St. Augustine, FL — Local business owners, residents, and guests riding the famous Old Town Trolley, Nights of Lights tours have voted for the top three hospitality businesses that displayed elaborate holiday lighting during the Ninth Annual Light Up the Night! contest.
The City of St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights is world-renowned for millions of sparkling lights stretching for nearly 20 blocks with the event held from November 27, 2021 to January 31, 2022. The international visitor and local business experience started more than 28 years ago, and is consistently voted as one of the Top 10 “Best Holiday Lighting Displays in the World” and “Best Places To Spend Christmas In The U.S.” along with additional acclaims by domestic and international publications and online travel sites.
This year’s Nights of Lights Visitors Choice Awards honors and prizes were presented to first-place winners at the Hilton St Augustine Historic Bayfront and Kanti Patel, Chief Executive Officer and President of Jalaram Hotels Inc. along with Scott Dial, General Manager and his engineering team; second place went to winners at the Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown Hotel and Vik Patel, Chief Operations Officer of Jalaram Hotels Inc. along with the management and engineering teams, and third place went to Casablanca Inn On The Bay and the Tini Martini Bar with Victoria Lege, General Manager, and Margaret Griggs, Front Office Manager along with their engineering team.
Comments shared by the business owners, key staff, and prize partners about the lighting efforts reflect the upbeat reactions from visitors, guests, and local businesses. Also, staff and management involvement and pride in serving as commerce front runners in St. Augustine was noted during the famous festivities. The winning properties participated in the friendly competition and featured elaborate illumination displays from more than 100,000 to 1.1 million lights and a variety of festive, holiday designs.
Businesses and owners receiving top votes for lighting displays received customized trophies and $5,000 in complimentary advertising campaigns, cash, and public recognition for their involvement and hard work. Partners in the prize promotions included Old Town Trolley; St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce; St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau; Mint Magazine, and WSOS-FM 103.9.
To formally award the businesses, on March 11, Dave Chatterton, Old Town Trolley Tours & Attractions of St. Augustine General Manager and Heather Quinn, Executive Assistant, hosted an excursion and trophy awards plus prize presentations and photo shoots with program sponsors and winning business leaders.
Aboard the trolley, key influencers rode to locations with Beth Sweeny, Executive Committee member with the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, Flagler College Director of Community and Government Relations, and St. Augustine Beach Commissioner; Susan Phillips, Director of Tourism Promotion and Strategic Alliances for the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau; Kristen Young, Senior Multimedia Sales Associate for Mint Magazine, and not present was Kevin Geddings, Owner of WSOS-FM 103.9 and President of GLK Consultants LLC.
During Nights of Lights, Old Town Trolley guests voted on businesses that were and were not directly on the tour route with a website that includes photos of holiday lighting displays. As an added attraction, more local merchants were funded by Florida Power & Light (FPL) to set up lights and join in the voting process from a partnership with St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce.
“This season was a huge success by all metrics, and it was great to see all the families enjoying their annual tradition. The City of St. Augustine, businesses, and residents did not disappoint. This year’s lighting display was the best I can remember,” said Chatterton.
Old Town Trolley Tours provided transportation, increased performances with young talent in the community, and additional entertainment to this year’s event. Each year, visitors and residents tour the historic city with 22 Old Town Trolley stops, visitor amenities, and more than 100 points of interest.
Nights of Lights will be celebrated during its 29 years from November 19, 2022 to January 31, 2023.For more information, visit www.trolleytours.com/holidaylightcontest and https://www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine or call 904-829-3800.