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The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, July 2016 … Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Bill Lee as general manager and Tony Aslanian as director of sales and marketing for The Grove Resort & Spa, an all-suite hotel located just minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida.  The Grove Resort & Spa is scheduled to open its first phase this November with 184 of its 878 two- and three-bedroom residential-style guest suites.  The Grove’s professional sales team was also announced.  The Grove Resort & Spa is part of the prestigious Benchmark Resorts & Hotels-brand portfolio. 

“It is an honor to formally welcome Bill, Tony, and the entire sales and marketing team to this remarkable new resort,” said Todd Felsen, senior vice president operations for Benchmark Hospitality International, who made the announcement. “They represent the best in experience and leadership, and are already making their mark on The Grove Resort & Spa’s success during our pre-opening period.  It is a pleasure to work with such top-notch talent as we move the resort toward opening, as well as operational and sales success.”

Bill Lee, General Manager
Bill Lee comes to his new position as general manager of The Grove Resort & Spa with extensive leadership experience gained at multiple start-up and transitional projects in locations throughout the Caribbean. These include such brands as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Rock Resorts International, as well as notable independent properties at locations in the Bahamas, British Virgin Island, St. Kitts and Nevis.  Mr. Lee’s new appointment with The Grove represents a return to the Orlando market, having previously worked for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and the Westin Resort Lake Buena Vista, which he helped develop.  Mr. Lee is a graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Benchmark Hospitality has also announced The Grove’s new team of sales professionals, led by Tony Aslanian, the resort’s new director of sales & marketing. 

Tony Aslanian, Director of Sales & Marketing
During his distinguished hospitality career, Mr. Aslanian has held high-level sales and marketing leadership positions for Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International, and for multiple independent hotel management companies.  He is particularly known within the industry as a branding expert for independent, luxury, and historic hotels and resorts, including the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando; The Peabody Orlando; The Adolphus; Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa; The Samoset Resort; and the New York Marriott Marquis.  Mr. Aslanian brings important experience within business segments essential to The Grove Resort & Spa’s success, including the corporate and association group markets, the SMERF and MICE markets, and the wholesale and luxury leisure markets.  Tony Aslanian is a graduate of SUNY Albany.

Ashley Mayo Gibson, Senior Sales Manager
Ashley Mayo Gibson, CGMP, has been appointed senior sales manager for The Grove Resort & Spa.  In this position, she manages all group bookings for corporate events, student gatherings, sports related events, and social bookings such as weddings and family reunions.  Most recently, Ms. Gibson was the Florida association and government sales manager for the Florida Hotel and Conference Center.  She currently serves as second vice president for the Society of Government Meeting Planners (SGMP), the Florida Capital Chapter, located in Tallahassee. Ms. Gibson has been recognized as Member of the Year for the SGMP Florida Capital Chapter and Supplier of the Year for the SGMP Central Florida Chapter.

Ms. Gibson holds a certification from the Government Meeting Professionals, which she earned through the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. She graduated from the University of Central Florida.

Peter Gruenthal, Senior Sales Manager
Pete Gruenthal has been named senior sales manager for The Grove Resort & Spa.  Mr. Gruenthal was most recently with the hospitality website, Booking.com, where he managed southern U.S. sales teams responsible for developing business opportunities originating from emerging markets.  Previous to this, Mr. Gruenthal served as strategic market manager for Orbitz, overseeing hotel partnerships with Disney and Universal.  His new position with The Grove Resort & Spa brings him back to the Orlando market, having previously held roles within Starwood Vacation Ownership of Orlando. Mr. Gruenthal launched his career in hospitality with Summerfield Suites, also of Orlando.  He is a graduate of Cal State University Northridge.

About The Grove Resort & Spa

The Grove Resort & Spa will open in Orlando, Florida in November 2016 as an expansive 106-acre hotel destination located just minutes from the west entrance of Walt Disney World®. Set on Lake Austin and amid a portion of Central Florida’s conservation grounds, The Grove will become a sanctuary from the boisterous pace of the outside world, neighboring theme parks, luxury shopping, and entertainment centers. 878 two and three bedroom residential-style suites with full kitchens, full-size washers and dryers, multiple bathrooms, and screened patios will offer guests the comforts of home, while the resort’s hearty collection of amenities will deliver the luxuries of a full-service resort. Four swimming pools and the Surfari Water Park will be a focal point of The Grove experience, with its interactive water structure with multiple slides, a lazy river stretching more than 725 feet, and the first surf simulator at any Orlando hotel. Guests will also enjoy a selection of watersports at the resort’s lakeside dock, an intimate spa, fitness center, and a children’s game room. Dining options will include the indoor/outdoor Valencia restaurant, Longboard Bar & Grill and Springs Bar & Grill at the pool areas, with additional food options available at the large scale grab-and-go Pickings Market. 6,000 square feet of flexible space will be available for weddings, family reunions, and other meetings and special events. The Grove Resort & Spa is managed by Houston, Texas-based Benchmark Hospitality International. For more information, please visit www.GroveResortOrlando.com.  Follow The Grove via Facebook.com/thegroveresortorlando and on Twitter and Instagram at @thegroveresort.

About Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®represents the finest in lodging, dining, recreational and meeting accommodations. Many are certified by the IACC, the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference center industry on five continents, and many have also been recognized with the coveted Benchmark Conference Centers®certification of meeting excellence.  Benchmark Resorts & Hotels deliver highly specialized service that anticipates guests’ needs and ensures a hospitality experience unsurpassed and long remembered. www.benchmarkresortsandhotels.com.  To become a fan on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/BenchmarkResortsandHotels, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BenchmarkHotels.

Contact: Ken Ellens

KenEllens@aol.com / 201-758-2864

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