Benchmark signs Eric Bates as GM of Illinois' Eaglewood Resort & Spa

The Eaglewood Resort & Spa is located on 104 acres of land in Itasca, Ill. Photo credit: Eaglewood Resort & Spa

Benchmark, a global hospitality company, named Eric Bates GM for Eaglewood Resort & Spa, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property located in Itasca, Ill.

Eric Bates. Photo credit: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels

"It is such a pleasure to welcome Eric to Benchmark and to Eaglewood Resort & Spa," Greg Champion, Benchmark’s president & COO, said in a statement. “I can’t think of anyone more qualified to take this property to even greater levels of business success, given Eric’s previous experience and understanding of the Chicagoland market. We look forward to his leadership here.”

Bates previously was GM for the Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort. He concurrently served as regional director of operations for The Bricton Group of Mount Prospect, Ill.


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Bates earlier held the position of director of lodging & homeowner relations for the 6,800-acre Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa of Galena, Ill. Over his career he has served in a number of leadership positions for major hotel brands such as Hilton, InterContinental Hotels and the Stouffer Hotel Company, in addition to Marriott International. He began his career in hospitality at age 15, working for hotels owned by family and friends.

Bates is a graduate of the culinary arts program at Joliet Junior College where he earned an associate’s degree. He received his bachelor’s degree in hospitality and restaurant management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, graduating cum laude. An active community member, Bates serves on the board of directors of the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and on the boards of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, the Riverside Foundation and the Marriott Business Council. Former board appointments include the Milwaukee Hotel and Lodging Association, the Chicago North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Skokie Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association awarded Bates the regional Hotelier of the Year award for the second time. In 2018, he was awarded the Business Excellence award by the Daily Herald Business Ledger. He resides in Mount Pleasant, Wis., with his family.

Located just 12 miles west of O’Hare International Airport and 25 miles from downtown Chicago, Eaglewood Resort & Spa is located on 104 acres in Itasca, Ill. Managed by Benchmark Hospitality International, the resort consists of 295 guestrooms and suites with walk out balconies showcasing views of its championship golf course. In addition, Eaglewood offers three dining venues with fine and casual menu options; recreation including a complete health spa, 18-hole championship golf course, pool with sundeck, fitness center and six—lane Brunswick Retro Bowling alley; as well as 37,000 square feet of IACC—certified meeting space.