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Rick Blackburn Named Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at the
796-room La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST in California

LA QUINTA, Calif. – February 14, 2012
-- Rick Blackburn, previously director of intermediary sales for Marriott International’s Global Sales Organization, has been named executive director of sales and marketing at La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST, the 45-acre desert retreat known for its exceptional golf, colorful Hollywood legacy and secluded ambiance.

In his new position, Blackburn will oversee all sales and marketing activities and programs – including group and leisure sales, marketing initiatives and public relations – for the resort, which encompasses 796 guest rooms and suites, 23 tennis courts, 41 swimming pools and 53 hot spas, a 23,000-square-foot spa and nine award-winning public and private golf courses at the resort and nearby PGA WEST.

According to Gary Sims, managing director of La Quinta Resort & Club, Blackburn will bring invaluable sales and marketing expertise to the legendary resort, which has drawn moguls and movie stars to the desert for decades. “Rick is a very talented sales and marketing executive and we are proud to have him on our team,” he said. “His sales and hospitality industry expertise will be essential to our efforts, as we continue to position La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST as one of California’s premiere destination properties."

With more than 25 years of hospitality industry experience, Blackburn worked with the Marriott Global Sales team for five years, providing strategic leadership for a team of well-seasoned sales professionals. Prior to that, he was the director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, where he helped significantly increase property revenues, achieving record-setting room sales for the five diamond resort. He was also area director of sales and marketing for three distinctively different Marriott properties in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. He began his hospitality career at Marriott International in Atlanta, GA, holding a series of increasingly responsible leadership positions in food and beverage and sales and marketing.

Additionally, Blackburn has served as a guest speaker for numerous organizations, including the College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and The Hospitality College of Johnson & Wales University. He has been a facilitator for Marriott international sales training schools and is a certified speaker for The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center. In 2002, his team won the North American Sales Team Special Achievement Award from Marriott International, and in 2009 the Intermediary Team won the prestigious Global Sales Team of the Year Award.

La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST® is a world-renowned desert destination featuring 796 elegantly appointed casitas, suites and villas; the 23,000-square-foot Spa La Quinta® with 41 pools and 53 hot spas; 41 tennis courts; and exceptional cuisine at Morgan’s in the desert, TWENTY6 and Adobe Grill. Known as The Western Home of Golf in America® and named ”North America’s Golf Resort of the Year,” it is home to five award-winning golf courses and four private courses – designed by legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf. Golf instruction is offered at the Jim McLean Golf School. The resort is a member of Hilton Worldwide’s Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. For more information, call 760-564-411, or visit

About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
WALDORF ASTORIA is Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand of landmark hotels, with each one as singular and timeless as the brand’s namesake, The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York. From classic elegance to modern grandeur, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts each represent worldly sophistication and unparalleled guest service. From sumptuous spas and culinary excellence to world-class golf, each hotel & resort offers the exquisite accommodations and signature accoutrements that define refinement and sophistication. Discover Waldorf Astoria by visiting Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is one of Hilton Worldwide’s ten market-leading brands.

About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,800 hotels and timeshare properties, with 630,000 rooms in 88 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at,,, and

Marguarite Clark Public Relations
Marguarite Clark
(949) 295-2801

Sydnie Moore
(619) 823-8448


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Also See: Leslie Johnson Named Spa Director of Spa La Quinta for California's La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort / December 2010

California Hotel & Lodging Association Honors David Kirken, La Quinta Resort & Club Operations Director, as 2010 Outstanding Manager of the Year / December 2010

Gary Sims Appointed Managing Director at La Quinta Resort & Club / September 2010

Stephen Strickland Named Executive Chef of the La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, California; Will Oversee Seven Dining Outlets at the 796-room Property / August 2010

James F. Pedone Named Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California / June 2010

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