Hotel Online Special Report

  David S. Feder named SVP/Managing Director at Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
PHOENIX, Ariz.—June 14, 1999--David Feder has been named senior vice president and managing director of The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.  He is responsible for overseeing all operations at this luxury property, which has earned a reputation as one of Arizona’s premiere destination resorts. 

Feder’s experience includes a long history in the hospitality industry, where he has served in various capacities at several hotels and resorts around the country.  His most recent post was as vice president/ managing director for the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida, and earlier as senior vice president of sales and marketing.  Previously, he served as vice president of sales and marketing at The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida and the Innisbrook Resort in Tarpon Springs, Florida.  He also held posts in operations and sales and marketing for   Princess Hotels International, The Plaza in New York and the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

Feder holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from American University, Washington D.C. and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Rider College in Trenton, New Jersey.

The world-renowned Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa features 730 luxury guest accommodations, five restaurants, two adjacent golf courses, seven tennis courts and a 20,000 square-foot European spa, salon and fitness center.  Consistently superior in accommodations, amenities and service, the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa takes top honors on the prestigious “Gold List” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler.  Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the architectural gem was named a “Phoenix Point of Pride” in 1993 by the Mayors Pride Commission. 

The only existing hotel in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design, The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since its opening on February 23rd, 1929 when it was crowned “The Jewel of the Desert.” The resort’s design was inspired by consulting architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who collaborated with former student Albert Chase McArthur. The only other hotel Wright worked, The Imperial in Tokyo, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968.

Perhaps the most obvious and dramatic design link to Wright is the use of indigenous materials that led to the creation of the “Biltmore Block.” The pre-cast concrete blocks were molded on-site and used in the total construction of the resort. Designed by Emry Kopta, a prominent southwestern sculptor, the “Biltmore Block” features a geometric pattern inspired by the trunk of a tree.

In 1930, when the estimated $1 million construction cost doubled, Chicago
chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., one of the original
investors in the project, became the sole owner. Over the course of the
next 44 years, the Wrigley family owned and operated the Arizona
Biltmore and it became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of states, captains of industries and other famous travelers.
In May of 1973, the Wrigley family sold the Biltmore to Talley Industries, which closed the resort for renovations that summer. During the installation of a new sprinkler system, a welding torch ignited, resulting in a six-alarm fire. Taliesin Associated Architects (of Taliesin West) was commissioned to design and supervise not only the construction of the damaged floors, but a renovation of the resort-at-large. As in 1929, concrete blocks were molded on-site; patterns from the early 1920’s were woven into carpets ordered from Ireland, and designs for furniture, fabrics and murals were selected with the integrity of the architecture in mind. The project was completed in a record 82 days and the result was a finer, more complete hotel than had previously existed.

In 1975, under Talley Industries’ ownership, the first major expansion took place with the opening of the 90-room Paradise Wing. This expansion continued over the next seven years with the addition of the 120-room Valley Wing and a 39,000-square-foot Conference Center in 1979. In 1982, the 109-room Terrace Court opened. Another renovation was completed in 1987 which included the remodeling of 120 guest rooms throughout the main building in addition to the East and Garden Wings. A year later, the historic cottages were also refurbished.

The most comprehensive renovation to date began in 1992 when the previous owner, Grossman Company Properties a Phoenix based development firm, purchased the resort and began a three-phase, $50 million project which was completed in January 1996. Refurbished by Barry Design Associates of Los Angeles, guest rooms and suites pay homage to Frank Lloyd Wright in their mission-style furnishings, desert palette (tones of beige, sand, and ivory) and lamps which recall a 1930’s flair. The Villas, a luxury residential complex was added along with restaurants, a state-of-the-art kitchen and the Paradise Pool complex featuring a 92-foot-long water slide and 23 cabanas. New meeting space included the pavillion, a 15,000 square-foot facility. An 18-hole championship putting course was also added.

In January 1998, a 20,000 square-foot Arizona Biltmore Spa, fitness center and full-service beauty salon opened. The new Arizona Wing features 120 new
guest rooms, an Olympic sized swimming pool and two new meeting rooms. With this newest addition, the resort boasts 730 guest rooms and is the largest resort in Arizona.

Today, thanks to conscientious owners who have been committed to preserving its architectural integrity, the resort is, in many ways, more “Wrightian” than when it was built. And, throughout the years, the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa has set the standard for elegance and style. It continues to attract celebrities and dignitaries from around the world and is frequently honored with awards and accolades, including the Urban Land Institute “Heritage Award of Excellence” which the resort received for its architectural integrity, landscaping, and above all, quality of service.

Debora Bridges 
Director of Public Relations
Also See: Arizona Lodging Insights / Year End 1998 / Warnick & Co. / April 1999 

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