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Jim Durbin Named 2008 Outstanding General Manager of the Year
by the California Hotel & Lodging Association


SAN DIEGO - March 19, 2009 - Jim Durbin, general manager of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, was named the 2008 Outstanding General Manager of the Year, Large Property at the Stars of the Industry Awards by the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA). 

The Outstanding General Manager of the Year award honors an hotelier who has demonstrated superior professionalism in operating a CH&LA member property and taken a leadership role in the industry by actively participating in association, community or industry programs. 

The Stars of the Industry Awards program was developed by CH&LA’s national affiliate, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, more than 40 years ago to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry. 

As the general manager, Durbin oversees all departments of the property to ensure exceptional guest experience through consistent delivery of service and product quality. 

With more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Durbin has served as general manager of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter since 2004, after he was retained by Stanford Hotels to lead the successful opening of the property following a yearlong $60 million renovation. Under his leadership, the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter is now one of the region’s premier hotels. 

The hotel currently performs in the top five percent of all Marriott Hotels (346 properties nationwide) in “overall guest satisfaction,” the number one full service Marriott in California for the past three years, the top 15 percent in “associate satisfaction” and the top 11 percent for “my GM cares about the employees in this hotel,” which ranks above the industry standard. 

Durbin was recently named Hotel Person of the Year by the San Diego Hotel Association and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. He has also received the Marriott International Leadership Excellence Award in 2007 and 2008, Gallup Organization’s 2007 Gallup Great Workplace Award for Excellence in Managing and the 1988 San Diego “Hotel Man of the Year.” 

Under Durbin’s guidance, the hotel has received numerous awards, including the highest REVPAR (revenue per available room) in its competitive set, the 2006 Western Region High Performance Award and 2007 Western Region Revenue Team of the Year from Marriott International, Favorite Gaslamp Hotel by the San Diego Union-Tribune, 2008 Best of San Diego Award in the Hotels category by the U.S. Local Business Association and a Medallion Award for the Best Place to Work in San Diego by the San Diego Society for Human Resources. In addition, the hotel bar, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge was named one of the “25 Best Bars in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and “Best Open Bar in the West” by Sunset Magazine. 

Durbin is currently the vice president of the San Diego Hotel Motel Association and on the executive committee of San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has served as a founding director of the San Diego Convention Center, executive committee member of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, president of the San Diego Hotel Motel Association and a member of the Governor’s Council on Tourism under former Governor Pete Wilson. 

Durbin is former president and CEO of Great Pacific Hotels, which owned and operated several hotels throughout San Diego including Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn and Restaurants, where he co-created “Concerts by the Bay,” which is recognized as one of the top venues for outdoor concerts in the country. 

About the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge, and Soleil @k 

Since opening in 2005, the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter has treated visitors to urban chic, San Diego cool and unexpectedly Marriott. Marriott Gaslamp’s food and beverage operations include the popular rooftop bar ALTITUDE Sky Lounge and dining hotspot, Soleil @k. 

Twenty-two stories high, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge is the highest and hippest open-air rooftop bar in the region. Set 263 feet above ground level and on the 22nd floor of the stylish Marriott Gaslamp Quarter hotel, ALTITUDE is the region’s tallest open-air bar and boasts one of the city’s best views overlooking PETCO Park, Coronado Bay Bridge and the downtown skyline. Visit 

Soleil @k delivers exciting, modern California-style cuisine. Specialties include a slow-roasted rotisserie-jadori chicken, mouth-watering grass-fed beef, succulent seafood and heavenly desserts. The restaurant’s design is modern, warm and inviting with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls encouraging diners to take pleasure in the elegance of indoor dining area or the airy casualness of the outdoor patio. For more information about Soleil @k, visit 


Lisa Kovach

Also See: California Hotel & Lodging Association Recognizes Stars of the Industry; Jack Campbell Inducted into the CH&LA Hall of Fame / April 2008

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