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  Verdell Ekberg Named Director of Sales and Marketing for the Upcoming 295-room Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – October 8, 2003 – PHR (Professional Hospitality Resources) has announced the appointment of Verdell Ekberg as Director of Sales and Marketing for the upcoming Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. 

The hotel, set to open in 2005, is the signature brand of a $62 million public/private venture between Thirty-First Street LLC and the City of Virginia Beach that will also include an oceanfront community park, an 1,080-space parking garage with elevated walkway and upscale ground-level retail space on 31st street, a gateway to the oceanfront.  This 20-story, 295-room Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront will be the tallest hotel on the oceanfront. The property will feature a rooftop zero-edge infinity pool, oceanfront rooms with balconies, a day spa and the area’s hottest new oceanfront, seafood restaurant providing Virginia Beach leisure and business travelers alike with an unprecedented range of first class accommodations, services and amenities. The project is scheduled to open concurrent with Phase I of the City of Virginia Beach’s 500,000 sq.ft. plus Convention Center. 

Verdell Ekberg is a twenty-year hospitality industry veteran with a strong track record of leadership and success at some of America’s leading hotels and hospitality organizations.  Most recently he served as Corporate Director of Sales & Revenue Management for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, where he was responsible for sales and revenue management for 200 hotels.  While with Interstate, Ekberg was responsible for producing rooms and catering revenues of more than $585 million. 

Other career highlights include serving as Director of Sales and Marketing at New York’s Park Central Hotel.  Brought in to manage the hotel through the transitional period following the 9-11 terrorist attacks as well as bankruptcy from a previous ownership, Ekberg was responsible for sales, marketing and revenue management for the 935-room hotel.  He oversaw the creation of a new marketing strategy, branding campaign and website and helped the property exceed both its occupancy and revenue budgets against the backdrop of a significant downturn market.

“We are delighted to welcome Verdell to our team,” said Glenn E. Tuckman, President of PHR.  “His experience, knowledge and stellar reputation make him the perfect candidate to lead our sales efforts for what promises to be one of the most exciting projects in the history of Virginia Beach hospitality.”

Professional Hospitality Resources manages eleven hotels and holds ownership in a majority of them.  Established in 1986 and headquartered in Virginia Beach, PHR is a subsidiary of Gold Key/PHR Holding Company.  The company employs more than 900 people.

Professional Hospitality Resources
Also See: Glenn E. Tuckman Appointed President and Tim Gesner Appointed Executive VP of Marketing for Professional Hospitality Resources / June 2003
Developers Bruce L. Thompson and Edmund C. Ruffin Set to Start Construction on $42 million Hilton Hotel on Virginia Beach's Resort Strip / April 2003

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