Leadership Announced for El Capitan, a Joie De Vivre Hotel, Slated to Open Fall 2020 in Downtown Merced, California
Robin Donovan has been appointed managing director of El Capitan, a Joie De Vivre Hotel in Merced, Calif. Barbara Piagari has also joined the property as director of sales and marketing. The boutique hotel, which is expected to open in fall 2020, is located in a turn of the century property in Merced's downtown featuring a historically preserved wing and a newly constructed extension.
Donovan will oversee day-to-day operations for the 114-room hotel including three on-site dining venues and a retail concept offering a curated selection of locally produced goods. She will also oversee the nearby restored historic theatre, Mainzer, with a full bar and restaurant, including a self-serve craft beer bar as well as a live performance space, cinema and gaming area. The Tioga, a newly renovated historic complex with 70 upscale rental apartments and additional retail space, will also be under her purview. One of her first responsibilities will be building the team and instituting Joie De Vivre brand standards across the property's venues.
"We are excited to be expanding Hyatt's California-born Joie De Vivre brand, a collection of diverse, boutique properties inspired by their surroundings, in Merced," said Donovan. "The historic downtown, where El Capitan, Mainzer and Tioga are located, has a classic California feel with turn-of-the-century architecture and small-town appeal. We look forward to welcoming guests to explore and rediscover everything the Central Valley has to offer - from farms and the town's emerging arts scene to nearby natural areas including Yosemite National Park."
Donovan brings more than 20 years of resort and hotel industry experience to the role. Most recently, she served as area managing director of the Silicon Valley area for the former Two Roads Hospitality brand. While in this role, Donovan managed two concurrent hotel renovations while maintaining key guest service metrics and average daily rate and exceeding budget projections multiple years despite variable market and economic. Donovan was promoted to the position after serving as general manager of two Silicon Valley properties, a responsibility she maintained while simultaneously managing the region.
Prior to her Two Roads Hospitality experience, Donovan held of the position of general manger and also looked after sales, marketing and public relations efforts for the Santa Cruz Dream Inn. Prior to that, Donovan was with West Coast Hotel where she was promoted to the general manager position after one year of service as an assistant general manager.
Piagari steps into her new director of sales and marketing role after serving in the same role at The Elizabeth, the only 4-star hotel in Fort Collins, Colo. While there, Piagari assisted with the launch of the 164-room property including three on-site dining options, 10,000 square feet of specialty gathering space, and an intimate music venue. Previously, she was a hospitality task force consultant working across multiple properties to evaluate sales and marketing efforts to provide hotels with immediate-impact solutions for driving revenue and cost containment. During her 20-plus year career, Piagari has led top producing sales teams at a number of renowned hotels including Hotel Palomar, Viceroy Santa Monica, Viceroy Palm Springs, Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa.
Both Donovan and Piagari have relocated to the Merced area where they have become involved in a number of civic organizations and look forward to welcoming and getting to know the local community, once the new venues open.
The Joie De Vivre brand's signature experience celebrates the individuality of each hotel through locally rooted design, an inclusive approach to community and a feel-good, free-spirited vibe.
Located in the heart of downtown Merced, Calif., El Capitan, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, will invite guests to rediscover tradition and adventure in California's Central Valley. Expected to open fall 2020, the 114-room hotel, housed in a former 19th century historic hotel of the same name, will offer three distinct dining options and more than 3,000 square feet of dedicated meeting and event spaces. With indoor and outdoor facilities, the property will be able to accommodate groups from intimate meetings to stylish social events and heartfelt weddings.
Additionally, Hyatt will manage the restored Mainzer theatre under the Joie de Vivre brand, retaining its movie cinema and introducing a performance and event space with a self-serve craft beer and retro gaming area. Downtown Merced is home to a number of dining, shopping and entertainment venues and has a convenient location near Merced and Yosemite lakes, Yosemite National Park as well as nearby farms and vineyards providing guests ample opportunities for exploration.
For more information on El Capitan, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, please visit www.elcapitanhotel.com or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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