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We welcome inquiries from media professionals. If you are a member of the media and are seeking information about our company, any of our properties or any of our projects, please contact the following:

Gold Key | PHR
Michael Woodhead, VP of Marketing

757-491-3000
michael.woodhead@phrinc.com

Lucky Break Public relations
Mike Stommel, Principal

323-333-2901
mike@luckybreakpr.com

Hilton Norfolk The Main: A collaboration 10 years in the making is finally open in the city's downtown

By C. Elliot Mest 

 

For Norfolk, Va., opening the doors of its newest Hilton property has been a 10-year process. What is now Hilton Norfolk The Main is the culmination of two failed development attempts that resulted in demolitions once the projects were abandoned, and it almost stayed that way. 

 

When Bruce Thompson, CEO of hotel development and management company Gold Key | PHR, shows interest in Norfolk, he invisioned building a W Hotel on the city's waterfront...

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"You have to have a new ride" New properties fill state's hotel pipeline

by Paula Squires

Virginia Business Magazine

 

While Norfolk's downtown landscape was visible from the lobby's glass atrium, a festive gala was underway inside during The Main's soft opening in late March. Hotel staffers served champagne to guest waiting to collect room keys, while dancers - whose costumes evoked Norfolk's mermaid sculptures - performer under giant helium-filled balloons...

 

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Virginia Celebrates 410th Anniversary of the Birth of American Cuisine with Launch of New Culinary Destination Experiences in the State's Coast Region

Gold Key | PHR Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

 

(April 26, 2017) Virginia Beach, VA - The earliest record of dining by early American colonists occurred on April 27, 1607, in Cape Henry in Virginia Beach. On that day Captain Christopher Newport and 104 Virginia Company colonists, feasted upon an oyster roast abandoned by a local tribe of Native Americans. The history of that uniquely American culinary moment-proudly owned by Virginia-will be included in a new tourism initiative...

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THE MAIN CELEBRATES OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING WITH BIG BANDS, EXCLUSIVE DINING & SIGNATURE PARTIES MARCH 31 - April 2

Weekend All-Inclusive Ticket Packages Now Available

 

(March 2017) Norfolk, Va. - On March 31 - April 2, Gold Key | PHR will celebrate the highly anticipated Grand Opening of Norfolk's newest social and meeting destination, THE MAIN. The public is invited to be the first guests to stay and play at the intersection of Granby and Main starting Friday afternoon with open house tours.  As the evening progresses, so do the festivities with the largest after-work party in the history of Norfolk taking place at THE MAIN's various restaurants and bars. The weekend celebration continues through Sunday with live entertainment, modern food and cool cocktails...

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GOLD KEY | PHR TAPS GREG BARNILL AS CORPORATE CHEF, OVERSEEING THE COMPANY'S AWARD-WINNING & EXPANDING DINING POTFOLIO

 

Gold Key | PHR welcomes new Corporate Chef, Greg Barnhill, to their team. He will oversee all culinary operations for Gold Key | PHR properties which include the highly anticipated relaunch of The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach and Norfolk's The Main, recently mentioned in Travel + Leisure's Top 50 Global Cities to visit in 2017, along with Gold Key |PHR's other dining establishments...

 

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19 Presidential Retreats Where You Can Visit and Stay

By Nadine Jolie Courtney

 

Soon after President Trump won the election, it was reported that membership initiation fees to his private club Mar-a-Lago doubled from $100,000 to $200K. Many people clamor to walk in the footsteps of a President and this one has the rare-if ethically murky-ability to capitalize on that.

 

While many of the former so-called summer and winter White Houses have been turned into museums-like Harry S. Truman's Little White House in Key West, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Little White House in Georgia, or Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia-a slew of presidential playgrounds exist where the public can actually stay.

 

From Trump to Taft, Clinton to Cleveland, we've rounded up the retreats most beloved by Commanders-in-Chief during their moments of downtime...

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Rolling out the red carpet for the arts at The Main

By Nate Delesline III
nate.delesline@insidebiz.com

At The Main in Norfolk, 33 is one of the smaller numbers that define the newly constructed, soon-to-open, Hilton-branded hotel and conference center.

Thirty-three is the number of different types of finishes - wood, stone, metal and concrete - featured in the new structure, the property's developer, Bruce Thompson, told a group of about 200 invited guests at a Feb. 7 luncheon...

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THE MAIN Event: A Weekend Celebration for the Arts Kickoff Luncheon

On February 7th, Gold Key | PHR's CEO Bruce Thompson, along with Susan Hirschbiel, Lisa Doud, Rob Cross, and former Mayor of Norfolk, Paul Fraim announced plans for THE MAIN Event: A Weekend Celebration for the Arts.  Over 200 guests attended the hosted luncheon which was followed by a guided hard hat tour of the the property, officially launching April 3rd.  Presented by TowneBank, the weekend-long private celebration will take place on March 24th - 26th with a goal of raising $1 million for local arts institutions and programs and will feature an array of visual art experiences, live performances from Virginia's leading theatrical organizations and Tony Award-winner Kelli O'Hara as the weekend's headliner. 

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NORFOLK'S PREMIER SOCIAL & MEETING DESTINATION, THE MAIN, INVITES GUESTS TO PAINT THE TOWN WITH ITS ART-FOCUSED OPENING WEEKEND MARCH 24 - MARCH 26

Ticketed Fundraising Sneak Peek Weekend to Raise $1 Million for Virginia's Visual & Performing Arts Programs; Events to Feature Live Performances, Interactive Art Installations, Films, Lectures, Galas, VIPs Including Special Guest Governor McAuliffe, Celebrity Performances & More

 

March 2017 Norfolk, Va.- THE MAIN in Norfolk, sets the stage to become the premier cultural destination in downtown Norfolk with THE MAIN Event: A Celebration for the Arts, presented by TowneBank, taking place March 24 - March 26, 2017. The series of weekend-long events will benefit the local arts community and showcase THE MAIN as Norfolk's newest social and meeting destination before it officially opens to the public on April 1. Gold Key | PHR, along with presenting partners Virginia Arts Festival and the Business Consortium for Arts Support will celebrate the arts community with the goal of raising more than $1 million for local arts institutions and programs, making it the Commonwealth's largest arts fundraising event on record....

 

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History gets honored ahead of The Main hotel's opening in downtown Norfolk

The Virginian-Pilot

By Nate Delesline III

 

In about 60 days, The Main, a new downtown Norfolk hotel and conference center, is slated to formally open its doors to guests.

On Monday, Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, the hotel's developer, Bruce Thompson and members of the business and economic development community gathered to formally unveil the Decker Building facade, a reminder of new building's place in history.

 

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"The most difficult job I've ever done": How a 71-year-old stone mason rebuilt the historic Decker facade

The Virginian-Pilot

By Katherine Hafner

 

NORFOLK

Ron Crum, who's worked in stonemasonry since he was 6, likes puzzles.

So when the 71-year-old was tasked with piecing together more than 500 pieces of limestone from the historic Decker Building facade, he gladly took it on.

"When it comes to hand-chip work, I'm the go-to guy," he said.

But he didn't know quite what he was up against - his "most complicated" puzzle yet. The 538 pieces weigh an average of 300 pounds each, the smallest about 20 and the largest, a slab of granite at the bottom, 2 tons...

 

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WILLIAM SCHULTZ JOINS GOLD KEY | PHR AS EXECUTIVE CHEF OF THE CAVALIER HOTEL

Gold Key | PHR's The Cavalier Hotel is excited to welcome Executive Chef William Schultz to their culinary team. He will manage all Food & Beverage operations at the newly renovated Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, VA ensuring that The Cavalier maintains the highest quality of food service standards.

 

"I'm honored to be part of such an iconic hotel property and leading the charge in bringing its culinary programs into a modern era that focus on locally sourced and fresh ingredients while paying homage to the culture of the city and the history of the hotel," said Schultz...

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THE CAVALIER HOTEL: A MODERN AMERICAN ICON

THE CAVALIER HOTEL: A MODERN AMERICAN ICON

 

The Cavalier Hotel Meticulously Restored to Its Original 1927 Glory After $75 Million+ In Modern Updates & Comforts

 

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA - A Virginia icon, The Cavalier Hotel (cavalierhotel.com), will reopen its oceanfront doors this Spring/Summer 2017 after a massive $75-million+ restoration. Developed by Gold Key | PHR, the newly reimagined property will become the latest luxury class member of Marriott's distinguished Autograph Collection bringing unparalleled accommodations and dining to the mid-Atlantic...

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FIVE PROJECTS THAT COULD REDEFINE NORFOLK IN 2017

The Virginian-Pilot

January 2, 2017

By Eric Hartley and Will Houp

 

AFTER YEARS OF PLANNING and millions of dollars in public and private investment, 2017 is going to be a big year for Norfolk...

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Transformative properties?: New and updated resorts will give Virginia more convention settings in 2017

Virginia Business

December 30, 2016

by Elizabeth Cooper

 

The new year will be a big one for Virginia's hospitality industry in terms of openings.  December saw the much-awaited debut of MGM National Harbor, a $1.4 billion casino and resort in Prince George's County, Md., across the Potomac River from Alexandria.  Two more properties, The Main in downtown Norfolk and a restored Cavalier on the Hill in Virginia Beach, will open in the spring. All three properties promise the latest in amenities and luxury, and travelers and convention planners are checking them out and making reservations…

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Fruitive will soon plant roots in Norfolk

The Virginian-Pilot: Inside Business

December 22, 2016

By Sandra J. Pennecke

 

Virginia's first certified organic restaurant will soon be planting additional roots in Norfolk.

Fruitive, which started in May 2012 in the Hilltop North Shopping Center in Virginia Beach and also has four locations in the District of Columbia, will open in The Hilton Norfolk The Main this spring….

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2016 Top Stories | 4. Hotels

The Virginian-Pilot: Inside Business

By Sandra J Pennecke

Dec 19, 2016

 

"If you build it, they will come" is certainly the anticipated mantra with the rise of several new hotels taking shape throughout Hampton Roads in 2016.

THE CAVALIER

The city of Virginia Beach is undergoing a renaissance of its own with the restoration of the historic Cavalier Hotel....

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Getting Ready for Grom

The Virginian-Pilot: Inside Leadership

By Butch Maier Photography by Harry Gerwien

Dec 12, 2016

 

Bruce Thompson chuckled.

"I was trying to duck it," he recalled. "It was just too big of an undertaking."

This from the Gold Key | PHR chief executive officer, who this October was in the middle of - among other gigantic projects - a major renovation of The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach and the construction of The Main hotel in downtown Norfolk....

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FRUITIVE COMES TO DOWNTOWN NORFOLK'S THE MAIN SLATED TO OPEN MARCH 2017

The Main, A $147 Million New Development Will Be Norfolk's Premier Cultural Epicenter Featuring Retail, Restaurants, Meeting Spaces & Even a Luxury Hilton Hotel
 

Norfolk, Virginia, October, 19, 2016

The Main, a Gold Key | PHR property, is a modern social experience offering luxury hotel accommodations, innovative meeting spaces and signature restaurants and bars, as well as retail, all at one address.

Joining The Main is Fruitive, Virginia's first Certified Organic restaurant. As a 100% plant-based restaurant, Fruitive is committed to using ingredients that are sourced from the best local and organic sources. Only fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices are used in Fruitive's wholesome food and beverages.

"Fruitive strives to provide their customers with a genuinely healthy experience in a beautifully designed environment," said Gregg Rozeboom, founder of Fruitive. "Our location at The Main is no exception and is conceptualized in partnership with Work Program Architects, a local firm with a distinctive mission to build community through great design."

Fruitive is thrilled to bring its health-focused vegan menu of cold-pressed juices, house-made nut milks, wraps, salads, sandwiches, super-berry bowls and liquid meals to the residents and visitors of Downtown Norfolk. At their new location at The Main, Fruitive will expand their menu to include award-winning coffees and exclusive loose leaf teas of the highest quality.

As Downtown Norfolk's newest social destination, The Main, caters to both locals and visitors alike with its collection of signature dining options, unique retail experiences, luxury hotel and state-of-the-art meeting spaces. As guests enter The Main, they are greeted by an astounding 100-foot tall ground floor glass atrium with interiors seamlessly blending Norfolk's urban core with a bright and contemporary design. From the atrium, guests can easily access The Main's luxury Hilton Hotel, which features 300 well-appointed guest rooms offering an extensive list of guest amenities. Additionally, the Exchange's meeting and convention 42,000 square-foot space houses Virginia's largest hotel ballroom space, just one of thirty-nine different meeting spaces. Current dining options at The Main include Saltine, Varia and Grain, each offer dining choices that range from casual rooftop brewery and lounge to fine dining Italian food fare.

The Main is a Gold Key | PHR property and is designed by a team of award-winning architects and design firms including Cooper Carry, the lead architect, with interior designs by both King Design and Baskerville.

For more information on Fruitive, please visit: www.fruitive.com.

The Main is located at: 100 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510. For more information about The Main visit: http://www.themainnorfolk.com

 

ABOUT FRUITIVE, LLC

In the fall of 2011, Gregg Rozeboom dreamed of a fast casual restaurant where his family could eat food that was healthy, delicious, and of the highest quality. Fruitive opened in May 2012 at Virginia Beach's Hilltop North shopping center as the first 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant in Southeast Virginia. Over the course of the next four years, Fruitive gained a reputation as a community-focused brand and became the State of Virginia's first Certified Organic Restaurant as a result of their un-compromised standards.

In 2015, Fruitive opened their second location in CityCenterDC alongside Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Dior, and other exceptional brands. Located in our nation's capital, CityCenterDC is Washington, D.C.'s newest premier destination and has become the District's unequivocal centerpiece, holding the highest sustainability qualifications through their LEED-ND Gold-Certification. Gregg Rozeboom, along with Emily Benson and their Tidewater based team of visionaries, found a perfect home for Fruitive in CityCenterDC, bringing their signature menu and exquisite juices to DC's most discerning customers. The Fruitive team is excited to continue on the path of partnering with luxury destinations as they make plans to open their third location in Norfolk's The Main.

Since its founding, Fruitive has cared deeply about the integrity of every ingredient. Its menu offerings are made from scratch with no artificial ingredients or sweeteners and no cane sugar. Excellence is at the core of Fruitive's brand and they pride themselves in providing their customers with unparalleled service, and a constant passion for quality. For more information, visit www.fruitive.com, or follow them on Instagram, @fruitive.

 

ABOUT GOLD KEY | PHR

Gold Key | PHR was founded in 1986 by current CEO Bruce L. Thompson in Virginia Beach, Virginia as a modest hospitality management company. Today with $500-million in asset value and $170-million in annual revenue, Gold Key | PHR boasts over 1,300 keys under the Ramada, Hilton and Marriott flags, multiple award-winning restaurants and is the state's largest hospitality employer. Adding to Gold Key | PHR's list of noteworthy hospitality brands are two highly anticipated projects, The Cavalier, Virginia's first Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel and the Hilton Norfolk The Main Hotel and Conference Center both slated for completion in 2017. Gold Key | PHR is also active in the development of commercial and luxury residential projects in the mid-Atlantic region. For more information on Gold Key | PHR, visit www.goldkeyphr.com.

 

CONTACT

Mike Stommel

Mike@LuckyBreakPR.com

323-602-0091Ext. 5

Fruitive, LLC

Emily Benson

connect@fruitive.com

757-351-0559

 
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DEVELOPER GOLD KEY | PHR & ARCHITECT CLARK NEXSEN TAKE HOME TWO AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AT 20th ANNUAL HRACRE DESIGN COMPETITION

Camp Grom Wins Award of Excellence For "Best Master Planned Project" While Pier Place Wins Award of Merit For "Best Conceptual Project"

(October 2016) Virginia Beach, VA - On Tuesday, October 11, 2016, Gold Key | PHR and Architect firm Clark Nexsen received two awards at the 20th Annual "Excellence in Development Design Awards" hosted by the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate.   The duo took home awards for their partnered work on Camp Grom and Pier Place.

 

Since 1986, Gold Key | PHR has been a leader in both the hospitality and commercial development sectors featuring some of the area's most prominent projects including the highly anticipated Cavalier Hotel and Norfolk's The Main, both set to launch this spring.   The award-winning company is as successful in raising structures as it is in raising funds for various non-profit organizations including the annual JT Walk & Beach Party which raises millions of dollars annually to find a cure for ALS.

 

Architect Clark Nexsen is an architecture and engineering firm founded in 1920. They specialize in planning, interior design and landscape architecture. Recognized as a top architecture/engineering firm, Clark Nexsen works to improve communities through transformation with their exceptional ideas and designs.

 

The annual Excellence in Development Design competition is in its 20th year and celebrated this momentous occasion in Huber Court at the Chrysler Museum of Art in downtown Norfolk. A jury of 4 judges chose from the best of the best in commercial development, giving out 16 awards and recognizing local Hampton Roads projects and initiatives.

 

"We're honored to receive recognition from our peers for our work on two great projects that we're very passionate about," said Gold Key | PHR's CEO, Bruce Thompson.  "We have always valued our partnership with Clark Nexsen and are thrilled to share this award."

 

Gold Key | PHR in collaboration with Clark Nexsen were the recipients of the Award of Excellence: Best Master Planned Project for their Camp Grom Recreation Facility. This 70-acre adventure camp in Virginia acts as a place where every"body" can enjoy the outdoors. Created to accommodate wounded veterans and their families, families of the fallen and kids with all types of disabilities and their families, Camp Grom has received $15 million from the city, state and private donors. Judges of the competition felt that "the Camp Grommet Master Plan creates a diverse yet cohesive village-like grouping of buildings as a special camp with a lively urban design plan and architecture supporting individual uses to create a comprehensible settlement to welcome all capabilities."

 

The Award of Merit: Best Conceptual Project was also awarded to Gold Key | PHR and Clark Nexsen in recognition of their oceanfront project, Pier Place. The concept behind Pier Place is to create a 10,000- to 20,000-square-foot public park, a redesigned concrete pier with 70,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, a new 150- to 200-room hotel, and a giant observation wheel. This venture could represent an over $200 million investment in the area and was seen by the judges as an idea that felt successful. The idea shows much promise in offering visitors an enjoyable experience on the Virginia Beach Pier.

 

ABOUT GOLD KEY | PHR

Gold Key | PHR was founded in 1986 by current CEO Bruce L. Thompson in Virginia Beach, Virginia as a modest hospitality management company. Today with $500-million in asset value and $170-million in annual revenue, Gold Key | PHR boasts over 1,300 keys under the Ramada, Hilton and Marriott flags, multiple award-winning restaurants and is the state's largest hospitality employer.  Adding to Gold Key | PHR's list of noteworthy hospitality brands are two highly anticipated projects, The Cavalier, Virginia's first Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel and the Hilton Norfolk The Main Hotel and Conference Center both slated for completion in 2017.  Gold Key | PHR is also active in the development of commercial and luxury residential projects in the mid-Atlantic region.

ABOUT CLARK NEXSEN:

Clark Nexsen is an award-winning architectural and engineering firm providing innovative design solutions to U.S. and global clients. Through collaboration and the development of a wide range of expertise, Clark Nexsen works to shape the future worldwide. Their focus remains constant: extraordinary effort to make projects work for their clients. Founded in 1920, the firm is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with nearly 500 employees in office locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Texas. Building Design + Construction has ranked the firm in the Top 20 Architecture/Engineering firms and Clark Nexsen has been named to the prestigious Architect 50 by Architect magazine for the past four consecutive years. 

 

 

Press contact:
Mike Stommel

Lucky Break PR

Mike@LuckyBreakPR.com

C) 323-333-2901

 

 

 

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VIRGINIA'S HISTORIC CAVALIER HOTEL SEARCHING FOR 84 COUPLES WHO WERE MARRIED OR HONEYMOONED ON PROPERTY TO RETURN & RENEW WEDDING VOWS WITH ONE COUPLE SAYING "I DO" FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS APRIL FOR ITS ‘GRAND UNVEIL' WEDDING GIVEAWAY

The Cavalier Hotel To Host Wedding Vow Ceremony, Reception & Coastal Honeymoon For 84 Lucky Couples Who Were Either Married or Honeymooned On Property Since Its 1927 Opening and One New Couple Saying "I Do" for the First Time

 

(September 2016)- Virginia Beach, VA - This spring 2017, after a $75-million renovation, and climbing, Virginia Beach's historic Cavalier Hotel, a Gold Key | PHR property, will reopen as a distinguished member of Marriott's Autograph Collection bringing unrivaled luxury back to the mid-Atlantic. Once a leading vacation destination for discerning travelers, celebrities and even ten U.S. Presidents, the Cavalier was also host to some of the region's most elite signature events and weddings. Honoring that history and celebrating its new future, The Cavalier is inviting couples, who were either married or honeymooned at the property since its 1927 opening, to submit their love stories for a chance to be selected as one of 84 couples to renew their wedding vows, celebrate and stay at the property in April 2017. Alongside this group of lucky couples, submissions are now open for one lucky couple looking to get married for the first time, at this launch celebration honoring both the past and the future of The Cavalier Hotel.

 

To Enter:  http://cavalierhotel.com/shareyourstory/

 

As the first guests of the newly renovated hotel, the 85 couples will experience the grandeur of The Cavalier Hotel in full swing, dancing the night away at the Big Band Ball on the sprawling lawn overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The next morning, couples will relive the romance of their own Cavalier weddings in a vow renewal ceremony set on The Cavalier Hotel lawn, with the one selected engaged couple joining them and beginning of their journey as newlyweds. This lush event will be followed by an elegant champagne brunch for all celebrants. The Cavalier invites ALL couples who were married, engaged or honeymooned at the hotel to attend the vow renewal ceremony in the morning. In addition to the wedding ceremony and reception, the "Grand Unveil" package will feature a dining experience at The Cavalier's new farm-to-table restaurant, Becca, along with tours of the onsite vodka and bourbon distillery, The Hunt Room and the Raleigh Room. The lucky couples will also have access to relaxing couple spa treatments at the Cavalier's new onsite spa, SeaHill Spa. 

 

"The Cavalier has hosted hundreds of weddings in its rich 90-year history," said Gold Key | PHR's CEO Bruce Thompson.  "It seems only fitting that we would launch this iconic property with guests who have lasting memories that we helped create, whether it was 10 years ago or 90 years ago."

 

Included in the renewal giveaway, couples will receive:

Complimentary hotel accommodations at The Cavalier Hotel

A Collective hosted wedding ceremony, followed by a champagne brunch

Dinner for two at Becca

Spa Treatments

Complimentary Photographs


The Cavalier Hotel is now listed with the National Register of Historic Places and is set to become the ultimate destination on the East Coast for special events, corporate meetings and luxury travel - an honor the hotel held for decades after opening in 1927.

For more details and to enter to win, visit: http://cavalierhotel.com/shareyourstory/

ABOUT GOLD KEY | PHR

Gold Key | PHR was founded in 1986 by current CEO Bruce L. Thompson in Virginia Beach, Virginia as a modest hospitality management company. Today with $500-million in asset value and $170-million in annual revenue, Gold Key | PHR boasts over 1,300 keys under the Ramada, Hilton and Marriott flags, multiple award-winning restaurants and is the state's largest hospitality employer.  Adding to Gold Key | PHR's list of noteworthy hospitality brands are two highly anticipated projects, The Cavalier, Virginia's first Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel and the Hilton Norfolk The Main Hotel and Conference Center both slated for completion in 2017.  Gold Key | PHR is also active in the development of commercial and luxury residential projects in the mid-Atlantic region.

 

Press contact:
Mike Stommel

Lucky Break PR

Mike@LuckyBreakPR.com

C) 323-333-2901

 

 

 

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September, 2016

BUSINESS & LEISURE INTERSECT AT THE MAIN, A NEW HILTON HOTEL, SOCIAL & MEETING DESTINATION IN DOWNTOWN NORFOLK, VIRGINIA

Set To Open Spring of 2017, the $150-Million New Development Will Feature Smart Accommodations, Signature Restaurants & the Most Meeting Space In the City

 

(September 2016) Virginia Beach, VA - Situated next to the Elizabeth River at the corner of Granby & Main Streets, The Main is set to become Norfolk's premier cultural epicenter in March 2017. From one-of-a-kind art to state-of-the-art, The Main, a Gold Key | PHR property, is a modern social experience offering luxury hotel accommodations, innovative meeting spaces and signature restaurants and bars all at one address.  At The Main, business will be a pleasure.

 

Standing 21-stories tall, The Main joins downtown Norfolk's skyline of exquisite modern and historic buildings.  With a glass curtain wall, The Main features an astounding 100-foot tall ground floor atrium that will serve as the focal point of the property, seamlessly blending Norfolk's urban core with a bright and contemporary interior. From the atrium, guests can explore everything The Main has to offer including its luxury Hilton Norfolk hotel, three signature restaurants, as well as The Exchange, Norfolk's largest convention and meeting space.

 

"The Main is a transitional moment for Norfolk, filling a void in the downtown scene offering both locals and visitors a comprehensive hospitality experience," said Gold Key | PHR CEO Bruce Thompson.  "We wanted to create a cultural destination in downtown Norfolk, one that excites both locals and visitors alike."

 

With the hotel lobby on the 2nd floor and rising 20 additional stories, Hilton Norfolk The Main will feature 300 well-appointed guest rooms, a modern fitness facility and magnificent, upscale indoor pool along with an extensive list of guest amenities catered to the business and leisure traveler alike.  With a contemporary design, the hotel is steeped in a blend of deep hues and warm tones with bright modern accents presenting a sophisticated level of detail throughout the property.

 

"The Main is more than just a hotel and conference center; it is a piece of civic architecture housing a multitude of functions designed to celebrate and connect to the surrounding community," said Rob Uhrin, a principal in Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio and one of the lead architects on the project. "The large central atrium - coined the ‘Grand Central Station' of the property - ties together all the public spaces, including the food and beverage outlets, hotel spaces and event spaces, creating a dynamic experience for the guest and onlooker."

 

Those seeking the ultimate in opulence and luxury need only travel to the top floors of Hilton Norfolk The Main with eleven suites offering sweeping views of both the city and the Elizabeth River. From the Bay Suites, which offer larger accommodations, grand bathrooms and multiple televisions, to the Presidential Suites that include a stately private dining room accommodating up to eight people, the Hilton Norfolk The Main suite experience is only rivaled by its service.  Additionally, the hotel offers Executive Suites located on the twenty-first floor designed for corporate travelers and select leisure guests.   Accessible only by private elevator key, and with its own private check-in and checkout, the Executive Suites feature separate guest rooms with upgraded amenities including dedicated staff available twenty-four hours a day.

 

The Main offers guests three distinct dining options: Saltine, Varia and Grain, located on various levels of the property and offering something for everyone. On the ground level, Saltine showcases the region's finest fresh seafood in a modern space with old-world accents including black distressed millwork and globe lighting.  The subtle masculine design reflects the region's history and features areas of exposed brick, hinting at the integration of the historic Decker building.  Building upon its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Saltine offers live seafood displays and a fish cutting room where guests can see the fresh catches of the day being prepared.  Anchoring the space is Saltine's extensive 2000-bottle wine collection and glassed-in private dining room.

 

A quick escalator ride up to the second floor and guests will find The Main's sophisticated trattoria-inspired Varia, a wine lounge and piano bar that offers elevated Italian fare.  With luxe detailing and finishes, the highlight of the space is a large millwork library with hidden bookshelf doors leading to an ultra-private dining room. Guests will witness Varia's culinary mastery in action with its open kitchen and elegant reclaimed chandeliers from The Cavalier Hotel ballroom, a historic 1927 hotel property also owned by Gold Key | PHR.

 

Located nine-stories up, the ten-thousand square foot Grain offers a casual rooftop option that seamlessly integrates indoors and outdoors with large roll-up walls opening to the terrace. With lush landscaping and an oversized fire pit, guests can enjoy live music or a life-sized chessboard and billiards room.  Along with casual dining options and a large a selection of artisanal beers, the amazing views of the Elizabeth River will be the highlight experience.


The Exchange at The Main boasts 42,000 square-feet of high-tech and high-design meeting space and features thirty-nine different meeting room spaces perfectly conducive to learning, sharing, collaboration and celebration, making it the largest conference space in Norfolk. The Exchange also includes an innovative collaboration room and two boardrooms as well as state-of-the-art technology from audio/visual equipment to soundproof rooms. For larger groups, The Main Ballroom can accommodate 1,200 seated guests and is the largest ballroom in Virginia with 18,500 square-feet of space with pre-function space also available.

 

Designed by a team of award-winning architects and design firms including Cooper Carry, the lead architect, with interior designs by both King Design and Baskerville.  

 

About Gold Key | PHR

 

Gold Key | PHR was founded in 1986 by current CEO Bruce L. Thompson in Virginia Beach, Virginia as a modest hospitality management company. Today with $500-million in asset value and $170-million in annual revenue, Gold Key | PHR boasts over 1,300 keys under the Ramada, Hilton and Marriott flags, multiple award-winning restaurants and is the state's largest hospitality employer.  Adding to Gold Key | PHR's list of noteworthy hospitality brands are two highly anticipated projects, The Cavalier Hotel, Virginia's first Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, and the Hilton Norfolk The Main Hotel and Conference Center both slated for completion in 2017.  Gold Key | PHR is also active in the development of commercial and luxury residential projects in the mid-Atlantic region. 

 

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, comprising more than 4,660 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties with nearly 765,000 rooms in 102 countries and territories. For 96 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of 13 world-class global brands includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including preferred pricing, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and Instagram

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Jun 05, 2014

The Cavalier Hotel Accepted to National Register of Historic Places

Virginia Beach's 87-Year-Old Hotel Undergoes a 5-Star Renovation

 
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - The Cavalier Hotel, a Virginia Beach icon, has earned the distinguished honor of being accepted to the National Register of Historic Places. National Register properties are chosen based on age, integrity and significance of the property to the history of their community, state or nation.
 
Constructed in 1927 by architect Clarence Neff, the Cavalier Hotel is currently undergoing a 2-year renovation to be restored to its original grandeur by Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts in conjunction with the architecture firm Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company and the general contractor W.M. Jordan Company.
 
The historic Cavalier Hotel will reopen in 2016 as a 5-star member of Marriott's distinguished Autograph Collection. As part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott, the new Cavalier Grand Hotel will boast 90 guest rooms, an onsite bourbon distillery, a ballroom for lavish weddings and social events and a world class restaurant. The mixed-use plan for the overall site development also calls for an additional 85 homes, including estate homes, cottages and bungalows. These residences will be built on the expansive ocean-facing lawn of the Grand Hotel. For nearly a century, the Cavalier Hotel has hosted beach goers and celebrities alike including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Will Rogers, and Bette Davis. The rich history of the hotel, including hosting seven U.S. Presidents, has helped the Cavalier Hotel secure its place on The National Register of Historic Places.
 
"The Cavalier Hotel is an iconic landmark. It's no wonder it's known as the hotel that ‘made Virginia Beach famous.' We are honored to preserve the history while making the Cavalier Hotel a luxury destination for decades to come," said Bruce Thompson, the CEO of Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts.
 
The rooms in the Cavalier will be completely gutted and rebuilt bigger. The main floor will be renovated but will feature trappings common in the early-20th century, including crystal glass pieces and phonographs. The poolside vistas and loggias, those enclosed porches that can open up to sea breezes, will also remain.
 
The Cavalier's sister hotel on the oceanfront will be rebuilt and called the Oceanfront Marriott Hotel. The oceanfront hotel sits next to the Cavalier Beach Club, which opened in 1929 and will undergo a $4 million facelift. The historic Cavalier is expected to reopen in 2016; the Oceanfront Marriott is expected to open in 2017.
 

About the Cavalier Hotel

The Cavalier Hotel, comprised of the grand Cavalier on the Hill, built in 1927, and the contemporary Cavalier Oceanfront, is renowned for its historic architecture, sophisticated ambience, and ideal Virginia Beach location. The hotel has served as a naval training center during World War II as well as host to many international dignitaries, celebrities and U.S. Presidents.
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May 30, 2014

Hilton Garden Inn Opens at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Featuring 167 All Oceanfront Rooms and Suites

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. and MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide's award-winning brand of upscale yet affordable hotels, announced the opening of the 167-room Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, representing an addition to the brand's growing portfolio of more than 580 hotels worldwide. The new Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront features 24 spacious oceanfront suites complete with oversized living rooms perfect for family vacations and travelers who need a little extra space. Each guest room has a private balcony with panoramic views of the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean. Another unique amenity is Lager Heads, an oceanfront restaurant open for lunch, dinner and late night. Lager Heads offers an array of local wines and brews on tap, patio seating, fire pits and seasonal live entertainment.
 
"Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront is a great addition to the iconic boardwalk," said Stefano Reyes, general manager. "Guests will enjoy our upscale, all oceanfront rooms and spacious suites, and our expansive sundeck overlooking the ocean really sets us apart from the competition."
 
Situated on the famed Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront is within walking distance of the beach's best dining, shopping, entertainment and water activities. This modern hotel is close to popular attractions, including the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Ocean Breeze Waterpark and the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg.
 
Guests will never be far from the beach with two oceanfront restaurants onsite. In addition to Lager Heads, the Garden Grille offers a full breakfast including a made-to-order omelet station. The Pavilion Pantry® is also open 24 hours and features a complete selection of salty snacks, sweet treats, cold beverages as well as freshly prepared, frozen and microwaveable packaged items. The hotel also features 5,000 square feet of flexible function space and an Executive Boardroom overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Each guest room boasts the brand's signature bedding featuring fresh, white duvets and crisp linens; a spacious and clutter free work desk, with an ergonomic desk chair; and an in-room "hospitality center" with a mini fridge, microwave oven and Keurig® coffee maker.
 
All Hilton Garden Inn guests will enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel; a 24-hour business center with Print Spots™ remote printing; state-of-the-art fitness center; and coin and credit card operated self-laundry. Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront participates in Hilton HHonors®, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles® and No Blackout Dates.
 
The Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront is owned by Gateway Investments, LLC and managed by Professional Hospitality Resources, Inc. in Virginia Beach, VA. In celebration of the grand opening, the hotel is offering the 5th Night Free - an ideal special for guests looking to take a family summer vacation or a long beach getaway.
 
For more information or to make reservation, please visit Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront or call +1 757 305 9000. Read more about Hilton Garden Inn at www.hgi.com and www.news.hgi.com.
 
*Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.
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For The Cavalier, a facelift trumps the wrecking ball

Developer Bruce Thompson takes on renovation of one of Hampton Roads' most beloved hotels

After two decades of replacing outdated oceanfront hotels with upscale, contemporary buildings, developer Bruce L. Thompson is about to take on the biggest project of his life: a nearly $260 million plan that includes the renovation of one of Virginia Beach's most iconic properties, The Cavalier Hotel.
 
The founder and CEO of Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts purchased the 86-year-old Cavalier Hotel earlier this summer. Sitting on a hill overlooking Atlantic Avenue with its name etched into a manicured lawn, the stately brick hotel had hosted an array of dignitaries before falling into disrepair. Owned for more than 50 years by The Disthene Group - a Buckingham company that mines the world's largest deposit of kyanite - the property went on the market this year after a circuit judge ordered the dissolution of the private firm after a prolonged family dispute about minority shareholder rights.
 
Read More at VirginiaBusiness.com
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Jul 24, 2013

Thompson closes on Virginia Beach's Cavalier Hotel

One of Virginia Beach's most historic hotels officially changed hands Monday with the closing on The Cavalier Hotel at 4201 Atlantic Ave. Local developer Bruce L. Thompson and a group of partners known as Cavalier Associates LLC purchased the property for $35.7 million.
 
Read More at VirginiaBusiness.com
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Jun 13, 2013

Thompson proposes $200M for Cavalier Hotel Project

Developer Bruce Thompson unveiled a framework for what he'd like to do with the Cavalier Hotel properties to Virginia Beach city officials Tuesday, setting the stage for financial negotiations.
 
Thompson told a room full of elected officials and appointees that he intends to put more than $200 million into the Oceanfront properties that include the 86-year-old Cavalier on the Hill. He mentioned that his firm would have to raze the old hotel if he couldn't secure enough support.
 
Read more at Insidebiz.com
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Jun 03, 2013

Pi-zzeria and new neighbors make Big Italy

Pi-zzeria, the venerable brick stone oven pizzeria at the Oceanfront, will get some new neighbors Friday as Mama's Italian Kitchen and Café Amarino open to create a trilogy called Big Italy.
 
Menu selections feature signature Italian dishes ranging from rustic pizzas and hot subs to oversized platters of salads, pastas and other entrees to pass around family-style as well as pastries, gelato and espressos.
 
Read More at HamptonRoads.com
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May 15, 2013

Bruce Thompson 3rd on The Power List of 75 People Who Shape and Influence Hampton Roads

Some call him "Virginia Beach's Donald Trump," but many will tell you the name Bruce Thompson carries its own weight.
 
The Norfolk-born developer has jumped a dozen slots to No. 3 on the Power List over the past year, opening award-winning properties, inking a major hotel deal with the city of Norfolk and launching an aggressive bid to obtain and redevelop the 86-year-old Cavalier on the Hill - what city officials say is "the most important property in the city."
 
Read more at Inside Business or view the Top 25 of 2013
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Apr 30, 2013

Bruce Thompson selected as 2012 First Citizen of Virginia Beach

The Virginia Beach Jaycees have chosen longtime hotelier and civic leader Bruce Thompson as their 2012 Virginia Beach First Citizen, according to a news release issued on Tuesday.
 
Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Key PHR Hotels & Resorts, joins 61 prior honorees that have devoted their time, talents, and leadership to benefit Virginia Beach and its citizens, says Kathleen Pearson of the Virginia Beach Jaycees. Read the entire article at wtkr.com
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Apr 18, 2013

Oceanaire Resort At Ocean Beach Club Earns The Ace "Project Of Excellence Award" At ARDA 2013

New Virginia Beach Resort by Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts

Wins International Recognition

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - Ocean Beach Club's newest addition, the Oceanaire Resort, earned the distinguished Project of Excellence Award at the 2013 ARDA World Convention. The international award is presented to the premier new resort that demonstrates excellence in architecture and amenities and benefits the local community. Located on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Ocean Beach Club complex features 536 deluxe rooms and suites, four oceanfront pools, including an adult only infinity pool, 2,600 square feet of ocean view meeting space, a 17th floor ocean view fitness center, an exclusive 10th floor lounge and sundeck, a tropical themed restaurant and tiki bar, an elegant martini bar and convenient access to beach amenities.
 
The ARDA Circle of Excellence Awards (ACE) are international awards that honor those who have attained the highest level of excellence in the resort industry and whose accomplishments and dedication spur the industry to new heights.
 
Craig Nash, Chief Executive Officer of Interval International, said, "This year's Project of Excellence embodies every quality we aspire to as an industry."
 
The Project of Excellence Award was among two awards Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts earned at the 2013 ARDA World Convention, held April 7-11, 2013 in Hollywood, Florida. Vice President of Sales, Mary Reinhardt, was also crowned "Sales Management Executive of the Year."
 
Previously, Gold Key Resorts and Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Thompson, have been honored by ARDA for community service and philanthropic endeavors.
 
"We're also honoring their commitment to their community, to their values, and to the principles that we want people to think of when they say the word ‘timeshare,'" said Stephen Weisz of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation.
 
In response to the recognition, Bruce Thompson said, "We built the Oceanaire Resort to complement the assets at Ocean Beach Club, and to create the region's best vacation destination for owners and guests. With the May opening of Big Italy, featuring three restaurants, Mama's Italian Kitchen, Café Amarino, and Pizzeria, and the 2014 opening of Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, we will further enhance our best in class resort experience."
 

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA)

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org
 

About Gold Key | PHR Hotels and Resorts

Gold Key | PHR Hotels and Resorts is the Virginia Beach Oceanfront's number one employer with up to 2,400 associates in season. The company owns and operates eight properties in the Mid-Atlantic region and oversees approximately 1,700 rooms. The integrated hospitality firm owns and/or manages hotels, vacation ownership resorts and leading area restaurants including Mahi Mah's ™, Catch 31™ and Salacia ™. For more information on Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts, visit www.goldkeyphr.com. For more information about Oceanaire Resort Hotel, please visit www.vacationrentalsvabeach.com/oceanaire or www.facebook.com/OceanaireResortHotel.
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Mar 25, 2013

31Ocean: Something for everyone at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront?

The 31Ocean apartment complex surrounds a courtyard, hidden from public view, where residents can lounge by the pool by day and fire pits at night - all within steps of the ocean.
 
Bruce Thompson stopped to survey the landscape during a walk-through of the property last month with his staff. He created this private oasis to heighten the appeal of the project - his first foray into residential development.
 
"I was worried this would be too cavernous, would feel like a canyon," Thompson said, as he described fancy patio furniture and lush plantings. "This is a very livable space. I'm very, very, very pleased with the way this has come out."
 
City officials are pleased, too. They're counting on 31Ocean to set the tone for mixed-use development at the Oceanfront in hopes of turning the tourist-driven area into a year-round destination to live, work and play.
 
Read more of this article written by Carolyn Shapiro and Stacy Parker at PilotOnline.com
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Mar 08, 2013

Sweet tooth? The Long Board Martini hits the spot

Here's a date night plan: Drive to the Oceanfront, toss the keys to the valet at the Oceanaire Resort Hotel and glide arm in arm into the Ultra Martini Lounge, a spot tailor-made for a tete-a-tete.
 
The Ultra is perhaps the most sophisticated bar in town. It's small. The ceilings are high, the lighting low. There's no trace of beachiness - no palm trees, no marlin exploding from the walls, no one in a ballcap crooning Buffett ballads.
 
Read more at HamptonRoads.com
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Mar 08, 2013

Proposed Downtown Norfolk Hotel Could Redefine Market

Some Norfolk city officials and business operators see the newly announced downtown hotel as a "market maker," as opposed to a property that's simply going to spread the existing tourist and conference-traveler markets thinner.
 
Downtown Norfolk has two main hotel-conference center properties. A third site, announced March 1 by the city, may compete with them on some scale, but several said it will likely draw newer clientele.
 
"Similar comments were made about the Hilton of Virginia Beach diluting the market," said Gold Key | PHR Hotel & Resorts CEO Bruce Thompson, who's developing the Norfolk property. "But to the contrary - we created a new business group that formerly had not been vacationing or meeting at the Oceanfront."
 
Read more at Inside Business
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Jan 21, 2013

One Va. Beach hotel down, one to come

Uncertainty surrounding the condominium market was on the mind of Bruce Thompson five years ago. The CEO of Gold Key/PHR Resorts and Hotels was in the middle of a four-phase project.
 
The final phase was but a distant plan, its usage yet to be determined. It required demolition of The Diplomat hotel on 33rd Street.
 
Read more at HamptonRoads.com
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Jan 10, 2013

Gold Key Resorts Promotes Jackie Riggs To Vice President, GKR Owner Relations

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - January 10, 2013 - Gold Key Resorts ™ (GKR) has promoted Jackie Riggs to Vice President. Riggs was formerly Executive Director for GKR Owner Associations.
 
Riggs has served the hospitality industry for more than 26 years, most of those as an executive with Gold Key Resorts (GKR). As Vice President, GKR Owner Relations, she acts as the advocate for more than 30,000 owners and investors and oversees legal, regulatory and compliance matters for the company's timeshare properties.
 
She was recently named President of the Virginia Resort Developers Association (VRDA) and was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to serve on the Common Interest Community Board. Riggs is involved at the national level with the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), serving on the ARDA International Foundation (ARDA AIF) Research Committee and has been appointed multiple times as a judge for the organization's annual convention. She has served as Chairperson for the annual JT Walk & Beach Party, raising millions of dollars for ALS and stem cell research and is active in the Susan B. Komen Walk For The Cure and other charitable organizations.
 
"Jackie Riggs is not only a highly experienced timeshare executive, but also a professional who is recognized nationwide as among the best in the industry," said John L. (Bucky) Houser, President Gold Key Resorts. "We are fortunate to have someone of her experience in our organization. She has been important to our past growth and is an important part of the future of Gold Key Resorts. We expect 2013 to be our best year ever due in great part to her contributions. "
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Gold Key Resorts Promotes David P. Shively, RRP, To Vice President, GKR Marketing

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - January 10, 2013 - Gold Key Resorts ™ (GKR) has promoted David P. Shively, RRP, to Vice President of GKR Marketing. Shively will oversee all aspects of marketing for the various properties owned and developed by GKR.
 
Shively has been in the hospitality and timeshare industries for more than 30 years, serving in various capacities including finance, development, operations, marketing and sales. He first joined GoldKey|PHR ™ in 1990, and rejoined the organization in 2011 as Director of Marketing of Gold Key Resorts. He was previously President of Great Wolf Vacations and CEO of Land'or Williamsburg, LLC.
 
Shively holds the Registered Resort Professional (RRP) designation from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the industry's highest professional certification. He has served two terms as a member of the Virginia Resort Developers Association Board of Directors. Shively has also served on the Timeshare Advisory Committee to the Virginia Real Estate Board and has been a speaker and sales and marketing judge for the annual ARDA convention.
 
"David Shively as always brought a unique perspective to our business, due in part to the diversity of his background in our industry and related organizations," said John L. (Bucky) Houser, President of Gold Key Resorts. "Success in the time share industry is highly dependent on strong marketing and David Shively gives us the kind of strength we need to compete. We have a great new property, Oceanaire, which is already highly successful and for which David will be instrumental in helping us achieve new sales levels at this very special resort."
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Dec 07, 2012

Va. Beach's Salacia Gives Patrons the Star Treatment

Some years ago, the term "fine dining" became a curse in the restaurant industry, dissuading diners from visiting due to the high brow - and high dollar - experience.
 
This is the crux for Salacia, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront's fine dining room.
 
Named for Poseidon's queen, the goddess of salt water, Salacia entertains every effort to make its guests feel regal. And it kind of works. After entering Salacia's intimate dining space - at the end of the Hilton's main dining room, Catch-31 - you feel like a celebrity. Or, at least, special.
 
Read more at HamptonRoads.com
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Dec 05, 2012

Down By The Boardwalk - Location, Concept Gives Pi-zzeria Edge Over Competition

Drive up the Virginia beach coast, and just about every block is peppered with at least one pizzeria, full-service restaurant, bar and shake shack.
 
That's a lot of white noise to wade through, but Pi-zzeria, with sales at $1.2 million annually, seems to have found its voice. The full-service pizzeria launched in 2003 is part of the Gold Key / PHR hotels & resorts development group, which houses eight different restaurants under its umbrella.
 
Read More at PizzaToday.com
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Dec 05, 2012

Gold Key PHR Promotes Bryan Cuffee to Vice President

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - December 5, 2012 - Virginia Beach-based Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts™ has named Bryan D. Cuffee Vice President of Development. The announcement was made by Robert Howard, Chief Investment Officer. Cuffee was formerly Director of Development.
 
Cuffee joined Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts in 1995. In his 17 years with the company he has participated in the development of more than $200 million in real estate assets. He is currently managing the development of $150 million in new projects, including Summer House Apartments, the Sidney Kellam Office Building and The Shops at 31 Ocean, all part of the 31Ocean mixed-use development. Cuffee is also managing the construction of the recently announced Hilton Garden Inn on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront at 35th Street. Cuffee's experience includes the construction of hotels, resorts, office buildings, restaurants and retail shops and he has been instrumental in the company's public/private partnerships.
 
Cuffee was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Old Dominion University as well as a Construction Management Certificate from ODU. He is a member of the Virginia Beach Development Authority; Virginia Beach Resort Advisory Committee; Virginia Beach Planning Design & Review Committee; Tidewater Builders Association; and the National Association of Home Builders. He has also served as Treasurer of the Norfolk Middle Town Lions Club, Advisor to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and is a Charter Member of United Way African-American Leadership Giving Initiative. He was named 2006 Manager of the Year by Gold Key|PHR Hotels & Resorts.
 
"Bryan Cuffee has been a key player during some of our company's most prolific development years," Howard said. "He has provided a steady leadership hand in some very large development projects that has given our investors, lenders and city leaders an incredible level of confidence and trust. We have a lot of new projects in the works right now and this promotion is just one indication of our confidence in Bryan to continue to lead our various development efforts."
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Nov 30, 2012

Resort Developer Found Recession's Silver Lining

At the dawn of the recent economic downturn, Bruce Thompson thought hard times would affect his company's multi-year plan to build $250 million worth of developments on Virginia Beach's Oceanfront by 2014.
 
But in many ways, the recession turned out to be a blessing.
 
"That's one of the reasons we're doing all these projects," said Thompson, who co-founded Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts 25 years ago.
 
"Interest rates are low, construction costs are low, subcontractors are available and we're taking advantage of that." Progress at the Oceanfront has been strong in recent years, Thompson said, and once the company finishes bolstering its vision there it may take advantage of some of the various opportunities on the horizon.
 
"We are very excited about what they're doing at Waterside and hope that we will have the opportunity to participate at some point in time in the future," Thompson said about that downtown Norfolk project in a recent phone interview.
 
Read more at insidebiz.com
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Nov 26, 2012

Gold Key | PHR Hotels And Resorts Breaks Ground on $50 Million Hilton Garden Inn®

9th Oceanfront Property Brings Company Total To 1,900 Guest Rooms
 
November 29, 2012-Virginia Beach-based Gold Key | PHR Hotels and Resorts™ continues its march up the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with the groundbreaking for its newest hotel, Hilton Garden Inn®. The Diplomat Hotel, built on the Oceanfront at 35th Street in 1930, has fallen to the wrecking ball to make room for the company's 9th Virginia Beach Oceanfront property.
 
With an expected opening date of May, 2014 the new Hilton Garden Inn will offer 167, all-oceanfront guest rooms, including 24 suites, 12 executive suites, a new signature restaurant, indoor/outdoor pool, and 5000 sqft oceanfront meeting and conference space.
 
Gold Key | PHR Hotels and Resorts has been credited with upgrading the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, having razed and replaced several early 20thcentury hotels with upscale, contemporary, amenity-rich resorts. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is one of the flagship properties with its popular Catch 31 Fish House & Bar ™, Sky Bar™ and Salacia Prime Seafood and Steaks Restaurant™. Gold Key | PHR Hotels and Resorts introduced the $70 million Oceanaire™, the newest addition to the Ocean Beach Club™ during the summer. Additionally, Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts will open 31Ocean in February, a $75 million mixed use complex adjacent to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
 
"We have done extremely well with the Hilton franchise in Virginia Beach," said Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key|PHR Resorts and Hotels. "The Hilton Garden Inn is a logical extension of our relationship with Hilton Worldwide and complements our various properties on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. With the completion of the Hilton Garden Inn in 2014, we will have invested more than $200 million on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront since 2010. This investment is an important part of a 5-year plan that will ultimately add 1,000 new jobs to our local economy. Obviously we continue to be very optimistic about the future of this great resort city."
 
Hilton Garden Inn, a member of the Hilton Worldwide group of hotels, received the distinguished "Highest Guest Satisfaction among Mid-Scale Hotel Chains with Full Service" award in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.
 
The Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach was designed by H&A Architects & Engineers. Interior design is managed by Las Vegas' Cleo Design. WM Jordan Company is the general contractor and financing was arranged by US Bank.
 

About Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts

Gold Key | PHR Hotels and Resorts is the Virginia Beach Oceanfront's number one employer with up to 2,400 associates in season. The company owns and operates eight properties in the Mid-Atlantic region and oversees approximately 1,700 rooms including the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront ™. The integrated hospitality firm owns and/or manages hotels, vacation ownership resorts and leading area restaurants including Mahi Mah's ™, Catch 31™ and Salacia ™. Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Visit us at www.goldkeyphr.com.
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May 14, 2012

Virginia Living Magazine names the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront "Best Beach Hotel" & "Best Hotel"

The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront was recently voted Best of Virginia 2012 by Virginia Living Magazine.
 
Over 10,000 readers cast their votes online for six weeks and gave the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront the honor of both "Best Beach Hotel" and "Best Hotel" in the eastern territory of Virginia. Furthermore, Catch 31, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront's restaurant, was selected as one of the top three restaurants for "Best Restaurant with an Ocean View."
 
Several features of the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront were noted by guests in earning the Best of Virginia titles. Most noted was the zero edge rooftop pool and bar atop the 21 story tower and the exclusive Sky Bar where guests can enjoy unparalleled views of dramatic beachfront sunsets and the entire Virginia Beach resort. The two award winning restaurants and the fact that each room has private balconies, many overlooking the ocean and adjacent Neptune's Park with festivals and concerts that occur throughout the year.
 
The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront features two award-winning restaurants, Catch 31 and Salacia. Catch 31 offers diners a one-of-a-kind seafood dining experience, with fresh fish brought in daily, a hardwood fired open flame grill and a sophisticated resort atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Catch 31 is also a frequent choice for after-dinner cocktails and snacks while guests enjoy nightly entertainment at The Neptune's Park just a few steps away.
 
Salacia, the only AAA rated Four Diamond Steakhouse in Virginia, features private dining verandas overlooking the ocean, and its stylish, leather and cobalt glass interior provide a perfect backdrop for an intimate meal, with fine wine from an award-winning cellar and prime-aged steaks cooked to perfection.
 
In response to the recognition, Bruce Thompson, President and CEO said, "When we built the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, we wanted to set a new standard for the Virginia Beach oceanfront. We are pleased that our guests and Virginia residents agree that the Hilton Hotel is best in its class for its accommodations, location, amenities and service."
 
Virginia Living Magazine is the most-widely read magazine in the Commonwealth with a circulation of over 35,000. The magazine is known for its smart, engaging stories and stunning photography that highlight all things Virginia.
 
The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is owned and managed by Professional Hospitality Resources (PHR). PHR developed the 289-room Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront in 2005 as part of the 31Ocean mixed-use development on Laskin Road at the oceanfront.
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May 11, 2012

Congratulations 2012 National Travel and Tourism Week Award Winners

On May 11, the CVB and the hospitality industry held their 23rd National Travel and Tourism Week Luncheon and Awards Ceremony at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
On May 11, the CVB and the hospitality industry held their 23rd National Travel and Tourism Week Luncheon and Awards Ceremony at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
 
Nearly 500 industry representatives, as well as, national, state, regional and local dignitaries recognized the "best of the best" front-line employees during this important event. Of the 165 nominations, thirty-eight individual and special recognition awards were presented to front-line employees who go "above and beyond" to make Virginia Beach a place visitors look forward to visiting year after year.
 
Congratulations to this year's winners from Gold Key | PHR:
 
Martha McCaw (Hilton) - Hotel: Concierge
Ann Marie Savage (Hilton) - Hotel: Banquet/Catering
Kris Schultz (Ocean Beach Club) - Hotel: Valet
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Feb 06, 2012

Bruce Thompson Named "Best Industry Leader" By International Group

World-Wide Recognition Puts Thompson Among Elite In Timeshare Industry
 
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA-February 6,2012-Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key/ PHR Hotels and Resorts, was recognized as the "Best Industry Leader" by Perspective Magazine, the leading trade publication for the timeshare and fractional ownership industry.
 
The award was announced last week at the annual GNEX awards ceremony in Cancun, Mexico. The awards recognize excellence in various categories including management, sales, operations, architecture and marketing. The "Best Industry Leader" is the final and most anticipated award each year and is reserved for the one person who has done the most to advance the industry and his or her own business. The event is attended by top executives from around the world.
 
"I was truly humbled by this recognition," Thompson said. "The nominees for this award are some highly regarded people who operate massive timeshare empires around the world. It is really an honor for me to bring this award home to Virginia Beach and share it with the Gold Key/PHR team and our strategic partners at Interval International who helped make it possible."
 
Thompson and his Gold Key/PHR group have developed a number of successful timeshare properties at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, including Ocean Beach Club Resort, Turtle Cay Resort, Boardwalk Resort and Villas, and Beach Quarters Resort. The company's newest resort, OceanAire, is nearing completion and is scheduled to open this Spring.
 

About Gold Key/PHR

Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts is the Virginia Beach oceanfront's number one employer with up to 2,000 associates in season. The company owns and operates seven properties in the Mid-Atlantic region and oversees approximately 1,700 rooms including the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The integrated hospitality firm owns and/or manages hotels, vacation ownership resorts and leading area restaurants including Mahi Mah's, Catch 31 and Salacia. Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Visit us at www.goldkeyphr.com.
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Jan 20, 2012

Salacia awarded 6th AAA Four Diamond Rating

AAA Tidewater Virginia has announced the four lodgings and four restaurants that earned the Four Diamond Award® or Five Diamond Award® in Southeastern Virginia. The AAA/CAA Five and Four Diamond Ratings are the travel authority's highest designations for hotels and restaurants.
AAA Tidewater Virginia has announced the four lodgings and four restaurants that earned the Four Diamond Award® or Five Diamond Award® in Southeastern Virginia. The AAA/CAA Five and Four Diamond Ratings are the travel authority's highest designations for hotels and restaurants.
 
Five and Four Diamond lodgings are refined and stylish with upscale physical attributes. They offer guests extensive amenities and a wide range of services. Area lodgings and restaurants receiving the prestigious AAA/CAA Four Diamond Rating, and the year they were first recognized, include the following:
 

Lodgings

Page House Bed & Breakfast (1995) Norfolk
Kingsmill Resort & Spa (1990) Williamsburg
Liberty Rose Bed & Breakfast (1994) Williamsburg
Williamsburg Inn ( 2002) Williamsburg

Restaurants

Salacia (2006) Virginia Beach
Terrapin (2008) Virginia Beach
Fat Canary (2004) Williamsburg
The Regency Dining Room (2002) Williamsburg
 
 
"Five and Four Diamond hotels and restaurants are committed to providing every guest with a high level of personalized service in comfortable, luxurious surroundings,‖ said GeorjeaneBlumling, Vice President of Public Relations for AAA Tidewater Virginia. ―To achieve and maintain this level of hospitality is a significant accomplishment. We are proud to recognize these dedicated local establishments with the Four Diamond Rating."
 
Representing the upper echelon of the hospitality industry, the 2,245 AAA/CAA Four Diamond and 179 Five Diamond establishments make up just 3.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, of the total 59,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
 
AAA's professional inspectors, ideally positioned to observe emerging hospitality trends, noted changes in store for 2012. For hotels, a prevalent trend is creating a home-away-from-home environment, according to AAA inspectors. Another growth area is ―smarter‖ hotel rooms that learn guests' habits as they use a central remote to control everything from heating and air conditioning to lights, curtains, music and wakeup calls. In the restaurant industry, prevailing themes include more natural ingredients, locally sourced foods and healthier meal options.
 
These include rustic fare - simple dishes with fresh ingredients - made in-house and new twists on comfort foods such as a ―dusting‖ of dried, powdered fruits or vegetables to add texture and flavor, rather than heavy sauces.
 
AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotel and restaurant listings can be found in the AAA TourBook® guides available at AAA and CAA offices across the continent. They can be accessed online at AAA.com/Travel and through downloadable eTourBookSM guides at AAA.com/ebooks. Smartphone users can locate Diamond Rated establishments using the free AAA TripTik® Mobile app or AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.
 
Continuing a 75-year tradition, AAA's professionally trained inspectors use published guidelines to conduct unannounced property evaluations. AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity and is the only rating system that covers the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations, assigning AAA/CAA Approved lodgings and restaurants One to Five AAA Diamonds.
 
As part of North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATWnews.
 
AAA news releases, high resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA NewsRoom at AAA.com/news.
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