Thompson Hotels announces the appointment of three savvy industry leaders to the management team at the brand's first namesake property in Miami, Thompson Miami Beach. The dynamic team at the upcoming lifestyle hotel includes: Brett Orlando, area managing director; David Casey, area director of sales & marketing; and James Wark, director of catering & events. These executives bring nearly 70 years of combined leadership experience to the brand’s highly anticipated flagship hotel.
Designed by Martin Brudnizki, the 380-room property located at 4041 Collins Avenue will feature two restaurants, including a signature dining destination by James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, as well as multiple bars and lounges, two swimming pools, a spa and fitness center, and lush, tropical gardens fashioned by landscape architect, Raymond Jungles. Thompson Miami Beach will debut in late October 2014 following a multi-million dollar renovation.
Brett Orlando, Area Managing Director
Orlando brings more than 20 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry to Thompson Miami Beach, where he will be general manager. Recognized as a trailblazer in his respective category, Orlando’s bold leadership skills and contagious enthusiasm will drive his team as he oversees the pre-opening phase of the beachfront hotel, as well as general operations post-opening. Prior to joining Thompson Miami Beach, Orlando was general manager at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ EPIC Hotel in downtown Miami and regional director of operations for the group’s southeast region. In this role, he managed more than 500 employees across four hotels and led all operations, strategic marketing and revenue efforts. Before joining Kimpton, Orlando served as managing director at Gansevoort Hotel Miami, where he worked to transition the property out of a foreclosure status while also increasing growth in the leisure business category, ultimately positioning the hotel above its market competitors. At Thompson Miami Beach, Orlando will also draw on his experience from Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the 1,504-room hotel he supported as vice president of operations during their re-launch period from 2007 to 2009, driving nearly $200 million in revenue that translated to more than $26 million in profit during his first year. Orlando also counts tenures as general manager at Hotel Palomar in Washington, D.C., Royalton Hotel, The Maritime Hotel, as well as the SoHo and TriBeCa Grand Hotels in New York City, among his other industry experiences.
Orlando graduated with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I. He is a currently a member of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, sits on the Miami Beach Hotel Association Board, and is actively involved in local community service organizations.
David Casey, Area Director of Sales & Marketing
A results-oriented and seasoned professional, Casey joins Thompson Miami Beach as area director of sales & marketing. In this role, he will apply his pre-opening and opening expertise to lead all sales and marketing initiatives, driving Thompson Miami Beach towards a bold and impactful entry to the market.
Casey joins the Thompson Miami Beach team from Miami Beach luxury resort, The Setai, where he served as executive director of marketing & sales for two years. During his time at The Setai, he led an extensive transition of the sales, marketing and revenue functions to a new management company. Casey also oversaw the opening of the first U.S.-based Expedia CruiseShipCenters retail and host agency franchise for which he remains a franchise co-owner and managing partner. Prior to his arrival in South Florida, Casey worked in the northeast market as vice president of hotel sales and marketing for one of the world’s largest casinos, Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in Uncasville, Conn. There, Casey managed all hotel marketing and sales initiatives for a $1.4 billion expansion project, and developed and executed a comprehensive pre-opening and opening strategy.
Earlier in his career, Casey served as vice president of marketing and sales for Carnival Hotels & Casinos and Registry Hotels & Resorts, where he created the first company-wide annual planning and forecasting program and played a major role in the successful openings of new properties across the U.S. and Mexico. He also worked in a variety management positions at Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, serving more than a 10-year tenure at each company.
Casey graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is currently a member of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), International Association Travel Agents (IATA), and Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA).
James Wark, Director of Catering & Events
With more than a decade of experience driving sales and managing creative event programming, Wark possesses an extensive network of influential contacts and an impressive ability to stay ahead of market trends. As director of catering & events, Wark is charged with identifying and coordinating strategic alliances, managing all catering functions and establishing creative programming and offerings for locals, hotel guests and groups.
Wark arrives at Thompson Miami Beach from Gilt City, where he successfully led the Miami launch for the online site that focuses on curating luxury goods and experiences. At Gilt City, Wark identified key partnership opportunities to exceed annual growth strategy goals. He also notes experience in the publishing world through national account manager and design sales director positions with Niche Media Holdings and Ocean Drive Media Group. In these roles, he managed client, partner and sponsor relationships, identified additional revenue streams to grow overall business, and assisted with the production of custom publications.
Wark graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and advertising from Barry University in Miami, Fla.
About Thompson Miami Beach
Opening in late October 2014, Thompson Miami Beach will be an upscale lifestyle oasis that combines the glamour of decades past with the sophistication of modern day. The beachfront hotel will feature 380 guest rooms, including 31 suites, and showcase the creative talents of revered interior designer, Martin Brudnizki, and landscape architect, Raymond Jungles. Guests will enjoy two restaurants, one of which will be helmed by James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, two swimming pools, a spa and fitness center, 24-hour in-room dining, and lush, tropical gardens. The hotel’s social spaces will include the Crown Room, an intimate environment where guests discover rare spirits and fine wines; an adjacent Century lounge with a sophisticated nightlife experience created by Miami’s KNR Hospitality Group; and the historic 1930s House, a venue where music, conversation and cocktails will flow. The hotel’s approximately 47,000-square-feet of flexible indoor and outdoor multifunction space will accommodate upscale events of various sizes. Thompson Miami Beach is located at 4041 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, Fla., 33140. For more information, please call 305.397.8309 or visit www.thompsonhotels.com.
About Thompson Hotels
Founded in 2001, Thompson Hotels is an international hospitality company that offers sophisticated luxury to its discerning clientele. The Thompson portfolio of lifestyle hotels includes Gild Hall and Smyth Tribeca in New York City; the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles; the recently opened Thompson Chicago; Thompson Toronto and Belgraves in London. Thompson Hotels also has multiple new projects in development, including Thompson Miami Beach, Thompson Seattle, Thompson Nashville, Thompson Los Cabos and Thompson Playa del Carmen. For more information, please visit www.thompsonhotels.com.
About Commune Hotels & Resorts
Formed in October 2011, Commune Hotels & Resorts is an international, multi-brand lifestyle hotel management company which manages and operates Thompson Hotels, a luxury lifestyle brand; Joie de Vivre Hotels, a collection of independently branded boutique hotels; and tommie, a new, youthfully-minded brand launching in 2015. The San Francisco-based company manages more than 40 hotels and resorts across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and is expanding its portfolio while establishing a presence in Mexico. For more information, please visit www.communehotels.comwww.communehotels.com.