* CHANGING FACES Thomas J. Rohlfing has been named director of national sales for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. He will be based in the Washington, D.C., sales office. Kristy Sartorius has been promoted to regional director of national sales for Wyndham's Dallas national sales office, where she will be responsible for the Texas and Southeast markets. Jeanine O'Dowd, as new director of national sales for the Chicago sales office, will handle all association and corporate accounts in Chicago and the Midwest markets. O'Dowd joins Wyndham after 12 years with Hilton Hotels. And finally, Annamarie DiBattista has joined Wyndham as director of national sales for the New York sales office, where she is responsible for the Northeast market. DiBattista comes from WTP/BTI Americas, where she was national account manager.
Longtime Professional Convention Management Association member Andy Berger has been named director of sales and marketing for The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, in Vail Valley, Colo. Previously, Berger worked in sales at The Inn at Aspen.
Christie Hicks has been named vice president of global sales, North America, for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.In her new role, Hicks will be responsible for the national sales offices. The move comes after 14 years with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, where she was most recently assistant vice president of national sales.
Mary Giger has been promoted to managing director of the Washington, D.C., office of Hilton Sales Worldwide. She most recently served as director of sales, worldwide accounts for the same office.
Jeff Elstro has been named director of marketing for the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. Elstro has directed sales and marketing for Cleveland's Key Center and Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, Baltimore's Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, and New York's Westchester Hotel.
Gary Stram has been promoted to director of sales at Millennium Broadway. Ken Gmoser has been promoted to director of the Millennium Conference Center.
Brenda G. Fields is the new director of marketing at RIHGA Royal Hotel New York in Manhattan. Fields was formerly an independent marketing consultant in her own business, Fields & Company.
Kay Tate has joined The Tutwiler--a Wyndham Grand Heritage Hotel in Birmingham, Ala., as director of sales. Tate most recently was national sales manager for the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mary Monacelli is the newly appointed director of sales and marketing for the Hilton Naples & Towers, in Naples, Fla., scheduled to open this December. During the past 25 years, Monacelli has worked for Hyatt Hotels, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and the Promus/Doubletree Corp.
Ralph Behrsin has been promoted to president, group and incentive sales, at Bacara Resort & Spa, opening in summer 2000 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Behrsin joined the company as director of worldwide incentive sales in April.
Art Fasano has been appointed national sales manager at the Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa in the Walt Disney World Resort at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He will be responsible for the corporate and association market in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Fasano formerly was senior sales manager for the Walt Disney World Company in Orlando.
Thomas G. LaVaccare, CHME, has been named director of sales for TradeWinds Resort, St. Petersburg Beach, Fla. LaVaccare previously served as director of sales, incentive and insurance, for Westin Innisbrook Resort.
Roberto Moreno has been appointed director of sales at the Melie Mexico Reforma in Mexico City. Moreno previously served as area director of sales and marketing of the Crowne Plaza of Mexico.
Karen Halsey has been named national sales manager for Opryland Hotel Florida, where she will be responsible for Midwest corporate and association business as well as the incentive market. Previously, Halsey was sales manager for Hilton at the Walt Disney World Resort Orlando.
Mark Hughes has been appointed director of marketing at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado, Calif. Hughes most recently served as director of hotel operations for Harrah's Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.
* NEW & IMPROVED Hyatt recently opened its 11th Chicago-area hotel, the Hyatt Rosemont. The 206-room hotel joins the 1,100-room Hyatt Regency O'Hare in offering complimentary airport shuttle service. The Rosemont offers 7,600 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,000-square-foot ballroom.
In Scottsdale, Ariz., the Chaparral Suites Hotel, formerly the Embassy Suites Resort, has completed the first phase of its refurbishment project. This month, the Chaparral Conference Center opens with 11,200 square feet of meeting space that accommodates 750 guests banquet-style. The center will offer teleconferencing and videoconferencing. The 311-suite resort also offers a 24-hour business center
A $108 million beachfront renaissance in Santa Monica, Calif., is highlighted by two hotel projects. The 129-room Hotel Casa Del Mar is being restored to its 1926 luxury as a hideaway for the L.A. elite. Meanwhile, Le Merigot Santa Monica Beach Hotel offers 175 rooms designed for the business traveler. Each features large desks, dual phone lines, dataports, and optional in-room fax machines and programmable cell phones. The hotel has 12,000 square feet of meeting space, including a private boardroom with videoconferencing capabilities, and a 5,500-square-foot European spa.
Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, has embarked on a $30 million expansion to be completed by the end of 2000. The project includes 11 new condos (totaling 44 rooms) plus 4,000 square feet of meeting space, 1,600 square feet of pre-function space, a complete business center, and an 8,000-square-foot outdoor plaza on top of the structure that will offer ice skating in winter. The former Stein Eriksen conference center will be transformed into a full-treatment spa.
Already a major player in the meeting and incentive market, the Orlando World Center Marriott has earmarked $88 million for a renovation and expansion that will make it one of the top meeting resorts in the Marriott system. The first phase is a redesign of the resort's championship golf course, Hawk's Landing, now a 6,900-yard course and already open for play. Renovation of the pro shop and construction of a new Hawk's Landing Steakhouse and Grille will be completed by mid-November. The second phase of the project, set for completion in early 2000, will expand the existing health club into a spa. And the final phase, to be finished by summer 2000, will add a new tower with 500 guest rooms and 14,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing total meeting space to 214,000 square feet. The property will then offer 50 separate meeting rooms, all with full production and catering capabilities. The 1,500-room resort rests on 200 acres.
* BEYOND BORDERS Sun International is opening its first resort in Zambia on the banks of the Zambesi River. The resort will be near Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It forms the third point in a triangle of Sun International resorts in southern Africa. The other two are the Palace of the Lost City near Johannesburg and the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. The Sun International Resort at Victoria Falls, expected to open in 2001, will feature two hotels: a 175-room, five-star property and a 216-room, three-star property. A convention center will accommodate up to 550.
Construction on the $85 million St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Conference Centre has begun in St. Andrews, Scotland. The 520-acre clifftop development will include a 209-room hotel, two golf courses, a health spa, and a conference center, and is expected to be completed in April 2001.
The Shangri-La Hotel Singapore has completed a renovation of its Tower Wing, which houses its Horizon Club floors. The 119 rooms offer attendees access to a private reception area, business center with workstations, meeting rooms, health club, and lounge.
Rafael Hotels is building a luxury resort in Cambridge, England. The 122-room property will feature state-of-the-art meeting facilities, a fully equipped spa, and an 18-hole championship golf course. The hotel, not yet named, will open within two years.