The  Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau (SLCVB) bestowed its highest honor, the Tourism Achievement Award,  to the Salt Lake City Department of Airports and to Valter Nassi of Cucina Toscana as part of the SLCVB's Second Quarter Board Meeting. This award honors Bureau members and Community organizations for their outstanding efforts in supporting the mission of the SLCVB and the larger tourism community of Salt Lake County.

"The Salt Lake City Department of Airports is an essential hospitality partner, championing Salt Lake as the perfect destination for recreation, tourism and conventions," commented Scott Beck, president and CEO of the SLCVB. " We are deeply grateful for their strategic partnership and ongoing support of our mission, and our state's ever-increasing tourism economy," he continued.
Located just 15 minutes from the Salt Palace Convention Center and downtown hotels, the proximity of the airport to world-class meeting, recreation and tourism facilities is unmatched in the country. Touted as 'well-managed' by Delta Air Lines' CEO Richard Anderson, the Salt Lake City International Airport is one of the nation's most on-time airports, rarely closes due to weather,  is debt-free and employs over 570 people. The airport served 20 million passengers in 2009. The airport ranks 22nd busiest in the United States and 59th busiest in the world.

Eight air carriers serve Salt Lake City International Airport. It is a major hub for Delta Air Lines. Delta currently operates 672 daily flights to 94 destinations from Salt Lake City International Airport. With non-stop flights to Tokyo and Paris, Salt Lake's gates to international tourism have been opened wide.

The airport is operated and managed by the Salt Lake City Department of Airports, a department of Salt Lake City Corporation. The department also operates South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan, and Tooele Valley Airport, general aviation/reliever facilities.
"Since coming to Salt Lake, Valter Nassi has championed our city like no other individual. Valter, founder of Cucina Toscana, has been a tireless advocate for Salt Lake as destination for tourism and conventions. His ceaseless efforts to promote Salt Lake as a destination that offers the best of everything, from unsurpassed recreation opportunities to a world-class convention and meeting facility, have not gone unnoticed. We are grateful to have hospitality partners with such passion," said Beck.

Nassi, a long-time advocate for Salt Lake, has had a significant impact on the Bureau's efforts to recruit conventions to Salt Lake by providing the best in service, ambiance and cuisine. "Valter is a man who is doing what he was put on this planet to a restaurateur. Valter loves what he does and it shows; his old world elegance and savior faire are rare, anywhere," continued Beck.

Nassi came to SLC from New York City in November of 1996. Coaxed from NYC by the CEO of American Stores, Victor Lund, Valter quickly fell in love with the Wasatch front and the people of Salt Lake City. Nassi was born and raised in Monte san Savino, Italy, a small medieval village south of Firenze, Italy. He has traveled the world working in restaurants: London, England; Gstaad, Switzerland; Genoa, Italia; Nairobi, Kenya; New York City and now Salt Lake City.  His Tuscan kitchen and the food he creates all go back to his roots in Monte san Savino, the kitchen of his mother and the regional food products of his father.  He learned all about formaggio, fungi and tartufi from Corraggio Nassi. He comes from a tradition of bread, food, wine, mushrooms, sauces, pastas and family. Nassi's love for his guests is only a touch of his love for his family, friends and as he says "my Salt Lake City".

Past recipients of the award include: Jack Gallivan, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Governor of the State of Utah; the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Tom Guinney, John Williams and Tom Seig from Gastronomy, Inc.; Earl Holding; Kenneth Knight; Richard E. Davis, Larry H Miller, the Utah Jazz; and many other business and community leaders