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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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Muskoka resort backs down on plan to take portion of staffers' tips
An angry backlash has forced a Marriott beach resort in Muskoka to scrap a scheme forcing spa employees to give almost half their tips to the hotel or be fired. The sudden switch by the Rosseau Muskoka follows a front-page Star story detailing the ultimatum facing workers since June 11, the same day New Democrat MPP Michael Prue proposed a ban on "tipping out" to bosses later endorsed by Premier Dalton McGuinty. "I have no doubt they got spanked," Prue said Thursday, referring to the hotel near Port Carling where rooms start at $269 nightly. His private members' bill to keep tips in the pockets of workers was backed by the minority Liberal premier as an idea whose time has come, given that customers leave gratuities as a reward for workers who provide service to them - not the management. The hotel appears to have received that message loud and clear. "In response to feedback from staff and clientele about our company's recent decision to change our current gratuity structure at Spa Rosseau, we believe it prudent to reverse this decision and to maintain the gratuity structure as it is," general manager Tony Tamburro said in a statement to the Star. By Rob Ferguson for The Star.com.
The Hyatt Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa in Weston is getting new management and a new name.
The 23-acre resort complex will no longer be run by Hyatt hotels effective Aug. 31. New managers starting Sept. 1 will be Benchmark Hospitality International, a company known for running conference centers, the two companies announced Friday. The 501-room property will be renamed Bonaventure Resort & Spa, said its owner, Hospitality Investing Group. Hyatt said it will lay off 285 employees at the resort Aug. 31 as part of the transition. Benchmark "looks forward to offering opportunities to existing hotel employees to continue working at the property," the companies said. Terms of reservations for stays Sept. 1 or later will be honored, according to the joint statement. Benchmark runs more than two dozen properties in 15 states from New York to Hawaii. It manages five resorts in Florida, including the 124-suite One Bal Harbour, 159-unit Marenas Beach Resort in the Miami area and the 146-unit Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, according to its website. The 501-unit Bonaventure will be the largest property run by the Texas-based company to date. By Doreen Hemlock for The Sentinel.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Kevin Herbst General Manager for Chaminade Resort & Spa, Santa Cruz. The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, July 2012 ... Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Kevin Herbst general manager for Chaminade Resort & Spa, a Four Diamond property overlooking Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz, California. Greg Parsons, Benchmark's senior vice president, made the announcement. "I am very pleased to welcome Kevin to Chaminade," said Mr. Parsons. "He brings significant leadership experience in hotel operations as well as sales & marketing to his new role, which will be invaluable for our resort." Kevin Herbst was previously Benchmark Hospitality's interim general manager for The Heldrich Hotel, located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He also served as interim director of sales & marketing for the property. Prior to joining Benchmark Hospitality International, Mr. Herbst held leadership positions on property and regionally for Hyatt Hotels, Tishman Hotels and Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Herbst is a graduate of Purdue University. He is relocating to Santa Cruz with his family.
Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. (SVO) has promoted Steve Williams to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Williams, a 12-year veteran of the company, will oversee the day-to-day operations of SVO. This new role, effective July 1, 2012, was created as part of organizational changes made by SVO's parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), to combine the company's North American and Latin American regions with SVO under a new Americas region. As part of the organizational change, Serge Rivera, who was Chief Executive Officer of SVO, was promoted to Co-President of Starwood Americas.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Rezidor has opened their very first hotel in Corsica - the outstanding Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Ajaccio Bay; owned by the group Ollandini and representing the most significant hotel investment in Corsica since 30 years. The 170 rooms-property is located near Porticcio; right at the glorious Agosta Beach. Guests enjoy a true paradise combining beautiful landscape, minimalist design, great food and wellness, and personalized services. "We are delighted to open this resort together with Jean-Marc Ollandini and his group. It further strengthens our successful, contemporary resort portfolio, and underlines the leading position of Radisson Blu as Europe's largest upper upscale brand", commented Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor.
MOVENPICK Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreeement to manage the Movenpick Resort & Spa, Quy Nhon, in Vietnam and the Movenpick Hotel Makati in Makati City, the Philippines. "The new properties will bring the number of hotels we have under development in Asia to 18," said Andreas Mattmüller, COO Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Middle East and Asia. "We already operate seven hotels in Asia, including two in Thailand, two in Vietnam and one each in the Philippines, India and Singapore. Our vision is to operate 25 hotels in the region by 2015," he added. The Mövenpick Resort & Spa, Quy Nhon will be the company's third hotel in Vietnam, following openings in Saigon and Hanoi. Scheduled to launch by end-2015, the 180-room resort will feature 52 cliff and hill villas, a spa, a 600m2 ballroom, several restaurants, cafés and bars, a boat jetty, a gym, and a wedding studio. Slated to open in 2016, the Mövenpick Hotel Makati will be the third Mövenpick in the Philippines after the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Cebu and a property on Huma Island, Palawan.
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