Appointments & Promotions

New Castle Hotels & Resorts Promotes Alex Lugo to General Manager of Hilton Lexington

SHELTON, CT. February 28, 2017 — Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, a leading third-party management company and hotel developer, today announced the promotion of Alex Lugo to general manager of the 366 room Hilton Lexington Downtown.

Most recently, Lugo was the general manager for the Westin Jekyll Island where he oversaw the pre-opening phase of the $41 million project. In its first six months, the hotel earned three consecutive number two rankings and ended the year in the top 10% for guest experience among 143 Westin Hotels in North America as well as a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. For the past 12 years, Lugo has served in positions of increasing responsibility within the Starwood family of hotels, including The Westin Buckhead, Sheraton St. Louis City Center, The Westin Beach Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and The Westin & Sheraton Grand Bahama complex.

"Alex’s leadership of the Westin Jekyll Island during both the pre-and post-opening phases, coupled with his success working in convention center markets, demonstrate his readiness for a more complex operation in a top 100 market.” said Gerry Chase, president and COO in making the announcement. "Alex has earned the respect of his associates, hotel investors and market partners as well as the satisfaction of the hotel’s guests, and I have every confidence that he's ready for this next step in his career. After 35 years, we recognize that providing career opportunities to top performers is critical to New Castle’s continued success and I’m gratified that we were able to offer this opportunity to a talent like Alex."

"The Hilton Lexington enjoys tremendous demand drivers, two popular restaurants and meeting space that is second to none in the market," said Lugo. "But, I firmly believe that even a market leader can improve in terms of customer and associate satisfaction as well as investor returns. I look forward to applying my diverse hotel experience in both resort and city center hotels to an urban market and continue driving those operational measures to new heights."

Lugo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.

The Hilton Lexington Downtown boasts a full complement of amenities including an indoor pool and fitness center, two restaurants, Executive Club level rooms, and more than 20,000 square feet of stylish meeting space including two ballrooms. A Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the hotel is connected via skywalk to the Lexington Center, with more than 100 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and Rupp Arena, home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Overlooking Triangle Park, the downtown hotel is just 10 minutes from the Lexington Airport, Keeneland Race Track and five minutes from the University of Kentucky campus.

About New Castle Hotels & Resorts

The Hilton Lexington Downtown is operated by Shelton Conn. based New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with 20 hotels and resorts and nearly 3,500 rooms under contract or in development. New Castle’s growing portfolio of hotels spans 10 states and three Canadian provinces and includes several of Canada’s historic landmark resorts. The privately-held company was established by CEO, David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America, serving the United States and Canada. New Castle is a preferred operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton and Starwood families. For additional information, please go to www.newcastlehotels.com.

Contact:
Lauralee Dobbins
Lauralee@WriteTouchPR.com
856-979-8929

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.