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Holiday Inn wins two top honors The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Lakeville has garnered two big awards from InterContinental Hotels Group.

The hotel, opened just three years ago along Interstate 35 north of County Road 70, won the two highest awards in the Holiday Inn System for 2009: the Kemmons Wilson Spirit of Family Award and a Torchbearer Award during the IHG Americas Investors & Leadership Conference in November.

The Kemmons Wilson Spirit of Family Award, named for the Holiday Inn founder, is given to one Holiday Inn hotel and one Holiday Inn Express each year, and is meant to recognize hotels that focus on family, integrity, tradition, modesty, community, balance and self-reliance.

The Torchbearer Award, a pre-requisite of any hotel that wins a Kemmons award, recognized hotels that achieve excellence in quality and customer service. Ninety hotels in the Americas region received a Torchbearer award in 2009.

Owner Jamie Dahlen said the Lakeville hotel was recognized in part for its efforts to help area businesses during the construction of the County Road 70 bridge. They held a "Bridge Fest" in the hotel's parking lot to draw people to the area at a time when road construction deterred potential customers.

"The Kemmie award was a surprise to us, and the founder's grandsons congratulated us on being a part of his dream for hotels," Dahlen said.

InterContinental Hotels Group manages, leases or franchises more than 4,300 hotels in nearly 100 countries.


Auto dealer Sjoquist wins business award Burnsville Toyota owner Dick Sjoquist has been named Burnsville Business Person of the Year by the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce. Sjoquist opened his dealership in 1988 and has 149 employees. Burnsville Toyota has won 19 President's Awards from Toyota for quaiity customer service.


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