Yellowstone’s Rick Hoeninghausen Receives 2019 “Big WYO” Award

February 4, 2019—Cheyenne, Wyoming—On behalf of the entire hospitality and tourism industry, the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association and the Wyoming Office of Tourism happily recognized Rick Hoeninghausen as this year’s recipient of the annual “Big WYO” award.  

Rick works as the Director of Sales & Marketing at Xanterra in Yellowstone. Friends, family and industry partners celebrated Rick’s achievement at Tuesday’s “Salute to the Industry Gala” where Governor Mark Gordon presented the award.   

“It would be odd if a girl didn’t think her dad was the best at everything: the best story teller, the best bedtime song singer, the best monster slayer, the best dad,” Tori Hoeninghausen, Rick’s daughter, said. “From an early age, I’ve seen the dedication he has for tourism and the passion he has for Wyoming and Yellowstone.” 

Each year, the “Big WYO” award is sponsored by the WLRA and given to an individual who has done an outstanding job promoting and improving the tourism industry in Wyoming.       

Rick has spent over 20 years working to better the tourism industry. His joyous personality and hard work exemplify just a few of the many reasons that he received the award.    

“Needless to say, it’s not a surprise to me that he has finally received the professional recognition he deserves, and he can now add best in Wyoming Tourism to his list of achievements,” Tori added.   

As an advocate and supporter of lodging and tourism in Wyoming, Rick is known for his love of the Cowboy State, his joy working in Yellowstone and the care with which he raised a family in Wyoming.      

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the “Big WYO” award. Learn more at

Picture of 2019 Big WYO Award winner and friendsFrom Left to Right: Executive Director of Wyoming Office of Tourism Diane Shober, Governor Mark Gordon, “Big WYO” Recipient Rick Hoeninghausen, Karen Hoeninghausen, Tori Hoeninghausen, Executive Director of Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition Chris Brown