Cabarrus County CVB honors hospitality partners during eighth annual Celebrate Cabarrus

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CONCORD, NC (December 6, 2021) –  The Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau honored area hospitality and tourism professionals on Thursday, December 2 during their annual Celebrate Cabarrus and Golden Helmet Awards event.

“Throughout the pandemic and beyond, our hospitality partners have worked incredibly hard to overcome challenges while supporting our community every step of the way,” said Cabarrus County CVB President and CEO Donna Carpenter. “We are thankful for their continued commitment and are so proud to celebrate their achievements.”

The 2021 Golden Helmet Award recipients are:

Attraction of the Year – Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Hotel of the Year – Great Wolf Lodge
Restaurant of the Year – Johnny Rogers BBQ & Burgers
Small Business of the Year – Market Street Studios
Outstanding Ambassador – Senator Paul Newton
Unsung Hero – Linda Brown, Great Wolf Lodge
Hospitality Professional of the Year – Babette Huitt, Charlotte Motor Speedway
Hospitality Humanitarian Award – Greg Walter, Charlotte Motor Speedway
Hometown Hero – Mike Downs, Cabarrus County
Destination Visionary Award – City of Concord
Smith Family Lifetime Achievement Award – Noelle Rhodes Scott, Cabarrus Arts Council

The Golden Helmet Awards honor those who make memorable experiences for visitors through exceptional customer service and go beyond the call of duty to wow guests and strengthen our destination’s reputation.

Additional special recognitions during the program included Housekeeping Employees of the Year, Top Visitor Center Referrals, the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, and Brand Ambassador Kevin Keels.

In 2020, tourism in Cabarrus County generated $287.5 million in visitor spending. For more information on the contribution of tourism in Cabarrus County, view “The Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties”—a study prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics.

About the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau
As a globally recognized destination marketing organization through Destination International’s Accreditation Program (DMAP), the CCCVB is dedicated to promoting Cabarrus County as a visitor destination and enhancing the complete visitor experience. We also represent and support the interests of the local tourism industry and promote public awareness of the importance of tourism. For more, visit or find us at and @VisitCabarrus on Twitter and Instagram.


Media Contact:
Julie Hinson, TMP
Communications Manager