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SMASHotels Names Key Members for Executive Team at Hotel EMC2 Opening May 2017

CHICAGO, IL. April 27, 2017 – Hotel EMC2, part of Autograph Collection Hotels, is thrilled to welcome its executive team ahead of its highly anticipated opening in May 2017. The boutique hotel is the first of its kind and will celebrate the convergence of art and science through its design, cuisine, and guest experience. The team of seasoned industry veterans has been thoughtfully selected to be a driving force in delivering on the brand’s promise of providing exactly like nothing else experiences for guests. The team includes: Christine Wechter, General Manager; Brandon Brumback, Executive Chef; Rebecca Royster, Director of Food and Beverage and Stefanie Rowe, Director of Sales and Marketing.

“I wanted to take the guest experience to the next level by engaging a talented team that shares my vision of building a high-end, non-traditional travel destination that feeds the creative spirit and empowers the mind,” says Scott Greenberg, president & CEO, SMASHotels and founder, Hotel EMC2. “Together with Autograph Collection Hotels, we will bring the distinct elements of this one-of-a-kind hotel to life while fostering a stimulating environment for both guests and team members.”

“We’ve taken an unconventional approach to hiring by curating a team of energetic individuals who are not only professionally qualified, but encapsulate the whimsical and creative spirit of the hotel,” says Christine Wechter, general manager, Hotel EMC2. “Everyone brings a unique aspect of art and science to the hotel. Our team members have studied a range of subject matters, including: neuroscience; architecture and design; engineering; dance and music; and everything in between. I am ecstatic to work alongside these talented individuals as we move toward the opening of Hotel EMC2 later this spring.”

To further showcase the hotel’s devotion to science and innovation, two three-foot tall robots – named Leo and Cleo – will join the team upon opening. Referred to as the Senior Transport Ninjas, the Savioke manufactured team members will independently journey from floor to floor via the hotel elevator, delivering room service items to guests.

Christine Wechter, General Manager At the helm of Hotel EMC2’s executive team is Christine Wechter, who will serve as general manager and play an integral role in delivering standout guest experiences that celebrate the convergence of art and science. In this role, Wechter will direct and oversee the day-to-day operations of the boutique hotel, which includes high-end accommodations and amenities; meetings and events; and distinct culinary offerings.

During her 20-year career, Wechter has served in directorial and operational roles across the industry, including within Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she built tight-knit teams, provided unprecedented associate satisfaction, improved stakeholder fiscal results, and applied innovative guest personalization. In her most recent role with Starwood, Wechter and her team were awarded “2015 Hotel of the Year” by the brand in the North American East region.

Brandon Brumback, Executive Chef As executive chef, Brandon Brumback will be responsible for the development and creation of all culinary programs for Hotel EMC2 and the Albert, the hotel’s 120-seat contemporary American restaurant. Brumback has worked in the elite kitchens of Napa Valley’s Bouchon Bistro and The French Laundry, as well as acclaimed Chicago restaurants Blackbird, Ria and Grace. Over the past several years, Brumback has been an influential player at various Chicago dining institutions, including the two Michelin-starred restaurants Acadia and Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver (under the prestigious Union Square Hospitality Group).

Rebecca Royster, Director of Food and Beverage Rebecca Royster will serve as the director of food and beverage of Hotel EMC2 and the Albert. Prior to joining Hotel EMC2, Royster worked with Hogsalt Hospitality, where she provided her creativity and curiosity to the bar and management teams at some of the group’s most popular restaurant concepts in Chicago, including: Gilt Bar, Au Cheval, Dillman’s Delicatessen, Cocello, and most recently Maude's Liquor Bar, where she was general manager and beverage director.

Stefanie Rowe, Director of Sales and Marketing Stefanie Rowe joins the team as director of sales and marketing, where she will be responsible for establishing strategic partnerships, working with the management team to achieve overall revenue goals, and building awareness of the property. Rowe brings more than 12 years of hospitality experience to her role, including an eight-year tenure at Marriott International. Most recently, Rowe served as director of sales and marketing at Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile.

Hotel EMC2 is situated in the heart of the famed Magnificent Mile Shopping District within the vibrant Streeterville neighborhood and is pedestrian-friendly to Chicago’s greatest attractions, shopping and dining. For further information about Hotel EMC2, visit: www.hotelemc2.com, and for more information about Autograph Collection Hotels, visit: www.autographhotels.com

About Hotel EMC2

Hotel EMC2, boasting 195 beautifully designed rooms and almost 2,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, is set to open its doors in spring 2017. A hotel that embodies imagination, inspiration and innovation, it captures the creative spirit: the essential, energetic ingredient that has led to the scientific understanding of the universe and that acts as the bedrock to artistic expression. Hotel EMC2 strives to activate the mind through modern, upscale amenities, a restorative yet stimulating atmosphere and sumptuous, seasonal cuisine to enrich the soul, allowing guests to feel right at home. This one-of-a-kind, boutique hotel is situated in the heart of the famed Magnificent Mile Shopping District within the vibrant Streeterville neighborhood and is pedestrian-friendly to Chicago’s greatest attractions, shopping and dining. A luxurious urban refuge, Hotel EMC2 is dedicated to providing an artistic and creative experience, where we lodge those that carry a pencil, a paintbrush or a dream.

About Autograph Collection Hotels

Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., celebrates individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at more than 100 luxury lifestyle hotels in nearly 30 countries and territories, among the world’s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, Autograph Collection properties are hand selected for their rich character and uncommon details. A personal realization of an individual founder’s vision, these hotels are defined by unique design, differentiated guest experiences and their meaningful role in locality. For more information, please visit www.autographhotels.com.

Contact:
Joanna Meagher
jmeagher@hensonconsulting.com
+ 1.312.374.8570

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.