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Gettys Promotes Nicholas to Principal … and More

(July 2017) posted on Mon Jul 31, 2017

News for the week of July 31, 2017

Multidisciplinary hospitality design firm The Gettys Group has promoted Ben Nicholas to principal. Nicholas, who was a Boutique 18 honoree in 2006, began his career as an intern in the firm’s Chicago headquarters 15 years ago and was most recently senior director. His work on Columbus, Ohio’s Hotel LeVeque was profiled in Boutique Design’s May edition.

Ben Nicholas. Photo: Courtesy of The Gettys Group

Floss Barber Inc. of Philadelphia has hired three designers:
• Michelle Del Valle: Tapped as the firm’s project manager, Del Valle previously worked at Norristown, Pennsylvania-based BartonPartners, where she specialized in hospitality and multi-family design.
• Annie Marchessault: After working for two years at Floss Barber as a part-time junior designer while earning her master’s of science in interior architecture & design from Drexel University, Marchessault has joined the firm as a full-time designer. The former attorney worked on the firm’s Runway Designed Space for BDNY 2016.
• Erin Taylor: Taylor previously worked for an architecture/engineering firm that specialized in military design. She graduated last year from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a minor in visual studies.

Floss Barber
Michelle Del Valle, Annie Marchessault and Erin Taylor. Photo: Courtesy of Floss Barber Inc.

Davidson Hotels & Resorts has named Michelle Engstrom corporate director of venue marketing and programming for its lifestyle/luxury division, Pivot Hotels & Resorts. Engstrom was previously at SLS Las Vegas, where she was director of business affairs for nightlife. Her career also includes stints with Bolthouse Productions/SBE and TAO Group.

Michelle Engstrom. Photo: Courtesy of Davidson Hotels & Resorts

Debra DeShong has joined MGM Resorts Intl. as vice president of global industry affairs. DeShong most recently served as executive vice president and managing director of public affairs for Subject Matter, a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C.

Vacation rental management company Vacasa has appointed Bob Milne as chief operations officer. The former president of Wyndham Vacation Rentals’ North America division founded his own vacation rental company, The Resort Co., and grew its portfolio to more than 1,000 rentals before it to Wyndham Worldwide in 2011.

Bob Milne. Photo: Courtesy of Vacasa

The Pala Casino Spa & Resort in California has unveiled plans for a major expansion and renovation that will add a 349-key hotel tower to the property. Work on the $170 million project will begin in October and is slated to be completed in May 2019. In addition to the new tower, the project will involve converting the existing resort pool into a multi-pool/entertainment complex; the construction of additional hotel suites that will overlook the Starlight Theater event lawn and pool complex; an expansion of the gaming/casino bar space; a remodel of the restaurant promenade; a top-to-bottom refresh of the casino interior; and a renovation of the existing hotel tower. Once completed, the property will be home to 854 rooms and suites, and its casino will have grown from 90,000 to more than 102,000 sq. ft.

The MGM Grand Detroit hotel plans to debut the first Topgolf Swing Suite in Michigan this September. The space will feature three of the sports entertainment brand’s golf simulators, lounge seating and high-definition TVs. It will be similar to the first-ever Swing Suite, which opened in January at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston.

Four Seasons
The Topgolf Swing Suite at the Four Seasons in Houston. (A similar design is planned for MGM Grand Detroit.) Photo: Courtesy of Topgolf

RockBridge Capital of Ohio has sold the Iowa City Sheraton hotel to Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. Davidson Hotels & Resorts will continue to manage the nine-story, 234-key hotel, which will undergo a renovation next year with plans to relaunch as Graduate Iowa City by summer 2018. Upon conversion to the Graduate Hotels brand, the property will operate under Pivot Hotels & Resorts, Davidson's lifestyle/luxury division.

The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) has completed the acquisition of the 302-key Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel in Irving, Texas, for $46 million. The seller was not disclosed. PM Hotel Group will operate the hotel, which marks BPG’s 7,600th room developed/acquired since its inception in 1993.


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