social media channels; ExperienceCharlottesville on Facebook, @VisitCVille on Twitter, CVilleVA on Pinterest, and @CharlottesvilleVA on Instagram and Vimeo.

About National Travel & Tourism Week

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. National Tourism Week was established when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with “the appropriate ceremonies and activities.”