Fond du Lac, Wis., (November 7, 2018) – Hotel Retlaw, a premiere lodging option opening in December of this year in Fond du Lac, announces the hiring of two key personnel—Michael Bublitz as general manager and Sue Irizarry as director of sales and catering. Both executives grew up in Wisconsin and have a passion for the hospitality sector.
Michael Bublitz, General Manager
A veteran of more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Bublitz will oversee the day-to-day operations at Hotel Retlaw. He will be responsible for leading a staff of 150 employees while providing a memorable guest experience through a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail.
Bublitz built up his hospitality experience at a variety of properties throughout the country, ranging from historic boutique hotels to AAA Four Diamond luxury resorts. Most recently, Bublitz served as controller with Delaware North at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, serving the lodging, dining, retail and grocery business units. Prior to that, he was the regional director of finance, controller, and general manager at the acclaimed Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee.
“Michael has worked with an impressive portfolio of hospitality brands all throughout the country,” said Dennis Doucette, principal-partner of Legendary Hotels, the hotel’s parent company and developer. “We believe his proven leadership, detail-oriented nature, and hands-on problem-solving style will translate to a superior guest experience.”
Bublitz has roots in the region, growing up in Maribel, Wis. and attending school in Denmark, Wis. He has family in the Green Bay area.
“The appeal for me with the Retlaw is two things: the importance of the hotel to the community and the fact that the project is being done right—a complete renovation from top to bottom,” said Bublitz. “To be a part of something new and great is always fun. I'm excited to be on the ground floor with Legendary Hotels and helping them to grow their reputation as a great management company, both with the Retlaw and any new projects as they come along. Fond du Lac is a great community, and I hope that through the new Retlaw we can bring in new people from outside the area, and all around the world, to get a chance to experience what the city and region have to offer.”
Sue Irizarry, Director of Sales & Catering
Sue Irizarry is a hospitality expert with more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing. As the director of sales and catering at Hotel Retlaw, she will be responsible for group sales, meetings and events, while working closely with the director of food and beverage and catering and banquet staff.
Originally a Fond du Lac native, Sue was very familiar with the Retlaw while growing up. Her mother, Ruth, was Hotel Retlaw’s banquet coordinator in the early 1980s. Their family even lived at the hotel over one winter, including Christmas, which she considers one of her most cherished childhood memories. After graduating from McConnell Travel School in Minneapolis in 1991, she began her own hospitality career at the front desk of Hotel Retlaw. Irizarry has a history of successful tenures in sales and marketing at both the Marriott and Hyatt in the Madison area, as well as various resorts over the last 25 years. She was named the Wisconsin Chapter of Meeting Professionals International’s 2010 Supplier of the Year.
“I am thrilled to have returned ‘home’ to the Fond du Lac area, and to the iconic hotel that means so much to me,” said Irizarry. “The elegance of the Crystal Ballroom with its beautifully-dressed guests always mesmerized me. I am elated we were able to preserve the crystal chandeliers, while infusing this space with contemporary touches and modern technology for a whole new generation of special memories for group events.”
Opening Later this Year
Hotel Retlaw will be an optimal destination for weddings, social venues and a neighborhood gathering spot through local membership programming. A soft opening is being planned for mid-December with a grand opening celebration in January of 2019. The hotel will bring an estimated 35,000 travelers to the downtown area annually. It is estimated that it will have an economic impact of $25 million per year.