News for the Hospitality Executive
Edmonds, Wash. — December 13, 2011 — The Hotel Group (THG) is pleased to announce that LaRell Baldwin has been promoted to General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Billings, Mont. For the past six years, Baldwin served as Director of Sales at the downtown convention hotel. THG is a nationally recognized Top 40 hotel company that currently manages and/or owns 26 properties representing 12 brands and one independent hotel across 10 states, including two additional Crowne Plaza hotels, one in Kansas City, Mo., and one in Anchorage, Alaska.
"LaRell has achieved tremendous success at the Crowne Plaza Billings, and she definitely is the right person to lead this property into 2012 and beyond," said Lara Latture, THG principal and executive vice president. "LaRell has the integrity, passion, ethics and balance that is required of our General Managers, and is proof-positive that our Mission Statement is alive and well. LaRell’s continued growth within our company is truly something to be proud of and we have no doubt of the accomplishments that are forthcoming.”
Baldwin has been working in the hospitality industry for the past 12 years. Prior to joining THG, she served as senior sales manager at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana. Baldwin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Phoenix, and is certified as a Hospitality Sales Professional by the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. She is an active member of the Billings Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau and serves as Treasurer for the Yellowstone County Lodging Assn. Previously, she served on the Sales and Marketing Council of the Montana Inn Keepers Assn. and the Board of Directors for the Billings Symphony.
THG is the absolute best company I have ever worked for," Baldwin said. "The company's recruitment policy is: You can't teach hospitality. You either have what it takes to achieve and maintain greatness in this industry, or you don't. I am honored that Lara Latture and the executive team believes that I have what it takes to direct this hotel and maintain its exceptional customer-service record.
"Over the years I've developed a real passion for hospitality," she said. "This promotion is both a challenge and a dream come true. My colleagues were quick to recommend me for this position and I am touched by their support and confidence in my abilities. Together we will continue to be a good neighbor in the Billings community and remain focused on maintaining hospitality greatness."
For THG, turnover among the management team is below the industry average. The average tenure is 13 years per corporate executive and approximately five years for property General Managers. The company's retention success stems from its aspiration to hire from within the hospitality industry -- 80 percent of its corporate executives have roots deeply planted in some aspect of the lodging business.
“At THG, we believe in a team-vision rather than tunnel-vision approach to management, and whenever possible we prefer to promote from within the company,” said Robert Avilla, THG director of operations. “Our managers set their sights beyond the scope of their immediate corporate responsibilities to focus on the universal needs of our clients and their guests. By promoting LaRell to General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Billings -- a hotel that she is intimately familiar with and exceptional at promoting -- we are giving each traveler and meeting planner who walks through its doors an enriched and unforgettable experience backed by exceptional customer service.
Known as "The Place to Meet," the Crowne Plaza Billings, located at 27 North 27th Street, features 289 guestrooms and is conveniently located within walking distance of Wells Fargo and Conoco Phillips and is just minutes away from ExxonMobil, numerous restaurants, shops, museums and local entertainment spots. The hotel is a mecca for business travelers and transient guests, boasting 16,000 square feet of event space, including 14 meeting rooms. A complete renovation was completed less than three years ago.
For more information on The Crowne Plaza Billings, visit www.cpbillings.com or call (406) 252-7400. For information on THG and the services it offers, visit www.thehotelgroup.com.
About The Hotel Group
THG is a nationally recognized Top 40 hotel company and currently manages and/or owns 26 properties in 10 states, representing 12 brands, and employs more than 1,600 people. Since its inception in 1984, THG has managed more than 100 properties in 20 states, directed the design and construction of 30 new hotels and completed the acquisition of more than $125 million in private investment as the sponsor of Hotel Group Opportunity Funds I, II, III and IV. For more information, visit www.thehotelgroup.com or call 425-771-1788.
About Crowne Plaza
Crowne Plaza was recently recognized by Lodging Hospitality magazine as one of the industry's top growing brands. As part of the IHG global portfolio, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has nearly 300 hotels in 60 countries, and are located in major urban centers, gateway cities and resort destinations. For reservations at Crowne Plaza properties, visit http://www.crowneplaza.com/ or call 1-800-2CROWNE.
Tel: (440) 930-5770
Director of Marketing
The Hotel Group
Tel: (425) 248-2978
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