Today brings Iron Range Housekeeping Olympics


In these modern times hard labor often goes unseen. Network maintenance. The approval of your credit card when you pay at the gas pump. Such is these with hotel housekeeping, a phantom profession where only errors are noticed.

But in this service economy, hallmark of the 21st century; these more and more people are doing these unheralded jobs. Most of the time, these workers go unrecognized. Until now.

Today at Fortune Bay Resort and Casino in Tower, the 9th annual Iron Range Housekeeping Olympics will take place.

From the press release:

The event, which begins at 11 a.m., pits teams of hotel housekeepers against each other as they compete in four events: bed-stripping and making, linen folding, laundry stacking and the obstacle course. Members of the Bois Forte Honor Guard will lead the opening ceremonies, which include the singing of the National Anthem, a solo performance of the Housekeeping Olympics anthem, and a parade of teams carrying banners that represent their lodging property.

“The Housekeeping Olympics have grown over the years and we’re excited to welcome teams from around the state to this great event that showcases our hardworking hospitality staff,” said Jim Makowsky, General Manager of the Eveleth Super 8 and AmericInn of Mountain Iron.

The annual event is designed to celebrate the work of hotel housekeepers and foster friendships among housekeepers from area lodging businesses. National Housekeepers Week began in 1981, then gained international involvement in 1996. Currently thousands of hotels, motels, resorts, and other businesses participate across the U.S. Regardless of where it is celebrated, International Housekeepers Week can motivate employees by making them feel appreciated.

“This event is so much fun for the housekeepers, property managers and spectators alike,” said Melissa Nordberg, General Manager of Super 8 Grand Rapids. “It’s great to see the pride our housekeepers have in their jobs, and the friendly rivalries that have grown between properties.”

This year’s celebrity judges are Dave Anderson, KBJR Meteorologist, Dan McElroy (MN Lodging Association), Megan Christianson (Visit Grand Rapids), John Bolden (Sullivan Supply), Dale Audio (Ecolab), Eric Abrahamson (Screen Graphics), Barb Dahme (Super 8 Corporation), Ron Shemik (Vice-President of Franchise Services for AmericInn), Todd Kimlinger, (Senior Area Manager IHG Corp.), Mark Skelton (Hoyt Lakes Mayor), and Officer Nicole Mattson (Virginia Police Department), and other judges to be announced. Competition emcees are Shannon Gunderson and Jim Currie.

“As a past sponsor of Iron Range Housekeeping Olympics, Fortune Bay Resort Casino is looking forward to hosting this year’s event,” said Brian Anderson, Public Relations Manager at Fortune Bay. “It’s a good way to show our appreciation for hospitality staff that don’t always get enough recognition.”

The event culminates with a barbecue for all participants and team awards for first place (gold), second (silver) and third (bronze) as well as an award for the best team banner.

PHOTO: A view of last year’s high drama competition from the Iron Range Housekeeping Olympics Facebook page.

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