Highgate Appoints Erik Palmer as Managing Director of Park Central Hotel and WestHouse New York

USA, New York City, New York. November 14, 2019

Erik Palmer has officially been appointed Managing Director of Park Central and WestHouse Hotels in New York City on October 15. With industry experience spanning over two decades, Mr. Palmer will lead the daily operations of the two HIGHGATE-managed properties.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Palmer also served as Managing Director of TWA Hotel for MCR, the sixth largest hotel owner-operator in the United States. In this role, Mr. Palmer carried out the operational logistics through opening of the new 512-room TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in spring of this year.

Erik's previous experience to MCR was as Hotel Manager for the Gaylord Opryland Resort & convention center in Nashville, the largest non-casino hotel in the United States. During his tenure Mr. Palmer transformed the property into a top performing property in Marriott's portfolio.

Other professional highlights include General Manager at the Courtyard and Residence Inn L.A. LIVE, ranked among the top five hotels in Marriott's western region for guest satisfaction, and Director of Hotel Operations at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Before that, he was the Director of Event Management at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Residences and JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE as well as at the New York Marriott Marquis, where he began his career as a Banquet Manager. Mr. Palmer has a B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from the University of Delaware.

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Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.