Margaritaville names Rick Cunningham VP of hotel development

The Maragritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola Beach, Fla. Photo credit: Margaritaville Holdings(Maragritaville Holdings)

Margaritaville Holdings officially appointed Rick Cunningham as VP of hotel development. Cunningham brings more than 30 years of hospitality industry experience to this new position at the company. He has been with Margaritaville for nearly a year, and is responsible for cultivating relationships with hospitality ownership and development groups as he continues to grow Margaritaville’s portfolio of hotels and resorts around the world.

Rick Cunningham
Photo Credit:
Margaritaville Holdings

“As we aggressively eye both domestic and international expansion, we couldn’t be happier to have Rick on our team,” Jim Wiseman, president of Margaritaville development, said in a statement. “With a proven track record of success in high-profile hospitality development positions, we have complete confidence Rick will be an instrumental part of helping us bring the Margaritaville state of mind to new destinations near and far.”

Cunningham has made an immediate impact in his role, already working on new deals including Margaritaville’s first urban property, which recently broke ground in downtown Nashville’s “SoBro” district. Additionally, he has supported the brand with its partnership with Driftwood Acquisitions & Development to rebrand two high-profile resorts – Tan-Tar-A Resort in Central Missouri and Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa in Costa Rica.

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Prior to joining Margaritaville, Cunningham spent nearly 20 years in key roles at InterContinental Hotels Group. Most recently, he served as the company’s regional VP of upscale development, overseeing IHG’s Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and Even Hotel brands in the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean regions. Before that, he worked as IHG’s director of corporate business development, managing a national sales team focused on the development of IHG’s corporate mid-market key accounts. Additionally, he was responsible for launching the national sales team for the Staybridge Suites' extended-stay brand.

Preceding his time at IHG, Cunningham served as director of sales at Swissotel Atlanta and the Embassy Suites Atlanta Buckhead, and as sales manager with the Plaza Hotel Management Company and the Georgia International Convention & Trade Center.

Cunningham has been an active member of several industry organizations including Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Southeast Franchise Forum and Meeting Planners International. He is a current member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Margaritaville’s current hospitality portfolio features 10 hotels and resorts across the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean, with more than $4.8 billion in its development pipeline.