Barnes is the manager and co-owner of Days Inn & Suites in Poteau Oklahoma. She has been in the hospitality Industry since 1988. Since opening, the Days Inn & Suites she has been awarded “Best Days Inn Worldwide” twice in addition to other numerous awards. The Days Inn & Suites has remained in the top 10 for customer service since it opened in 2002.
She will be serving on the Government Affairs Committee that is responsible for keeping abreast of proposed or existing legislation that will affect the hospitality industry either locally or nationally.
Barnes is also a member of AHLA (American Hotel Lodging Association) and WIL (Women In Lodging). WIL is exclusively for Oklahoma female hospitality professionals and it provides them with opportunities to connect with top professionals nationwide. WIL fuels the mission to promote women’s leadership.
Barnes stated that she knew they were considering her when she received a phone call in December and then a formal nomination in January.
“OHLA saw some of the information I had written opposing third party Online Travel Companies,” said Barnes. “These companies such as Expedia, Hotels.com, and Priceline beat our states, counties, and cities out of regular sales tax dollars. Oklahoma and several other states and some cities are involved in legal suits against the OTC’s. I even wrote about the issue in my weekly column last year. I support the OHLA and AHLA efforts to enforce collection of these monies.
“I have been very adamant, because, the more the public understands how these companies operate I hope they will no longer use them. The OTC’s have great flashy commercials that are very convincing, however, the best way to book online is to contact the franchise hotel brand website. I have also voiced our concerns as an industry to our state agencies such as the Oklahoma Tourism Department. The tourism department was approached to list all hotels on their website through Travelocity. The OK Tourism Department did not fall for their ploy which would have cost our state and municipalities more tax dollars.”
Barnes added, “I just attended my orientation and first board meeting. I am honored to serve my industry. I will continue to be passionate about companies that beat our state out of much needed tax dollars.”