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Sage Hospitality Named Michael Lyman as Director of Marketing and
Revenue Strategy For Chicago’s The Blackstone—A Renaissance Hotel
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Chicago, IL Dec. 10, 2008---Shakir Hussain, the general manager of The Blackstone—A Renaissance Hotel, has named Michael Lyman, an industry veteran whose distinguished marketing career includes leadership posts at luxury hotels throughout the United States, as the director of marketing and revenue strategy for this legendary hotel. The Blackstone, a Chicago architectural and cultural icon and a national historic landmark that provided regal lodgings for many of the 20th century’s most famous figures--from a dozen U.S. presidents to Hollywood stars -officially opened on April 30, 2008 after lying dormant since 1999. 

Sage Hospitality, the Denver, CO-based hospitality firm that manages the four-star property, spearheaded the $128 million showcase renovation of the historic Blackstone, sensitively preserving its architectural legacy while transforming it into a world-class, 332-room luxury hotel with a signature contemporary collection of Chicago art. The Blackstone’s Shakir Hussain described Mr. Lyman as an ideal fit to promote The Blackstone’s as a premier luxury travel destination that offers guests a true “Chicago” experience:

 “Michael Lyman brings an exciting and accomplished track record to the table as well as an outstanding reputation for collaborative marketing and innovative sales initiatives,” said Mr. Hussain. “His creativity and profound understanding of the luxury hotel market will be a significant asset in strategically positioning The Blackstone as a premier destination in the international marketplace.”

In addition to overseeing all marketing functions for The Blackstone, Mr. Lyman will interface with a new Marriott International sales initiative, SalesForce One, a “customer-centric” sales approach that Sage and Mr. Hussain are instituting for The Blackstone. 
Mr. Lyman’s accomplished career in the hospitality industry started in 1988 with the Potomac Hotel Group in Washington D.C. where he planned and hosted numerous special events for both Houses of Congress. Since that post, Mr. Lyman has held executive marketing positions at luxury properties on the East Coast including the Algonquin Hotel and the Loews Hotel in New York City. Most recently, Mr. Lyman was recruited to serve as the director of sales, marketing and event management for the upscale JW Marriott Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids, MI—the first JW Marriott in the Midwest --, which was awarded the 2007 Marriott  “hotel opening of the year”.

The recipient of numerous sales and marketing awards, Mr. Lyman is a graduate of Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL He is an active member of many industry organizations and maintains a demanding schedule of civic involvements including the Habitat for Humanity and the March of Dimes.

About The Blackstone
Located in the heart of Chicago’s arts and theater district and adjacent to the world class Millennium Park, The Blackstone, offers 332 stylish guest rooms and suites (among them the fabled Presidential Suite and the Smoke-filled Room, 11,396 square feet of meeting space, (including the lavishly restored Crystal Ballroom), a health club, and a business center. The Blackstone’s ambiance is a dynamic mix of historic architecture and savvy design combined with luxury amenities and thoughtful guest services.

As a Chicago touchstone and celebration of the arts, Sage commissioned a curator to assemble an innovative collection of over 1,600 works of original art by contemporary Chicago artists that is on display in guestrooms and in public spaces throughout the hotel. A street -level Starbucks Café with outdoor seating serves hotel guests, the local business community and neighborhood residents. The Sage Restaurant Group operates a critically acclaimed, independent destination restaurant at the Michigan Avenue location, Mercat a la Planxa, offering modern Catalan cuisine.

This winter The Blackstone will debut a “hotel within a hotel” concept, Hubbard Place, designed to pamper guests with an exclusive experience that accentuates personalized services. Hubbard Place, on floors 20-23 of the hotel, will feature custom designed suites, conference rooms and a dramatic lounge with sweeping views of Lake Michigan. For more information and reservations, please call The Blackstone at 312/447-0955 or visit The Blackstone web site at marriott.com/hotels/travel/chirh-the-blackstone-a-renaissance-hotel.

About Sage Hospitality 
Founded in 1984, Sage Hospitality has strategically grown into the largest privately held hotel management and development company in the nation and is recognized as a leading innovator in the field. During the past eight years, the Denver-based firm has completed more than $600 million in acquisition and development projects, using some of the most unique financing structures in the industry. Sage Hospitality's comprehensive management portfolio includes major international brands as well as independent boutiques and hotels. In 1997, Sage y pioneered the company's urban redevelopment initiative converting the blighted Joplin’s department store in downtown Denver into a showplace Courtyard by Marriott. Since then, Sage has preserved and transformed five additional, underutilized national landmark buildings into award-winning hotels properties that serve as important catalysts for downtown revitalization. For more information, please visit www.sagehospitality.com 

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Contact:

Susanne Voeltz
The Blackstone-A Renaissance Hotel 
Phone: 608/284-0848 susi@mailbag.com    

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Also See: Sage Hospitality Selects Shakir Hussain as General Manager at Chicago’s Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel / July 2008
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