Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf Astoria, other hotels appoint GMs

Hotels across the country ended the year by announcing new leaders. Here are some names to know as we head into 2024.

Hotel Polaris

CoralTree Hospitality appointed Curtis Bova general manager of the upcoming Hotel Polaris at The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The new hotel is scheduled to open late 2024.

Bova most recently was the general manager of The Inverness, A Hilton Golf & Spa Resort in Englewood, Colo., where he oversaw all resort and club operations for the 302-room hotel and The Club at Inverness. Before his tenure with The Inverness, Bova held several different roles with Benchmark including regional director of sales and marketing with oversight of Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs and several other resorts in the western region. His intimate knowledge of the Colorado Springs market, in part, comes from his role a general manager of the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Club, where he also was director of sales and marketing for several years.

Before joining Benchmark, Bova was vice president of sales for Destination Hotels & Resorts, where he provided strategic leadership for the national sales office network for both group and transient business segments. He also held several regional sales and marketing roles for the company including oversight of the launch and opening of Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Bova started his hospitality career with Marriott Hotels & Resorts with several property and regional sales and marketing positions in Colorado, Atlanta and Hawaii.

Hotel Van Zandt

Sage Hospitality Group appointed Christopher Guse the new GM of The Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas. Guse joins the property from Sage’s Sheraton Austin, where he has was GM since 2021. In that role, he oversaw a property-wide rebrand in spring 2023 and the property’s team achieved an overall engagement score of 83.8, positioning the property among the top three for all Sage Hospitality Group hotels.

Guse has also held GM roles for White Lodging Services’ Renaissance Boulder Flatiron in Broomfield, Colo., and Kimpton’s Monaco Denver. He was assistant GM of the Hotel Palomar in Phoenix and held multiple leadership roles at Starwood’s Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in the same city.

Kimpton Harper

The Kimpton Harper in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, appointed Rana Papson general manager. Papson will oversee the day-to-day functions of the hotel, including team-member development, revenue management, maintaining guest satisfaction and overseeing the hiring process. 

Before joining The Harper, Papson was most recently the hotel manager at the Arlo Wynwood in Miami, where she oversaw nine departments, implemented efficiency-focused policies and procedures, managed key stakeholder relationships across the hotel’s outlets and monitored staff performance. Papson rejoins Pivot, the lifestyle vertical of Davidson Hospitality Group, having held various roles across the organization for six years. 

Lockwood Hotel

Charlestowne Hotels appointed David Beaudoin general manager of the Lockwood Hotel in Waterville, Maine. Beaudoin will oversee day-to-day hotel operations. With experience in revenue management and cost-effective strategies, Beaudoin aims to further enhance the hotel's financial performance.

Beaudoin worked his way through leadership roles within hotel operations and management. Over his career he managed boutique hotels including Boothbay Harbor Inn in Maine, Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in New Hampshire and larger properties with casinos like the Hollywood Casino Hotel in Bangor, Maine. Most recently, he worked with Olympia Hotel Management out of Portland, Maine. Lockwood Hotel was developed by Coby College and is managed by Charlestowne Hotels.

Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota on Florida's Gulf Coast appointed Mark Sherwin the new general manager. Sherwin will oversee operations for all facets of the resort, including its dining venues, beach club, golf club and newly renovated spa.

During his 30 years in the hospitality industry, Sherwin spent several years as GM at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in McLean, Va., and as regional VP of sales & marketing for The Ritz-Carlton brand in Chevy Chase, Md. Recently, he was EVP of operations for Sonesta International Hotel Corp., where he oversaw the brand’s managed portfolio of 266 hotels, including five brands.

Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort

The Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim (Calif.) Resort, owned by Taconic Capital Advisors and operated by Aimbridge Hospitality, appointed Justin Hart general manager. Hart has a consistent history of promotions within Aimbridge’s Evolution Hospitality subsidiary and is familiar with business financials, staff motivation, sales operations and employee development. 

Notable previous positions in California include dual general manager at AC Santa Clara and AC Sunnyvale Cupertino, GM at the Domain Hotel in Sunnyvale and GM at the Radisson Hotel Fresno Conference Center.

Virgin Hotels New York

Denise Luna is the new GM of the Virgin Hotels New York. Luna will oversee the operations of the 460-room hotel in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. She will manage all departments, strategic planning, team development and community engagement.

Luna brings more than 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry to her new position. Before joining Virgin Hotels New York City, She was a task force general manager for the Real Hospitality Group and held roles in food and beverage, engineering, housekeeping, operations and HR. Luna has worked with a variety of hotels and brands all around New York City including Marriott and IHG.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Tamas Vago is the new GM at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Since joining the property team this fall, he has overseen guest experience and hotel operations of the 214-room property. Vago joined Waldorf Astoria Chicago from Florida’s Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and has nearly 25 years of experience.

After beginning his tenure at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in August 2019, Vago spearheaded the resort’s renovation of guestrooms and public spaces and assisted with conceptualizing a new rooftop restaurant and bar experience. Before that, Vago was hotel manager at The Diplomat Beach Resort from 2015 through 2019, where he oversaw a $100 million renovation and brand repositioning while managing the opening of 12 new restaurant concepts.   

Originally from Hungary, Vago began his career in food and beverage, where he held various culinary positions in Budapest and in New Orleans, Nicaragua and Chicago with InterContinental Hotels Group. During his time at The InterContinental Chicago, Vago transitioned to the front of house, where he held roles including assistant director of food & beverage and director of food and beverage, before relocating to South Florida in 2010.