Appointments & Promotions

Benchmark Appoints Kristina Turner Director of Marketing for Villas of Grand Cypress and The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando

HOUSTON, TX. March 28, 2017 - The Woodlands - BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has named Kristina Turner area director of marketing for the Forbes Four Star-rated Villas of Grand Cypress, a Gemstone Collection property, and The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property that opened its first phase on March 10, 2017. Both resorts are located near Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Florida. Ted Davis, chief sales & marketing office for Benchmark, made the announcement.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Kristina to our company,” said Mr. Davis. “Not only is she supremely qualified, but she comes to us with extensive knowledge and insights into the Orlando resort market, which will serve these two remarkable properties well. We look forward to her leadership at both resorts.”

Kristina Turner comes to Benchmark with nearly two decades of sales and marketing experience. She was most recently director of eCommerce for Hilton, where she led a team of 16 professionals overseeing 600 franchise properties in Florida, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Southeast Atlantic region. Prior to this Ms. Turner served as the regional eCommerce manager for Hilton. She began with the company as regional coordinator of sales & marketing.

Ms. Turner graduated from Everest University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She was part of Hilton’s prestigious High Performer program. Kristina Turner and her husband reside in St. Cloud, Florida, where they also own and operate 3Beez Honey Farm, Inc.

About Villas of Grand Cypress

A hidden oasis tucked away in Orlando's Lake Buena Vista neighborhood (adjacent to Walt Disney World®), Villas of Grand Cypress presents a Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond experience unique to the area. Tree lined roads weave through this 1,500-acre retreat that offers 146 elegantly appointed guest suites and villas framing 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf. Accommodations at the Villas of Grand Cypress range from oversized suites to 2,800 square-foot four-bedroom villas, complete with full kitchens, living and dining areas, fireplaces, and extended patios for lounging and grilling. A strong emphasis on luxury service culture adds to a comprehensive roster of amenities that rival that of a large-scale resort: golf enthusiasts can perfect their swing with state-of-the-art learning technologies at the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf while non-golfers explore an abundance of other offerings, including on-site dining, in-room spa services, a swimming pool, bicycle rentals, fitness center, fishing, and access to the Grand Cypress Racquet Club, jogging and walking trails, and watersports on Lake Windsong. www.grandcypress.com

About The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando

The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando opened its first phase in March 2017 as an expansive 106-acre hotel destination located just minutes from the west entrance of Walt Disney World®. Set on Lake Austin and amid a portion of Central Florida’s conservation grounds, the resort is a sanctuary from the boisterous pace of the outside world, neighboring theme parks, luxury shopping, and entertainment centers. The Grove launched with 184 of its 878 residential-style suites with full kitchens, full-size washers and dryers, multiple bathrooms, and screened patios that offer guests all the comforts of home, while the resort’s hearty collection of amenities deliver the luxuries of a full-service resort. Guests currently enjoy three swimming pools, a selection of watersports at The Grove’s Lake Austin Pier, the intimate Escape Spa, fitness center, and a children’s game room, as well as food and drink options that include the large-scale grab-and-go-style Alfresco Market, Element and Zest lounges. 6,000 square feet of flexible space is available for weddings, family reunions, and other meetings and special events. Additional amenities will open later this year, including the three meal-a-day Valencia restaurant and the poolside Springs Bar & Grill. Added guest accommodations and The Grove’s signature Surfari Water Park with an interactive water structure with multiple slides, a lazy river stretching more than 725 feet, and a dual rider surf simulator, as well as its own poolside eatery, Longboard Bar & Grill, are also planned for 2017. The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando is managed by Houston, Texas-based BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company. For more information, please visit www.GroveResortOrlando.com. Follow The Grove via Facebook.com/thegroveresortorlando and on Twitter and Instagram at @thegroveresort.

About BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company

BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, is a trailblazer in the development, management, marketing and owner-advisory services of resorts, hotels, conference centers and exclusive private clubs. In addition to the company’s iconic Benchmark Resorts & Hotels portfolio, the Gemstone Collection is a distinctive luxury portfolio of independent hotels & resorts in highly preferred destinations. BENCHMARK’S distinguished and proven reputation is deeply-rooted in core values that are focused and aligned with exceeding ownership and stakeholder performance expectations. The combined portfolios feature nearly 70 unique and distinctive properties domestically and internationally. The company leadership and valued employees are passionately committed to delivering the industry’s most authentic, enchanted, soulful, vibrant, unrivaled and memory-making experience. BENCHMARK’S progressive “Be The Difference” culture and values are a cornerstone to the company’s nearly 40 years of extraordinary achievement and prosperity. Many properties have been recognized with the Benchmark Conference Centers® mark of meeting excellence. BENCHMARK, a global hospitality company, is based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, and has regional offices in Park City, Utah; Miami, Florida; New Brunswick, New Jersey; Seattle Washington; and Tokyo, Japan. www.benchmarkglobalhospitality.com To become a fan on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/BenchmarkResortsandHotels, www.facebook.com/GemstoneHotelCollection. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BenchmarkHotels, www.twitter.com/GemstoneHotels , on Instagram at www.instagram.com/benchmarkresortsandhotels, www.instagram.com/gemstonehotels, and on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/benchmarkhotels/gemstone-hotels . At LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/company/benchmark-hospitality

Contact:
Ken Ellens
KenEllens@aol.com
201-758-2864

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.