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 Executive Team Appointed for the Soon to Open 283-suite
Embassy Suites® in San Marcos, Texas 

SAN MARCOS, Texas & SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- August 26, 2008 - With two months until the October 2008 opening of Mr. John Q. Hammons’ seventh hotel in Texas, the 10-story, 283-suite Embassy Suites® San Marcos – Hotel, Spa and Conference Center’s ( new executive team is now on site booking group and individual reservations and conducting hard hat tours. The $50 million hotel and spa will be owned by Mr. Hammons and managed by Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotel & Resorts (, the nation’s leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites. The conference center will be owned by the city of San Marcos and will be managed by John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts.

The hotel and conference center’s new sales office is open on location at I-35 and 1001 McCarty Lane in San Marcos, just minutes from Texas State University. Representing more than 80,000 gross square feet of flexible meeting space, the facilities are in high demand as reflected by on-track pre-opening reservations, according to Ruth Buck, hotel director of sales. International Tour Management Institute; Texas College and University Facilities Conference; and Texas Justice Court Training Center is a sampling of the conferences already booked for early 2009.

Buck, a 20-year hospitality veteran, is recently joined by the rest of the executive team including:

General Manager Tom Pugh: Bringing more than 30 years’ experience in successful full-service hotel operations in major and tertiary markets to the property, Pugh most recently served as general manager of the upscale, 340-room Chattanooga Marriott at the Convention Center in Tennessee.

Director of Catering Sonya Villarreal: As a certified wedding consultant with 15 years of upscale hotel experience, Villarreal’s hospitality career includes exceptional planning and guest service management with the historic St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio and with The Adolphus in Dallas.

Assistant General Manager – Rooms Division Monica Hurt: With 21 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Hurt has held diverse positions ranging from director of housekeeping, corporate sales manager and assistant general manager; in 2007, she was nominated for the #1 Crowne Meetings Director of Crowne Plaza Hotels for InterContinental Hotels Group.

Assistant General Manager – Food and Beverage, Roger Andrews: With 25 years’ hospitality experience, including full-service properties in Miami and Dallas, Andrews’ career includes national sales trainer for grooming catering sales managers for a major hotel company.

Director of Human Resources Paulina Palomo: A native of the San Marcos area, Palomo began her professional career in the hospitality industry, where she quickly excelled; prior to joining John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, she held the position of HR manager with Cintas, a hotel industry supplier.

Director of Accounting Stella Linder: Linder brings 20 years’ experience in hotel accounting to the San Marcos property, including seven years with John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts.

Director of Engineering Max Vasquez: A 32-year hotel veteran, Vasquez’s career in the hospitality industry spans major hotel brands, such as Marriott, Doubletree, Adam’s Mark Hotels, Sheraton, and InterContinental Hotels Group, among others..

front row, left to right: Monica Hurt, Paulina Palomo, Ruth Buck, Stella Linder, Roger Andrews; back row, left to right: Max Vasquez, Tom Pugh.
“Our new executive team for the Embassy Suites San Marcos  Hotel, Spa and Conference Center is especially equipped to meet the needs of the growing group business,” said Robert Fugazi, regional vice president for John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts and a 28-year veteran of the company. “The team members’ diverse experience from within and outside the region, in-depth understanding of the meetings and convention business, and ability to deliver exceptional service down to the smallest of details will ensure immediate success.”

Adding Local Flair

As a continued reflection of the city’s collaboration on the development project, the City Council and Mayor Susan Narvaiz recently had the opportunity to name the meeting rooms in the $21 million conference center. The names incorporate both the heritage and local spirit of San Marcos. The grand ballroom will be called the Veramendi Ballroom. A native of San Antonio, Juan Veramendi sold a portion of his land grants that is now San Marcos to General Burleson and Dr. Eli Merriman in 1845. Burleson and Merriman later joined with William Lindsey to found the town of San Marcos. Another ballroom will be appropriately named Spring Lake. The conference center facilities are being designed to accommodate a wide range of events, from auto and boat shows to high tech exhibitions, graduations, special events and business meetings.

Strategically located between the state capital Austin and historic San Antonio, Prime Outlets San Marcos is the third most popular tourist destination in Texas. San Marcos is home to Texas State University, comprised of a student population of more than 28,000, and is well known for its superior shopping.

Making a Reservation

To make a hotel reservation or to book a group function prior to the opening of the Embassy Suites San Marcos ? Hotel, Spa and Conference Center, contact (512) 392-6450, fax (866) 560-5548, email or go to Online reservations can be made starting November 17, 2008. The hotel also can be booked under the following GDS codes: Amadeus AUS512, Apollo/Galileo 72430, and Sabre/Worldspan 44556.

Hotel Information

To be built with the signature atrium style of John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, the Embassy Suites San Marcos  Hotel, Spa and Conference Center will boast an architectural style that complements the design of the conference center. The hotel’s décor will emit a contemporary flair that invites guests to enjoy the exceptional appointments and outstanding customer service that defines the John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts and the Embassy Suites Hotels brands. The hotel will feature a variety of amenities for both business and leisure travelers and will be beautifully decorated to make guests feel at home. Each guest suite will feature a private bedroom and spacious living room that will be equipped with two plasma televisions, refrigerator, wet bar, microwave oven, coffee maker, two telephones with data ports, high-speed Internet access, spacious work desk and in-room safe boxes. Guests may enjoy a luxurious open atrium with a water feature. The hotel will offer 24-hour room service, same-day dry cleaning, and daily cooked-to-order breakfast and manager’s reception. Guests will be able to enjoy a casual meal in the Grille and Lounge, or coffee and espresso in Caffeina's Internet Cafe. Other features will include a fitness center, indoor pool, sundeck, and therapeutic spa treatments at the full-service Spa Botanica, John Q. Hammons’ signature spa.

About John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts

Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts is the nation’s leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites, including: Embassy Suites Hotels, Renaissance, Marriott, Radisson, Residence Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Holiday Inn and Courtyard by Marriott brands. With 77 hotels strategically located near demand generators, such as state capitals, universities, airports, corporate headquarters or office parks in secondary and tertiary markets, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts’ properties are dominant in their markets. Over the course of his impressive career in the hotel business, Mr. John Q. Hammons has developed 203 hotels. For more information about John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, please visit the company’s Web site at


John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts
Scott Tarwater, 417-873-3591

Also See: Tom Pugh, GM of Chattanooga's Marriott, Elected President of the Greater Chattanooga Lodging Association / December 2005
The City of San Marcos, Texas and John Q. Hammons Hotels Begin Construction of $21 million Conference Center and $50 million Embassy Suites Hotel / February 2007


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