UNIVERSITY PARK - The Nittany Lion Inn has been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Rating for 2011.
The AAA Four Diamond Rating is assigned to lodgings that feature upscale accommodations and offer an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.
The Inn is part of a select group of AAA Four Diamond Award winners. Just 4 percent of the more than 31,000 AAA-rated lodgings and 2.8 percent of the 27,000 AAA-rated restaurants were awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond designation for 2010.
"This is something we've been working toward for some time," said Jim Purdum, general manager of Penn State Hospitality Services. "I am most proud of the people involved and the hard work that's gone into establishing the service standards that make the Inn such a special destination and now one of a handful of Four Diamond hotels in Pennsylvania."
"AAA Four Diamond Award winners consistently deliver superior hospitality marked by personal service and extensive amenities in high-quality, comfortable surroundings," said Michael Petrone, AAA director of Tourism Information Development. "To achieve and maintain this level of service is a commendable accomplishment, and AAA is pleased to honor the Nittany Lion Inn."
The Four Diamond award comes as the hotel celebrates its 80th year of operation. The Inn has seen extensive additions and renovations over the years and has enhanced staffing and training as part of the pursuit of this important and prestigious designation.
"The University Board of Trustees and Leadership made the commitment to invest in the Inn understanding the need for a higher level of service," Purdum said. "This achievement could never have happened without their support. As the living room of the university, this designation is an appropriate reflection of the quality that Penn State represents."
The assignment of an AAA rating of One to Five Diamonds marks the completion of a successful evaluation by one of AAA's professional inspectors. AAA inspectors evaluate and rate more than 58,000 lodgings and restaurants in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Individually they conduct more than 1,100 property evaluations per year and, collectively, have some 700 years of experience. The average tenure is 12 years, with the longest being 28 years. AAA inspectors work remotely and bring significant prior industry experience to the association.
AAA's Diamond Rating System is the only ratings system that covers all of North America and one of only two that conducts physical, on-site evaluations. It is the only system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property using guidelines made available to all establishments. AAA evaluates more properties than any other rating entity. Information about AAA Diamond Ratings and the complete 2010 Four and Five Diamond Award winners lists are accessible at AAA.com/News.