EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
For the first time in more than 30 years, the Eielson Air Force Base Goldrush Inn has been nominated for the Air Force Innkeeper Award.
Four bases across the Air Force were nominated to compete at the Air Force level for the award, which recognizes lodging operations that provide outstanding hotel-type accommodations and customer service to all their guests.
“The Innkeeper Award was put on hold in 2013,” said Steven Grim, the 354th Force Support Squadron lodging manager. “This is the first time in five years bases have been nominated, and we’ve been working very hard the last couple years to prepare.”
The members of the Goldrush made sure to put their best foot forward when preparing for the award, but for the most part it encompassed checking their daily operations, which they strive to always keep up to par.
“The award is more of an ongoing checklist of our everyday procedures,” said Grim. “They check our AF Form 1206, the Air Force lodging standards checklist and customer comment reviews.”
The Goldrush Inn constantly supports Eielson’s mission of prepare, deploy and enable. Major exercises, such as RED FLAG-Alaska, take place multiple times a year, and the personnel at the Goldrush are always in high gear to support the influx of travelers.
“You can’t always please everyone, but we take pride in trying to make people as comfortable as possible,” said Airman Raina Owens, a 354th FSS guest services representative. “I try to ensure everything is as clean and tidy as possible to give it a homey feel.”
As a Department of Defense lodging operation, the Goldrush operates similarly to any commercial hotel. There are policies and budgets and they earn revenue through guest room and retail store sales.
“Part of my job is to ensure we stay on budget, but I also conduct a portion of daily room inspections,” said Grim. “We currently employ 53 dedicated civilian and military personnel who are key players in ensuring we give the best customer service we can.”
As the employees of the Goldrush Inn will tell you, “A good night’s rest is always great, especially at negative 48!”