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The City-financed Myrtle Beach Radisson Plaza Hunting
 for a New GM for Second Time in Less Than a Year
By Dawn Bryant, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Oct. 1, 2004 - The city-financed Radisson Plaza Hotel is on the hunt for a new general manager for the second time in less than a year.

Mike Roddy, who took the hotel's helm Jan. 5, has resigned, citing family reasons.

Employees found out Thursday. His last day is today.

Operations Director David Nobers will serve as acting general manager.

Open for less than two years, the Radisson has been through two general managers. The first, Michael Poynter, resigned in November to take a hotel job in Barbados.

"That's very frustrating," said Walt Standish, chairman of the Hotel Board Corp., which oversees the hotel's financials for the city. "I'm not used to that kind of turnover."

The hotel's performance shouldn't be affected as long as the staff stays and a new general manager is in place within two to three months, Standish said.

Carlson Hospitality, Radisson's parent company, will do a national search to find a replacement, but there's no timetable for a new general manager to start. Carlson will look for a proven leader with experience in the conventions market, which is the segment the Radisson was built to serve.

The city financed the 402-room Radisson so the Myrtle Beach Convention Center would have an on-site hotel.

"We want to make sure we have the right kind of person and expertise," said Tom Polski, Carlson's communications vice president. "The key thing is we get the right fit."

Officials declined to give details of the "personal reasons" for Roddy's departure, but said the hotel's performance wasn't a factor.

Roddy is married and has six children ranging in age from 29 to 17.

He could not be reached for comment Thursday, but issued a statement to the media: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Myrtle Beach and am extremely proud of what this Radisson property has achieved since opening almost two years ago. It was a difficult decision to leave but my family is my top priority and this is the best decision for my family. I wish the Radisson Plaza Hotel much success for a prosperous future."

Immediately before coming to Myrtle Beach, Roddy was general manager of the Radis son Hotel South and Plaza Tower, a 565-room convention hotel in Bloomington, Minn.

Locals affiliated with the Myrtle Beach Radisson said Roddy's experience -- 24 years in hospitality with a specialty in group business -- helped the Radisson turn around its performance in 2004 after a rough first year. Five months into the current budget year, total revenues were up 36 percent compared to the same period in 2003. Overhead expenses dropped 8 percent.

"It's like night and day," Standish said. "He will be hard to replace."

Standish said he was surprised by Roddy's resignation. One of Roddy's strengths was working with all the involved parties, including the city, caterer, bond holders, meeting planners and the media.

The Radisson's first-year losses forced the city to refinance the bonds in March, a move that might cause delays in other big-ticket projects.

Though room sales had improved this year, officials struggled to get better results from the food-and-beverage sales. The hotel has fallen behind monthly sales projections recently after a string of on-budget months.

-----To see more of The Sun News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.MyrtleBeachOnline.com

(c) 2004, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail reprints@krtinfo.com.

 
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