▪ CHANGING FACES
Sean Preiss has been promoted to director of sales at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon in Tucson. Preiss has been with the Lodge for six years, most recently as sales manager.
At Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz., Steven Paun has been appointed Access sales manager, responsible for booking and servicing smaller groups at the hotel. Paun had been convention services/systems manager at Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas.
The Wyndham Palm Springs, in Palm Springs, Calif., has made several staff appointments. Paul Rigazzi was promoted to area director of sales and, responsible for Palm Springs and surrounding areas. Paula Helm has been named executive conference manager. Helm will work with the Palm Springs Convention Center, adjacent to the hotel. David Folkeson is associate director of sales, responsible for the Midwest market. Janet Solitario will act as senior sales manager, focusing on the East Coast market. John Sullivan will be responsible for the Southwest market, and Steve Lee will concentrate on the Northwest.
The Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter has named Michael Krizanic as its new director of sales. Krizanic has been with Hilton Hotels for the past nine years.
The Westin St. John Resort & Villas, on St. John, U.S.V.I., has promoted Todd Hunter to director of group sales. Most recently, Hunter held the title of national sales manager.
At Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas, Catherine Ryan has been appointed director of sales. Ryan was previously director of sales for Couples Resorts in Miami.
Benjamin Powell has been appointed director of conference services at Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. The conference center is on 400 acres of land in Westchester County, 45 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Powell was previously conference floor manager at JP Morgan Chase Conference Center on Wall Street in New York City.
Arlington, Va.-based PGI Inc., an event and communications agency, has named Mike Burgess regional vice president of sales, West Coast. He will be based in Irvine, Calif. Burgess had been with Caribiner International, first based in England and then on the West Coast.
StarCite Inc., a provider of Web-based technologies and services for the meeting and events industry, has hired Cynthia Connors as regional vice president of sales for the West Coast. Connors rejoins StarCite after an eight-month stint with IDG publishing. Based in San Francisco, she will resume selling StarCite's enterprise technology and services to companies on the West Coast. Jay Reilly has been named regional vice president of sales for the Northeast. He rejoins StarCite after a year with TradeSource Inc. He will be based in New Jersey.
At Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, four directors of sales and marketing have been appointed. Jack Murray was promoted from director of group sales at The Fairmont Dallas. Jeffrey Doane returns to the Fairmont family at The Fairmont San Francisco, atop Nob Hill. At Montréal's Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Paule Riverin comes onboard from her previous position in the same capacity at The Fairmont Southampton Princess in Bermuda. Finally, Susan Ohlson, coming from The Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Bermuda, takes the reins at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.
Mary Clendenen, CMP, has been appointed national sales manager of corporate groups for the Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino on Palm Beach, Aruba. She will be based in Washington, D.C. Clendenen was previously national sales director for Liberty Hospitality Group in Washington.
Karla Yeck has been named sales manager for The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Yeck comes from Daufuskie Island Resort in South Carolina, which was recently turned into a private club by The Pinehurst Co.
▪ GOING PLACES
The expanded Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, opened in January. One of the world's largest convention facilities, the LVCC recently completed a $170 million, 1.32 million-square-foot expansion, which brings the center's total square footage to 3.2 million. www.lvspace available.com or www.vegasfreedom.com
The 430-room WestCoast Grand Hotel at the Park, Spokane, Wash., completed an extensive renovation including the lobby, guest rooms, expanded fitness center, and swimming lagoon. Located 15 minutes from Spokane International Airport, the luxury property offers 10,000 square feet of banquet space and 20,000 square feet of exhibition space. The largest room can seat 1,300 theater-style or 800 banquet-style. In other WestCoast news, the brand recently purchased Red Lion Hotels Inc. and two Doubletree properties from Hilton Hotels Corp. for $50.6 million. www.westcoasthotels.com
The Sofitel Washington D.C. was scheduled to open during the first quarter of this year in the heart of Washington's business district. The 237 guest rooms and suites in this restored 1920s office building will feature three two-line phones with voice mail and a dedicated data line as well as high-speed Web television. The 8,200 square feet of meeting space will include six meeting rooms and a 2,200-square-foot grand ballroom that can seat up to 160 people. www.sofitel.com
The 2,000-room Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., also home to Hawks Landing Golf Club, has undergone a $100 million renovation. All 2,000 guest rooms and suites received a complete makeover and offer high-speed Internet access, oversized balconies, and in-room safes. A new 500-room tower includes 14,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel offers 200,000 square feet of single-level meeting space in its convention center. A total of $6.5 million went to refurbishing the main lobby and adding a martini bar and outdoor patio. The restaurants have all been redone, and the 18-hole championship Hawks Landing golf course was redesigned. The resort features a 10,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, four swimming pools, two children's pools, five whirlpool spas, four lighted tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, 10 restaurants and lounges, and a children's activity center. www.marriottworldcenter.com
Dolce International's $15 million expansion and renovation of Dolce Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, Wash., should be complete by this summer. The property will have 254 guest rooms and 35,000 square feet of meeting and function space. The new 15,000 square feet of conference space includes meeting rooms, breakout rooms, and boardrooms as well as wireless high-speed Internet access. Located 45 minutes east of Portland International Airport, the resort also offers an 18-hole championship golf course, a fitness center, an indoor pool, an outdoor spa, tennis courts, and hiking trails. www.dolce.com
The Gideon Putnam Hotel & Conference Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., recently began the second phase of a two-year renovation. The grand ballroom, as well as part of the conference center, lobby, and bar area, are being redone. Just completed are refurbishments of the private dining areas, guest rooms, and conference center. Located in the 2,300-acre Saratoga Spa State Park and featuring more than 10,000 square feet of function space, the historic property offers 120 guest rooms and suites, a conference center, seating for 500 in the grand ballroom, tennis courts, and swimming pools. The state park itself has an 18-hole championship golf course. www.gideonputnam.com