The St. Regis Aspen Resort Appoints Michael McDonald as Director of Spa

USA, Aspen, Colorado. September 25, 2019

The St. Regis Aspen Resort is thrilled to announce its most recent hire and new Director of Spa, Michael McDonald, who will oversee daily operations, programming, events and initiatives at the resort's Remède Spa - Aspen's only full-service spa. Possessing a strong passion for wellness and hospitality, Michael will play an integral role in expanding the spa's programmatic offerings and facilitating new ways to benefit guests and the Aspen community's health and wellness.

"Our spa has long been regarded as one of the finest in world, and we attribute this success to the incredible team and culture we have cultivated over the years," said Heather Steenge-Hart, Area General Manager of Marriott International's Luxury Mountain Resorts (The St. Regis Aspen, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, The St. Regis Deer Valley, and W Aspen). "Michael contributes an ideal balance of experience, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking needed to helm the spa and maintain its positive trajectory."

Guided by a lifelong passion for wellness, Michael began his spa career as an Assistant Spa Director at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa, where he was eventually promoted Director of Spa. He then went on to hold the position of Spa Director at Mokara Spa and Salon in Dallas and The Spa at Hilton Marco Island. Most recently, Michael served as the Spa Director at Aspen's Hotel Jerome.

"As someone who deeply understands the importance of overall wellbeing and the rising trend of wellness-focused travel, I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to lead such a revered spa," said Michael McDonald. "I look forward to positively influencing the spa and resort's guests, as well as creating a space that plays a pivotal role in Aspen community members' wellness routines."

Born and raised in Flagler County, Florida, McDonald earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Penn State World Campus, as well as an Associate of Arts degree from Daytona State College. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, live music, and volunteer work.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.