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The Don CeSar Names Seasoned Executives to Key Leadership Roles

Four Hospitality Industry Veterans to Usher Landmark Historic Hotel into its New Era

ST. PETE BEACH, FL. August 21, 2017The Don CeSar, Florida’s iconic “Pink Palace,” announces strategic executive leadership appointments as part of its dedication to ensuring the future of the National Historic Landmark is as rich and storied as its history, ahead of its 90th anniversary in January 2018, continuing its legacy as a destination for generations to come.

The AAA Four Diamond, 277-room Don CeSar adds Todd Gehrke as director of sales & marketing, Patrick Faas as director of food & beverage and Christopher Jennings as director of rooms. The trio of new hires follows the appointment of Richard Staley to general manager earlier this year to lead the newly independent hotel.

Richard Staley, General Manager

Drawing on more than 30 years of hospitality management experience, a majority of those at resorts throughout Florida, Richard Staley is responsible for overseeing all operations at The Don CeSar in addition to sister property, Beach House Suites by The Don CeSar located half a mile away from the main resort. Before his arrival at The Don CeSar in February 2017, when the property transitioned to an independent hotel, Staley served as general manager of Innisbrook, A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Todd Gehrke, Director of Sales & Marketing

A 20-plus-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Todd Gehrke brings a wealth of industry knowledge and luxury sales & marketing experience to The Don CeSar. In his new position, Gehrke leads and implements sales & marketing strategies for The Don CeSar while staying ahead of the curve on trends and innovative concepts to create memorable experiences for guests. Gehrke’s previous roles include director of sales & marketing at The Madeline Hotel and Residences in Telluride, Colo. and director of group sales & marketing at The Telluride Tourism Board.

Patrick Faas, Director of Food & Beverage

Patrick Faas has overseen successful food and beverage programs at award-winning luxury resorts including Turtle Bay Resort and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, both on Oahu. His role at The Don CeSar includes ensuring high-level quality and service across the property’s six restaurants and lounges, in-room dining, and banquet offerings in addition to Beach House Suites by The Don CeSar.

Christopher Jennings, Director of Rooms

As director of rooms, Christopher Jennings plans and manages day-to-day operations in the rooms division and related areas to achieve guest satisfaction and quality service. Jennings brings several years of front office management experience at iconic, luxury resorts including The St. Regis Princeville Resort on Kauai, Baha Mar Casino in the Bahamas and The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz.

ABOUT THE DON CESAR

The Don CeSar opened at the height of the Great Gatsby era in 1928. Known as Florida’s iconic “Pink Palace,” The Don CeSar is reminiscent of a Mediterranean-style castle with its majestic pink exterior, historic grandeur and striking architectural design elements set upon the white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico in St. Pete Beach. A AAA Four Diamond property, National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Don CeSar features 277 luxurious guest rooms, including 36 suites, and six restaurants and lounges: the award-winning Maritana Grille, serving locally sourced, coastal cuisine; Sea Porch Café, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor, an old-fashioned ice cream shop; The Rowe Bar, where legendary hospitality meets the modern bar scene; The Beachcomber Bar & Grill located poolside; and the Lobby Bar at the hotel’s epicenter. The Don CeSar also offers two deluxe heated pools, 22,000 sq. ft. of indoor function space, more than 16,000 sq. ft. of creative outdoor space, the 11,000 sq. ft. full service Spa Oceana, fitness center, Camp CeSar Kids Camp, The Shoppes of The Don, and access to beach rentals and water sports. Located half a mile from The Don CeSar is Beach House Suites by The Don CeSar featuring 70 newly renovated one-bedroom suites complete with private balconies to take in the picturesque views of Florida's Gulf Coast and Boca Ciega Bay. The Don CeSar is approximately 30 minutes from Tampa International Airport and 25 minutes from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. For more information or reservations, please call 727.360.1881 or visit www.doncesar.com.

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.