Texas – Nov. 20, 2006 – Mark Hickey, senior vice president of Destination
Hotels & Resorts, today announced that Sergio F. Ortiz will join the
company as general manager of the historic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas.
Ortiz will begin at the property on Nov. 27, 2006.
“The Driskill is a very special place and we wanted to select a general manager who could be a caretaker for the next phase of its history,” said Hickey. “Ortiz brings the right mix of service and attention to detail that the property is known for, while drawing on his experience having worked for a number of other historic and acclaimed hotels in Texas.”
Ortiz brings more than 34 years of hospitality industry experience to The Driskill. Most recently, Ortiz was managing director of the Houston based The Lancaster Group, Inc, a developer and operator of boutique luxury hotels. Among his responsibilities was to oversee the operation of hotels as well as to evaluate and conduct due diligence on new hotel projects and to identify development opportunities. He also was general manager of the award winning and highly acclaimed Lancaster hotel in Houston for more 10 years. The property frequently was recognized in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and other well-respected luxury travel publications as one of the best hotels in the world. The Lancaster hotel was a founding member of the highly regarded Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Ortiz’ entrepreneurial spirit also led him to form his own corporation, seeking and developing hotel projects and consulting, in partnership with The Lancaster Group. In this capacity, Ortiz further developed his skills and a strong network of resources raising capital, financing, tax credits and working with various government entities.
Prior to his tenure with The Lancaster Group, Ortiz worked for the legendary Houstonian hotel. His tenure also includes operations and food and beverage positions with Hilton properties and a number of successful resort and urban hotels in Texas and Florida.
“The historical significance of The Driskill is legendary,” said Ortiz. “I’m honored to be tapped for this important role. I also am excited about moving to Austin where I hope to become as active in the community as I’ve been in Houston. The Driskill and Austin are synonymous and I look forward to immersing myself in both the hotel and community.”
Ortiz is active in the communities in which he lives and in Houston served on the boards of the Hotel & Lodging Association, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony and the Cultural Arts Council. He is a member of the Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts, the Nature Conservancy and the Orion Society. He also has been a long and active member of the ancient gastronomic society, La Chaine des Rotisseurs. He was also a Junior Achievement instructor and a Junior Soccer coach.
Ortiz is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he received his bachelor degree in hotel and restaurant administration. He was born and raised in Mexico City. In his free time, he likes to play tennis, golf, swim, enjoy the outdoors and reading. He and his wife, Cindy, will be relocating from the Houston area. They have one son who is sophomore at Texas Tech University.
The Driskill Hotel, located in downtown Austin, is a four-star, AAA four-diamond hotel that seeks to provide the finest in service, ambiance, and hospitality. Built as the showplace of a cattle baron in 1886, The Driskill has long been Austin’s Grande Dame and a center for politics and high society. Today, The Driskill offers deluxe accommodations and five-star dining in true Texas luxury. It stands apart as a landmark of refined hospitality with a rich appreciation of the past and an elegant vision for the future. The Driskill strives to maintain a working relationship with community organizations to ensure the growth and welfare of Austin and its citizens. It is the role of the staff at The Driskill to maintain a distinguished national and international reputation. The Driskill is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
The Driskill is one of 30 independent, upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and golf clubs in the United States managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts, the fifth largest independent hospitality management company in the country. The company, headquartered in suburban Denver, Colo., features a portfolio of more than 7,000 guest rooms, 13 golf courses and 10 full-service spas. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in key metropolitan and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, San Diego, Aspen, Austin, Phoenix, Palm Springs, Jackson Hole, Maui and Lake Tahoe. For more information on the properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit www.destinationhotels.com.
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