Contact: Laurie McConnell
2022 Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Recreation and Tourism Presented to Richard Shaffer
BOISE, Idaho (October 19, 2022) —Governor Brad Little presented the 2022 Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Recreation and Tourism to Richard Shaffer yesterday during the Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism in Twin Falls.
The Director of Operations at the Wallace Inn, Mr. Shaffer arrived in historic Wallace in 1992 from New York City. Prior hospitality experience was gained at Caesars Tahoe, the Hyatt Regency Oakland, CA, LaCosta Hotel & Spa in Carlsbad, CA, Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle, and the Ramada Renaissance Times Square, NY. Born in Stroudsburg, PA., Shaffer graduated from Muhlenberg College and began his hospitality career in the Pocono Mountains resort communities.
Wallace was seeing fewer travelers due to the opening of the I-90 Bypass that passed over the city and Mr. Shaffer was tasked with bringing attention and visitors to Wallace by his mentor Harry F. Magnuson. He accomplished this with his self-appointment as the Prime Minister of Historic Wallace and by capitalizing on the quirkiness of the town, including its prominence as the ‘Center of the Universe’ and ‘Silver Capital of the World.’ A willing storyteller, Mr. Shaffer is a valuable resource for all Idaho visitors, no matter their destination.
Mr. Shaffer served six years on the Idaho Travel Council as the At-Large representative with a year as Chairman. He is most proud to have played a role in the council’s efforts to help tourism partners adapt to pandemic circumstances and increase accountability for grant recipients. He speaks most fondly of fellow council members, staff, partners, and people he worked with along the way.
Committed to his community and the tourism and hospitality industry, Mr. Shaffer currently serves as Treasurer for the Idaho Lodging & Restaurant Association, President of Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Trails, a Wallace City Council member, chair of the Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce marketing committee and a Spokane Public Radio board member. He volunteers on various projects, including tending bar at the Snakepit in Enaville.
Previous board and leadership positions include Co-President and President of the Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce, President of the North Idaho Tourism Alliance. President of the North Idaho Travel Committee, President of the 6th Street Melodrama, and President of Skal International’s Spokane-North Idaho Club. He also served as a board member on the Historic Wallace Preservation Planning & Zoning Committee, and as a Tourism/Recreation Advisor to the Idaho Recreation and Park Association. Mr. Shaffer has participated in multiple domestic and Canadian motorcoach, bike, and adventure shows. He received the Governor’s Take Pride in Idaho Award for tourism marketing in 2007 and was named the 2012 Hotelier of the Year by the Idaho Lodging & Restaurant Association.
“It is an honor to receive this award. I’m blessed to have found my roots in Idaho and can’t imagine being anywhere else,” says Mr. Shaffer. “The greatness of Idaho lies not only in its incredible beauty and recreation opportunities but in its kind, friendly people,” he adds. “I love telling our Idaho story.”
Mr. Shaffer, his wife Dena, and their pup Calamity Belle Starr have dual residency and enjoy time between historic Wallace and Coeur d’Alene. An avid outdoor adventurer, Mr. Shaffer welcomes every opportunity for biking, hiking, kayaking, golfing, and skiing. With his marriage, he became a father of two and a grandfather of five, and he thrives in providing and participating in outdoor fun and entertainment with the whole family.
Image: Governor Brad Little and Richard Shaffer (right) after the presentation of the award.