[Skip to Content]Privacy Policy

Read Our Exciting Hospitality Management News in Virginia Beach, VA 

Read the latest news and articles about Gold Key | PHR, and see how our distinguished hotels and restaurants are making headlines.

Media Contact

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
Patti Gomez

[email protected]

Lucky Break Public relations
Mike Stommel, Principal

[email protected]


Iconic Property Acknowledged for its: Renovation & Restoration, Construction, Hospitality & Service


Virginia Beach, VA; November 7, 2018 - Virginia Beach's iconic resort property, The Cavalier Hotel, continues to garner accolades with its 8th award since re-debuting in April 2018.  Bringing back a level of sophisticated travel and stellar service once synonymous with the mid-Atlantic destination, The Cavalier has once again created unparalleled travel experiences earning national media attention along with accolades from hospitality and travel peers. The eight awards recognize the property's excellence in: renovation & restoration, construction, hospitality, and service.


The Cavalier Hotel has most recently received a Stella Award from the Northstar Meetings Group for Best Hotel Renovation in the Northeast Region. Competing with over 500 properties from across the country, the award spotlights the nation's best hotels along with noteworthy travel industry organizations and businesses. The Cavalier Hotel project has also been recognized for its dedication for preserving a historical property from the prestigious Historic Hotels of America naming it the 2018 winner for Preservation Success Story. The Cavalier was also chosen from qualifying projects located throughout the MidAtlantic region to receive an Award of Merit for Renovation/Restoration from ENR MidAtlantic Magazine.

The Cavalier Hotel has been recognized by Marriott International as the Autograph Collection Opening of the Year, spotlighting the hotel as the top Autograph property to open in 2018. Marriott International also awarded The Cavalier for Operational Excellence acknowledging the property's continued dedication to creating an exceptional experience for not only its guests, but also its associates and internal teams.


Additionally, Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. bestowed three distinct honors on the Cavalier Hotel this past year. Winning for Overall Excellence in Construction, Honor in Flooring, and Honor in Historic Restoration, the awards recognized the work done by W.M. Jordan Co. and highlights the collaborative efforts of the team of contractors, architects and engineers, specialty contractors, material suppliers, and crafts persons that brought the property back to life.


Along with its beautifully restored, luxury accommodations, The Cavalier Hotel takes pride in offering guests the highest quality of service in the hotel and in each of its signature restaurants. Becca, one the Cavalier's premier restaurants, was awarded a Four Diamond Rating, an honor given to only 2.1% of the 31,000 restaurants reviewed by AAA. To receive this rating, restaurants must demonstrate the highest standards in overall food service, décor, and ambiance. Becca strives to provide each and every guest with an unforgettable dining experience and exemplifies the standard set for a AAA Four Diamond establishment.


"I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from these influential organizations that have acknowledged the time, money, and commitment that all of us have dedicated to creating one of the Mid-Atlantic's leading hotel properties," said Gold Key | PHR CEO Bruce Thompson.  "While these accolades are very appreciated, my reward comes from seeing the faces of the families who enjoy the property, the hundreds of associates that we employ, and the elevated attention the property garners for the city of Virginia Beach."


The Cavalier Hotel has earned each of these distinctions following an extensive $85-million renovation and restoration which took over four years and was overseen by W.M. Jordan Co. The newly reimagined 85-room, 21-acre property brings bespoke service to the mid-Atlantic, featuring four distinct entertainment and dining experiences: Becca, The Raleigh Room, The Hunt Room, and Tarnished Truth Distillery, the first and only distillery fully integrated into a US hotel. At the Cavalier, guest can also visit the full-service SeaHill Spa, a private Cavalier Beach Club as well as utilize the property's state-of-the-art meeting rooms, a lavish ballroom, fitness facilities, indoor pool, and a museum which will give guests a look into the hotel's celebrated past.


To learn more about The Cavalier Hotel, please visit https://www.cavalierhotel.com/.


About The Cavalier Hotel:

The Virginia Beach icon, The Cavalier Hotel, officially opened its doors March of 2018 after a massive four-year renovation nearing $85MM. Originally completed in 1927, every detail of The Cavalier Hotel has been meticulously restored revealing the glorious architectural elements and design from its glamorous past while incorporating modern-day luxury amenities. During its heyday, The Cavalier changed the landscape and social scene of Virginia Beach's oceanfront playing host to ten U.S. Presidents, dozens of celebrities, like Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra, and was a major venue for performers in the Big Band era, like Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. In 2014, Gold Key | PHR began the extensive renovation and restoration of the property overseen by Norfolk-based architecture firm, Hanbury. Today the hotel is enjoying a renaissance, making it a destination for locals and world travelers. Reservations can be made at cavalierhotel.com



Read More


It's time to go bonkers for bourbon.


MAXIM Online

Jonah Flicker


September is Bourbon Heritage Month, a designation passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in 2007 (back when the Senate was capable of doing such a thing). 


The point is to celebrate bourbon, the indigenous American spirit that continues to be wildly popular both here and around the world. 


Here are 15 bottles you should try to get your hands on and drink right now, from an almost 30-year-old release to an affordable, new blended bourbon.




Tarnished Truth Distilling Company is a small distillery located in the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. They've released two bourbons sourced from MGP, a nine-year-old single barrel release and a three-year-old high rye bourbon. The distillery, which opened this past March, claims to be the only one operating inside of a U.S. hotel. At the moment, the bourbon can be purchased onsite or at retail outlets through Virginia. $63

Read More

CHECK IN: The Cavalier Hotel


Southwest: The Magazine



The Cavalier Hotel


Big-band ensembles, a gilded lobby, and a golf course with holes modeled after Scotland's greatest greens - The Cavalier Hotel once had all the trappings of the Gatsby era (F. Scott Fitzgerald was even a guest). Almost century later, the Virginia Beach gem was destined for the wrecking ball until a group of local investors stepped in. Their restoration ushered in larger, more luxurious rooms, three new dining concepts, and Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, the first hotel distillery in the nation. Book a tour or tasting and raise a glass to new beginnings.

Read More

Virginia Beach's classic Cavalier Hotel shines again



Ninety-one years after its debut, The Cavalier Hotel reclaimed its well-deserved reputation as a luxury destination in Virginia Beach when it reopened its doors earlier this year.


Built over the course of 13 months from 1926 into 1927 to a tune of $2 million, The Cavalier was so-named as a result of a local newspaper contest, and it quickly became the place to be upon opening. Its private train depot welcomed guests non-stop from Chicago, and limousines ushered guests from the rail station, as well as from arriving steamer ships.

Read More



Executive Chef Dan Elinan Embraces Summer with Seasonal Featured Dishes


Already a Virginia Beach dining destination, Becca, a modern restaurant inspired by farm-to-table practices, is the culinary essence of The Cavalier Hotel. Featuring bright and inspired cuisine using only the freshest local ingredients, Becca, under the direction of the hotel's skilled executive chef Dan Elinan, demonstrates a true commitment to sustainable cooking.


Elinan and his culinary team capture the spirit of summer with an ever-changing menu dependent on seasonal produce and seasonal catches. Serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, diners enjoy exquisite tastes while surrounded by Becca's lush gardens and stunning ocean vistas.


Chef's current features include Chilled Summer Squash Soup with Mountain View Creamery Feta, lime basil, beniseed cracker, and bright salads like the Arugula & Pickled Strawberry Salad with Goat Lady Goats Cheese, shaved fennel, espelette sunflower seeds, and lemon miso vinaigrette and the Grilled Baby Gem with pickled toy box tomato, shaved pecorino, garlic parmesan dressing, and sesame semolina crumble.



Read More

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Virginia Beach

The Washington Post


By Candy Sagon


The grand reopening this spring of Virginia Beach's historical Cavalier Hotel, following a four-year, $85 million renovation of the 91-year-old oceanfront landmark, is a fitting symbol of the city's booming tourism business and rapidly changing culinary scene. The latest state tourism data shows that the last five years have brought record numbers of visitors to enjoy the city's pristine beaches and family-friendly atmosphere, but the biggest changes have come from a coterie of young, innovative chefs determined to shake up the city's staid eateries. In the laid-back Vibe district, just blocks from the busy beachfront, one can find new craft coffee shops and farm-to-fork restaurants worthy of big-city neighbors. The Cavalier is also capitalizing on the national love for craft spirits with its own working distillery for making bourbon, rye whiskey and vodka — a throwback to the hotel's Prohibition days.

Read More

Your Next Hotel May Have an Attached Brewery or Distillery



Capitalizing on a growing love of craft beer and spirits, more hotels are adding on-site breweries and distilleries to lure travelers into destination trips and longer stays.


By Elaine Glusac

June 18, 2018


Today's trendiest hotel amenity is an operational brewery or distillery on site, and it means guests won't have to worry about a designated driver after a flight of craft beers or carefully-distilled whiskey.


Following the path blazed by winery inns and microbrewery hotels like McMenamins, a chain of hotels in Oregon, a new crop of American hotels offers not just a comfortable bed and a leisurely stay, but also adult beverages you can't get anywhere else.


The Source Hotel in Denver features a branch of New Belgium Brewing devoted to small batch and sour beers just off the lobby. Guests of the 100-room hotel, located at the Source food hall and market in the River North district, will receive a freshly tapped glass of beer at check-in and can order beer flights from room service. Brews aging in barrels will share the hotel rooftop with a cantilevered pool and a restaurant featuring beer-paired dishes.


Another big player in the craft beer business, Stone Brewing of Escondido, Calif., plans to begin construction of the Stone Brewing Hotel across the street from its brewery and its Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant, retail and beer garden complex. The hotel is expected to add 99 rooms and three bars to the rest of the company's attractions, all located about 30 miles north of San Diego.


For fans of craft spirits, the 1927-vintage Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, Va., reopened in March after a four-year, nearly $85-million renovation that included adding a working distillery. Tarnished Truth Distilling Company makes bourbon, rye and vodka at the 85-room grand hotel and supplies its spirits to hotel bars, including the Hunt Room, which was said to serve bootleg drinks during Prohibition.


The distillery "became a homage to the history of the Cavalier," said Mike Woodhead, a vice president of marketing for Gold Key|PHR, which owns the Cavalier Hotel. "When the hotel first opened in 1927 it was surrounded by places to get illegal whiskey."


The historic hotel follows the 2015 opening of the boutique Distillery Inn from Marble Distilling Co. in Carbondale, Colo, about 30 miles from Aspen, where guests can curl up by the fireplaces in its five rooms with house-made rye whiskey and toast iconic Mount Sopris.


Link to Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/travel/hotel-brewery-distillery.html

Read More

Top-Shelf Trends

Hotels Magazine




The Cavalier Hotel, a Gold Key | PHR property and Marriott Autograph Collection member in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the first U.S. hotel with an on-site distillery, producing three kinds of whiskey (guests can barrel their own batch) and a plan to distill gin. It also distils vodka: When Andrew Yancey and Josh Canada proposed opening the Tarnished Truth distillery in the hotel to CEO Bruce Thompson, he insisted on it. "If you go into a liquor store, there's more vodka than anything else so it's hard to compete in that realm," Yancey says, " but if we're doing local stuff, might as well do everything we can."

Read More

We Planned the Perfect Weekend in Virginia Beach

Coastal Living Magazine

By Tracey Minkin


Check In

The historic Cavalier Hotel,  a grande dame that's welcomed 10 U.S. presidents, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and other luminaries since it opened its opulent doors in 1927, has reopened in 2018 after a four-year renovation. With much of the historic detail restored, new pleasures have joined the fun, including an on-site distillery, a full-service spa, and a reimagined Beach Club opening on Memorial Day. Rates for the 62 rooms and 23 suites start at $189.

Read More


The award-winning Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront has completed a $13 million room renovation, pairing spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and award-winning dining offerings with 289 completely refreshed guest rooms and suites. The renovation comes as the hotel enters its second decade as the centerpiece of Virginia Beach's nationally recognized boardwalk.  


"We are committed to offering the best experience to our guests and this includes stylish, new rooms," says Bruce Thompson, President and CEO of Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts, which owns and manages Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. "Attention to detail has been a hallmark of Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront since its opening in 2005, and it continues to show in this renovation."


The complete renovation of all of the rooms took place in phases beginning in 2016 with the hotel's Empyrean Club rooms. Located on the top three floors of the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel, the Empyrean Club is an exclusive "hotel within the hotel" and has 53 rooms, including two executive suites and the Empyrean Club lounge.


The Empyrean Club rooms' color palettes emphasize pale hues of white and cream with green, jewel-tone accents. With either a Hilton Serenity king bed or two Hilton Serenity double beds, the rooms have a spa-like presentation with upscale amenities, including 55-inch plasma screen televisions, private baths with their own 10-inch LCD television, BOSE® clock radios and cordless telephones. Plush cotton bathrobes, lighted makeup mirrors, irons and ironing boards provide residential comforts, while the nightly Suite Dreams turndown service adds a welcome touch of luxury. The Empyrean Club Level also provides the added touches of bottled water, Starbucks® coffee, premium bath and beauty products, puff sponges and satin hangers.


The final phase of the renovation was the hotel's Superior guest rooms, which make up the majority of the hotel's inventory. Work on those rooms began in 2017 and was completed during the first quarter of 2018.


Inspired by its oceanfront location, the hotel's new Superior guest room design features a soothing, yet vibrant color palate of blues, creams, and grey hues. With either a Hilton Serenity king bed or two Hilton Serenity double beds, these rooms have contemporary style furniture and accent pieces. The many amenities include a 37-inch TV with premium cable channels, on-demand movies, Wi-Fi, two telephones with voicemail capability, and desks with ergonomic chairs. Textured ceramic tile, sleek backlit mirrors, and 5-jet showerheads are a few of the highlights of the renovated bathrooms.


In addition to the renovated guest rooms, Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is home to two award-winning restaurants, Catch 31, and Salacia, Virginia's only 4-Diamond steakhouse, and 13,000 square feet of flexible function space including an oceanfront ballroom. It also features the only rooftop infinity pool in Virginia Beach offering stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Virginia Beach coastline. 


About Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts

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 both the 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 recent high-profile projects, The Cavalier, a member of the Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel and the Hilton Norfolk The Main Hotel and Conference Center which features the largest hotel ballroom in the state.  Gold Key | PHR is also active in the development of commercial and luxury residential projects in the mid-Atlantic region and has been integral in philanthropic development in the region through its charity arm, The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation. For more information about the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, visit www.hiltonvb.com or www.facebook.com/HiltonVB.


About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of twelve world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,300 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties in 94 countries and territories. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information.

Read More

What You Should Know Before Visiting These 31 Popular Travel Destinations

Architectural Digest


Consider yourself armed for your next big adventure


April 16, 2018

Hannah Huber


Planning a trip can be a daunting task. Curating the perfect itinerary for a short getaway while avoiding the ever-present fear of tourist traps and gaffes can ruin a trip before it even begins. Being aware of activities and sites to skip is just as important as making time for the secret can't-miss spots. Below are 31 destinations, with insider tips to match, to take the pain out of planning.


Virginia Beach, Virginia

Experience the historical side of Virginia Beach in the newly renovated Cavalier. Playing host to ten presidents, as well as celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and more, this waterfront icon was built in 1927 by architect Clarence Neff and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Treat yourself to a tour of the hotel's private onsite distillery or a game of billiards in its historic Raleigh Room and be transported to a glamorous Art Deco fantasy.

Read More

Cavalier Hotel reopens after $81 million renovation

Virginia Business


March 29, 2018

by Paula C. Squires


Hospitality executive Bruce L. Thompson once told the Virginia Beach City Council that he didn't want to be "the guy who tore the hotel down."

These days, Thompson and his business partners are being praised as the group that saved the iconic Cavalier Hotel.  After nearly five years and $81 million in renovations, the historic Virginia Beach hotel officially reopened March 7.

"It could have had 3,200 units on it," Thompson, CEO of Gold Key| PHR, a Virginia Beach-based hospitality company, told a large gathering that attended the property's ribbon-cutting celebration.

Thompson was referring to other developers who wanted to demolish the hotel and put up high-density residential projects after a judge ordered that the property be sold in 2012. The order was aimed at resolving a lawsuit over minority shareholder rights that had been filed by warring factions of the Disthene Group, the hotel's owner at the time. 

Read More

10 must-see sights at this historic under-the-radar gem



Jennifer Franklin, for Visit Virginia Beach


Virginia cities like Williamsburg and Richmond have a reputation for being historical gems, but Virginia Beach boasts a robust history all its own. Paired with a thriving arts scene and, of course, outdoor experiences on the beach itself, this coastal city is packed with history to engage every member of the family. Consider this your primer. Here are the top 10 historic sites to see on your next trip and help you start planning your own Virginia Beach itinerary, which will check all the must-have boxes on your next vacation.

Read More

The Cavalier Hotel Reveals Extensive Renovations

Hospitality Design


Will Speros • March 16, 2018


The Cavalier Hotel has returned to Virginia Beach following a four-year, $85 million renovation by Norfolk, Virginia-based Hanbury Architects.


The entrance has been restored with its original four-column portico and brick porte-cochère leading to the lobby, which channels the Jazz Age of the Roaring Twenties with historic elements, including soaring ceilings, sparkling fixtures, and ornate architectural moldings. Anchored by a central fireplace, the Raleigh Room merges modern style with classic Southern charm, serving as the main salon with seating, drink carts, and gaming. The indoor-outdoor eatery Becca features intimate garden seating as well as contemporary interiors, while the distillery and tasting room Tarnished Truth and the Prohibition-inspired tavern the Hunt Room serve as additional social and convivial lounges. The Hunt Room also boasts a fully rebuilt, oversized hearth that was a key fixture of its original design.

Read More

First Look: Virginia Beach's Cavalier Hotel

Garden & Gun


A storied seaside hotel returns to its Jazz Age glory


By Elizabeth Hutchinson

March 15, 2018


Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby all partied in the famed Crystal Ballroom at the circa-1927 Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Designated trains from Chicago and D.C. deposited glittering guests feet from the front door of the brick neoclassical tower perched on a grassy hill overlooking the Atlantic. Ten U.S. presidents soaked in the hotel's claw-foot tubs outfitted with extra spigots to draw restorative salt water baths. A Prohibition-era speakeasy and casino reportedly operated out of the basement. Perhaps juiciest of all, Richard Nixon allegedly burnt the White House tapes' missing eighteen-minutes in the fireplace of the hotel's subterranean Hunt Room lounge. But by the early twenty-first century, the once-regal Cavalier was embroiled in a family feud and had deteriorated to the point that Stephen King's Jack Torrance would have been right at home in its musty near-empty halls. Then in 2013, the folks at Gold Key PHR, a local hospitality and real estate management firm, purchased the aging grande dame.

Read More

Presidential stay: Hotels that hosted the commander in chief


Reopening in March 2018 after three years and more than $80 million in renovations, The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach has hosted U.S. presidents including Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. In fact, Nixon was seen burning papers in the hotel's oversized fireplace late at night in the middle of summer during Watergate. His daughters made some friends at the beach and invited them back to Washington, D.C. to tour the White House.

Read More



By Matt Meltzer


Virginia Beach, Virginia: Surf Park


Pharrell brings waves of energy to the Oceanfront Dome

For more than 20 years, the former site of the Oceanfront Dome music venue in Virginia Beach has sat as an oceanfront parking lot. The city views its development as the lynchpin in making VB a year-round tourist destination, and musician Pharrell Williams thinks he has the answer: a surf park. Last year, he and his partners entered into a deal with the city to develop a $20 million park as part of a $300 million retail development, where surfers can catch 6-foot artificial waves, 30 per hour.


Beyond the surf park, Virginia Beach has seen some other attractive new developments. The historic Cavalier Hotel reopened this year, and after a $75 million restoration also opened the first distillery completely set in a US hotel at Tarnished Truth. Plans for a new 880-foot concrete pier jutting out from 15th Street are also in the works, complete with a Ferris wheel. Look for Virginia Beach within a few years to be considered a primo American beach destination, a jewel on one of the country's most underrated stretches of coast.

Read More

Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach holding job fair to find 225 workers

The Virginian-Pilot

By Stacy Parker 



The Cavalier Hotel at the Oceanfront is looking to hire workers as it gears up for its grand opening.


Gold Key | PHR will hold a job fair on Tuesday for 225 hospitality positions, including full-time managers, bar and waitstaff, culinary professionals, banquet servers, housekeepers and more.


Salaried positions will pay $48,000 to $80,000. Front desk agents will make $12 to $15 an hour, and a room attendant will earn $11 an hour, according to a Gold Key | PHR spokesperson.


Read More



A crowd of blue and gray lined the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on Sunday.


Today was the 10th Annual JT Walk in honor of Josh Thompson, who was diagnosed with ALS 10 years ago.


The event is hosted by the Virginia Gentleman Foundation.


"This is all his vision that he has," said Josh's father Bruce. "He said you know we're going to work to find a cure for ALS but we're going to make quality of life for all those suffering with disabilities a major focal point."

Read More

BILLBOARD.com: Cole Swindell Talks Touring With Dierks Bentley, Appearing on 'Ellen' and the Value of Giving Back


10/4/2017 by Chuck Dauphin


Since 2013, Cole Swindell has notched one hit single after the other -- with his first six solo singles all having been certified gold. In this past year, the Warner Brothers recording artist has seen his stock rise even higher, thanks to his duet with Dierks Bentley, "Flatliner," as well as his spot on the singer's recent What The Hell Tour. Swindell says he feels the momentum is as strong as ever before in his career, and he has his friend to thank.


"The Dierks tour was so huge for me," he beamed to Billboard. "I've been on some great tours in the past during my career, and this year has been no exception. I've always been a huge Dierks Bentley fan, and everybody knows that, but what makes him so special is who he is off the stage, as well. He's the kind of artist as I want to be. As long as I want to be around, I think you need people like Dierks Bentley to look up to, and call a friend, and that's what I call him now -- is a friend."


That exposure has led to some prime television gigs as of late, such as last month's guest shot on Ellen, which he says was a career highlight. "Flying across the country to do the [show] was just amazing. Getting to go on there, and play [new single] ‘Stay Downtown' was a huge moment for me. Being on television is such a big part of our world, and meeting her -- and Jamie Foxx -- was a great day not only for me, but for all the guys, who all work hard together. It might be my name on the dressing room, but we're all in this together. There's no feeling like knowing you're going to be on television as soon as they say go. Your heart is just racing. I don't know if that will ever stop for me, but I hope it doesn't. It's a one of a kind feeling, and one of those opportunities that, as a recording artist, you live for. It's huge."


Something else that is big for the singer is his participation in this weekend's benefit for the JT Walk in Virginia Beach. Swindell and Jana Kramer will be performing a concert for everyone who participates in the walk. The event was started by Josh Thompson, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2006.  Since then, the community has rallied behind him, raising millions of dollars for the event, which benefits ALS stem cell research as well a twenty-acre activities camp called Camp Grom for wounded veterans, gold star families and families with kids who have disabilities. Swindell says he was honored to be asked to help raise funds and awareness for the organization and the event.


"I am always happy to help out organizations that help out the military and our children," said Swindell. "The place cost 15 million dollars, and we're trying to raise another $1.4 million to finish off the whole thing. Then, they will turn it over to the YMCA. I'm an ambassador for Diamond Resorts, and they've been a huge part of raising money for them. I just love good people, and the people at Diamond have been so good to me and have thought of me and Jana to do a concert and are trying to raise money for those who have paid the price for our freedom. Seeing everything they have put into making this whole camp is unbelievable. You've got to see it to believe it. I'm just proud to be a part of it."


Just like with many of his contemporaries, Swindell says that giving back means a lot to him. He cherishes the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of his fans -- either through charitable works or his music. "There's been several moments with the fans -- particularly with ‘You Should Be Here,' people have shared their stories of that one. There's no better feeling to know that I wrote a song that has helped people the way that it has helped me."


When asked about a certain instance of a fan interaction that touched him, the Georgia native didn't hesitate. "There was a special person whose name was Chelsea. She was a med student at Louisville, and was hit by a drunk driver a few years ago. She was a huge fan before the accident, and had brain injuries and didn't remember a whole lot, but they played her my music, and she remembered it. I met up with her and her boyfriend, who stuck by her side the whole time, and what a man that takes. That was one of the most inspirational fan moments. I still keep in touch with them. It's amazing to think that music can be that powerful. She didn't deserve any of that -- just a medical student going to school to try to help somebody else, and went through such an unfortunate event.  Now, she's in speech therapy and is going to go back to school to help people in that position. It brings tears to my eyes to think of someone who is that strong. I've never had to deal with anything like that. So to know that someone like that is a big fan of mine, it means the world to me."


All in all, Swindell says that it's moments that like that make him savor every moment of his career climb -- regardless of how busy he gets. "It's been a crazy four years, but sometimes you have to just stop and look at what you have done. There's so much hustle that goes on in this business, and you're always thinking about what's next, but sometimes it takes my mama texting me, ‘Just think of what you've done over the past three months, or the last year,' and when you think of it like that, it's easy to be thankful. You dream of those opportunities like mine. As long as I can continue to live this dream, I'm gonna be happy -- and try to make other people happy."



Read More

Salacia Prime Seafood & Steaks Earns Wine Spectator Restaurant Award in 2017

--Salacia Among 3,592 Winners;
Full 2017 Dining Guide Revealed in Wine Spectator
's August Issue--


Virginia Beach, VA (July 11,  2017) — Salacia Prime Seafood & Steaks has been honored for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator's 2017 Restaurant Awards. The restaurant is recognized among other winners from all over the globe as a top destination for wine lovers.


"Restaurants continue to raise their game when it comes to wine, and we are particularly proud to present this year's winners," said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor & Publisher, Wine Spectator. "As wine becomes more important to diners, the Awards program is thriving—with an increasing number of entries, as well as growing print, digital and social audiences. Wine Spectator congratulates each and every award winner."

"This is an outstanding achievement from our team at Salacia, and we are so thrilled to be included!" said Michael Woodhead, vice president of marketing for Gold Key | PHR...

Read More

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...

Read More

"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...


Read More

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...

Read More


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...

Read More



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...


Read More

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...

Read More

Rolling out the red carpet for the arts at The Main

By Nate Delesline III
[email protected]

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...

Read More

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. 

Read More


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....


Read More

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.


Read More

"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



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...


Read More


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...

Read More




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...

Read More


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...

Read More

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…

Read More

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….

Read More

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

Read More

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....

Read More


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



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.



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.



Mike Stommel

[email protected]

323-602-0091Ext. 5

Fruitive, LLC

Emily Benson

[email protected]


Read More


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.



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.


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

[email protected]

C) 323-333-2901




Read More


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/


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

[email protected]

C) 323-333-2901




Read More
September, 2016


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

Read More
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.
Read More
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.
Read More

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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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.
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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. "
Read More

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."
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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."
Read More
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
Read More
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.
Read More
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.
Read More
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
Read More
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.
Read More
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:


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


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.
Read More