BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — Why was the 133-room Beaufort Hotel named the best boutique hotel in America by USA Today?

Officials say it isn’t just because of the hotel’s impressive river views.

“Right now small businesses drive the backbone of our country and Beaufort Hotel is one example,” said Beaufort Mayor Sharon Harker. “They provide great jobs and benefits there at the Beaufort Hotel; it boosts our economy, all of our small businesses do. And it also provides that continuity for our community, builds a strong and vibrant community all the way around.”

Tom Kies, president of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, said the hotel’s award will help boost tourism locally.

“Over the last two years we’ve had more people visit than we ever have,” Kies said. “It started during the pandemic. It continued during 2021. And 2022 is promising to be a record-breaking year for tourism here as well. We do know that we have about 70,000 people who live here year-round. And that goes up to about 250,000 During tourist season.”

Beaufort Hotel sales and marketing director Trey Hardesty said the competition to win the award was stressful. Beaufort Hotel was nominated among the top 20 boutique hotels by USA Today. After a month of competition, voters chose Beaufort Hotel as the winner.

Hardesty credited the hotel’s owners, customers and employees for the accomplishment.

“We have over 100 associates of the property,” Hardesty said. “Here in Carteret County, that’s a lot of people that have been employed under one roof. So I know we take a lot of pride in that. And then it just speaks to the quality of work that they do.”

Hardesty said the hotel typically hosts more than 200 guests at a time.