LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- This is the 29th annual National Travel and Tourism Week.
Our region definitely knows the economic impact tourism has with about 370,000 jobs and $40 billion in business every year.
This week, with the help of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, we are honoring the people who make our tourism industry work -- the Hospitality Heroes. Today we meet Luz Elena Garcia.
Oscar Goodman walks arm and arm with his usual showgirls and finds his way through the Main Street Station Casino floor. They are headed to honor today's featured Hospitality Hero to surprise Garcia on the job.
Garcia has called Main street home since 1996. Working the day shift as a buffet runner puts Garcia on the front lines with hundreds of tourists every day. Many returning guests know her by name.
Management and fellow employees know her for a consistent smile and her wonderful customer service -- which earned her the title "Team Member of the Year."
Surprising Garcia with the Hospitality Hero award had her break into tears.
"I like keeping people happy,” she said “and I Love my job."
When not serving guests, Garcia volunteers at an animal shelter caring for pets without a home.