Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Mohonk Mountain House Appoints Barbara Stirewalt Spa Director

New, $13 million, 30,000-square-foot Spa

NEW PALTZ, NY, February 28, 2006. Barbara Stirewalt has been named Spa Director of the new, $13 million, 30,000-square-foot Spa at Mohonk Mountain House. Her devotion to indigenous spa programs and earth-friendly spa principles provides a perfect complement to the 137- year-old property, with its rich history of ecology. Located in the Shawangunk Mountains overlooking the Hudson Valley and set on 2,200 spectacular acres, Mohonk Mountain House is only 90 miles north of New York City.

With more than 20 years of experience, Stirewalt has helped open spas and fitness centers, provide concept and design development, and train hospitality staff. She most recently served as Spa Director of the Wintergarden Spa and Fitness Center at the Wintergreen Resort in Virginia.

"Stirewalt's extensive career in spas and hospitality, her love of nature, and her desire to provide guests with an experience that will nurture body, mind, and spirit in our unique setting blends all of the qualities we had hoped for in this position," said Bert Smiley, CEO and fourth generation descendant of the hotel's 19 th century founders.

Stirewalt holds a Masters of Professional Studies from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, along with multiple certifications in group and aquatic fitness instruction.

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings for 2015
As the economy continues to improve, hotels are finally luring back business travelers, including those who are participating in group meetings and conventions. According to The Global Business Travel Association, group travel spending has grown 5.3% to $117.1 billion in 2014, a figure that well exceeds previous expectations. Given that group business accounts for as much as 30-40% of total revenues for a hotel operation, this is welcome news indeed. Still, this is no time for complacency. Savvy hoteliers are incorporating new creative ideas into their operations in order to satisfy their clientele and to differentiate themselves for their competition, with the ultimate goal of making meetings easier, more comfortable and even more fun. The emphasis seems to be on making group meetings “less institutional” and “more residential”. One hotel chain has created meeting spaces that are more like lounges than standard conference rooms. Another offers its guests unusual food options like make-your-own trail mix stations and smoothie bars. Still another provides its guests with mobile apps that will let them make requests — from ordering coffee and food to changing the room temperature — without ever leaving the meeting room. Technological innovations are also of paramount concern as meeting planners are demanding that the latest innovations be available to attendees including universal wireless Internet access, videoconferencing capabilities, charging stations, and a secure protected environment in which to conduct proprietary business. Finally, some hotels are offering more breakout rooms in order to encourage smaller and more intimate interchanges among attendees after long group sessions throughout the day. The September Hotel Business Review will examine what some hotels are doing to facilitate this segment of their business and to meet the expectations of their guests.