Appointments & Promotions

Benchmark Names Matt Hagerman as GM for 84-room Willows Lodge Near Seattle

Houston, Texas - April 3, 2012 - Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Matt Hagerman general manager for Willows Lodge, located in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country, Washington State’s storied viticulture region near Seattle and Bellevue. Willows Lodge is part of Benchmark Hospitality’s new collection of Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels SM. James Simkins, chief operating officer for Benchmark’s Personal Luxury properties, made the announcement.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Matt back to our company,” said Mr. Simkins. “He is a great example of a leader who understands the nuances of luxury hospitality, and the dynamics of operating a first-class hotel with a highly motivated team of professionals.”

Matt Hagerman was previously the successful general manager of The Woodmark Hotel, located in Kirkland, Washington. Mr. Hagerman was a key member of the opening management team for the luxurious and award-winning Hotel 1000, a Benchmark Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels property. He also served as hotel manager for the acclaimed property. Earlier in his career he held positions within sales and operations for leading hospitality brands.

Mr. Hagerman is a graduate of the University of Washington. He resides in the Seattle area.

About Willows Lodge
Willows Lodge, a Northwest-style lodge located in Woodinville Wine Country just outside of Seattle, features 84 luxury guestrooms, a full-service spa and high tech-equipped meeting space. Executive Chef Bobby Moore’s American regional cuisine at Barking Frog reflects the seasonal and organic produce found in Puget Sound, and is artfully paired with an extensive list of Washington wines. Willows Lodge also boasts Fireside Cellars, offering a casual and sophisticated atmosphere tucked away in the lobby with an outdoor patio overlooking the expansive surrounding landscape. Operated by Benchmark Hospitality International, Willows Lodge is a member of Benchmark’s exclusive Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM For more information, visit www.willowslodge.com.

About Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels
Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM represents a hand-picked group of 14 luxurious properties, in spectacular U.S. destinations coast to coast and off shore. Each hotel and resort delivers personal luxury in a spirit true to its own distinctive locale, yet in unison with the collection’s shared mission. A division of Benchmark Hospitality International, for 30 years a leading US-based hospitality management company, and led by a proven and seasoned team of award-winning luxury hospitality professionals, Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM is the preferred choice of guests who yearn for transformation over accommodation, customization over conformity, and inspiration over predictability. With Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM, luxury is always personal.

About Benchmark Hospitality International
Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM. The independent company, launched in 1980, is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Benchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers. The company's eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark's properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.

.

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: There is Good News
The good news for those hotels that host Group Meetings and Conferences is that there is good news. The effects of the Great Recession have mostly worn off and corporations are now investing again in training and development, which translates into a robust booking pace. And though demand is strong, there are new developments within this sector that must be addressed in order to effectively compete, and to meet the expectations of conference attendees. First, and perhaps foremost, is wireless communications. According to a recent survey, the average participant arrives at a conference with three mobile devices in tow so it is imperative that a WiFi network be free, fast and reliable. And though this is the #1 issue for planning professionals in the meetings business today, there are numerous other concerns. There is a growing trend to incorporate out-of-the-ordinary occasions into the Group Meeting experience. Some examples of this might include partnering with local venues such as wineries; natural and historic wonders; intriguing adventure resources; and unique off-site reception and dinner venues - all of which might be a factor in deciding where to locate for a conference. Team-building activities are also making a resurgence. Some groups are looking for unusual ways to motivate, inspire, and build camaraderie, which might include a volunteerism initiative, like building bikes for kids in the local community. Of course, food and beverage options are also important and like the trend in hotel restaurants, planners want a variety of healthy choices to be available for meal menus and refreshment breaks. They are looking for food and beverages that will “perk up” their participants, not lull them into lethargy. The September Hotel Business Review will examine what some hotels are doing to facilitate this segment of their business in order to meet the expectations of group planners and attendees.