After a year celebrating the City of Natchez’s 300th anniversary, domestic and international travelers are aware of the city’s hospitality and history. Statewide association and corporate retreats continue to flock to historic Natchez while weddings and special celebrations are routine events.2
To ensure that event planners and brides-to-be are confident in the experience of their guests, Hotel Vue has expanded its conference and catering team.
Sidney Ashmore was recently named Restaurant Manager for The Pilot House located at Hotel Vue in Natchez, MS. In taking the helm at The Pilot House, Ashmore returns to his home state after exercising his creative and professional training both at restaurants and event venues in greater Chicago. He has over 15 years of experience in food and beverage, from casual to upscale fine dining, and private corporate parties and meetings, as well as weddings and grand receptions.
Victoria Antin was recently named Sales & Catering Coordinator for The Pilot House and Hotel Vue. Antin, originally from New Orleans, consulted and worked in different creative F&B outlets before joining Hotel Vue where she works directly with planners in detailing meetings and receptions alike.
In addition to its river-facing bar, lounge, and private dining room, the hotel and restaurant have a large, bluff-topped lawn and over 3,000 square feet of dedicated event space for meetings and receptions.
MMI Hotel Group, a full-service hospitality management company, has been appointed by Rambakir of America, LLC to oversee all operations and sales services for the 111-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites–Ridgeland. Having recently completed a refresh of the property’s interiors and parking lot, the hotel is positioned well for IHG Reward Club members and highway-bookers alike. The consistency that a traditional Holiday Inn Express guest has come to expect will be found in Ridgeland.
MMI will add Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Ridgeland to an already strong portfolio of independent and franchised select-service hotels across greater Jackson. “Strength comes in numbers when one is looking to ensure a quality of experience across a community,” stated Scott Sledge, VP of Operations for MMI Hotel Group. “Our reputation stands on the security and service provided in our hotels for first time visitors and long-term business relationships alike. We believe the community will recognize the support MMI brings to the existing on-property and are grateful to the hotel’s owners for giving us this opportunity.”
Sidney Ashmore was recently named Restaurant Manager for The Pilot House located at Hotel Vue in Natchez, MS. The announcement was made by Gaines Sturdivant, President of MMI Hospitality Group.
In taking the helm at The Pilot House, Ashmore returns to his home state after exercising his creative and professional training both at restaurants and event venues in greater Chicago. He has over 15 years of experience in food and beverage, from casual to upscale fine dining, and private corporate parties and meetings, as well as weddings and grand receptions.
While in the Midwest, Sidney was recognized in a local article for his Southern flair creating pasta and pizzas. Sidney will be working directly with Executive Chef Brad Seyfarth to further The Pilot House’s experience high on the bluff. Signature cocktails and shareable dishes will come to life as Hotel Vue’s signature restaurant is energized by Sidney’s experience.
“You can expect a comfort experience in 2017 with a new, casual menu and sincere service, “ Ashmore added.
MMI Hotel Group has appointed Bart Johnson as General Manager and Susan Christian as the Director of Sales of Home2 Suites by Hilton St. Simons Island. The 88-suite hotel is currently under construction and is scheduled to open January 13, 2017 as MMI Hospitality Group’s second hotel offerings in the market. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort was purchased by MMI in 1980 and has been reinvested in over the years.
Johnson returns to the MMI family after working as a Task Force Manager for LBA Hospitality and Corporate Director of Operations for Fairbrook Hotels. “Bart has a dedicated and impressive record in hotel management and will be a valuable asset to the property and to the team,” said Scott Sledge, Vice President of Operations for MMI Hotel Group.
As Director of Sales, Christian will responsible for building relationships and assessing the needs of local businesses, working with the general manager to facilitate marketing efforts, and overseeing sales efforts that ensure the success of the hotel.
“Given Susan’s significant experience in sales and the hospitality industry, we believe that her overall strengths and passion for building relationships will be essential to the ongoing success of this hotel,” said Bart Johnson, General Manager, Home2 Suites St. Simons Island.
Christian brings local experience to the position. Prior to joining Home2 Suites St. Simons Island, Susan served in various sales roles on Jekyll Island.
MMI Hotel Group was retained to manage all operations and sales services for Chawla Hotel’s three properties in Clarksdale, MS. The portfolio of hotels includes Hilton and Choice brands with the Hampton Inn already being recognized with a Lighthouse Award as one of the top 5% of Hampton hotels in 2015 – recognized for high rankings in accommodations, service and quality.
“We are delighted to further our operations and marketing support for the Chawla family. There is no greater growth than with partners who value your work and desire to give you more opportunities to prove yourself,” said Micajah Sturdivant, President of MMI Hotel Group.
All three properties will continue to be owned by Chawla Hotels, the MS Delta’s largest developer and owner of quality, select service hotels.
Are you here for business or leisure? Both? Well then you are here for bleisure.
Not surprisingly, bleisure is popular among millenials who frequently travel for work. According to BridgeStreet Global Hospitality’s 2014 Bleisure Study, 94 percent of younger travelers would like to take a bleisure trip within the next five years.
This “kill two bird with one stone” mentality changes consumer needs and preferences and thereby our responsibility as hospitality hosts. Instead of booking a hotel room a few short blocks from a meeting site, one might choose a location more central or in closer proximity to somewhere they want to be socially. Location remains key, but with a shuffled list of priorities. Collecting unique experiences and recognizing ways to maximize their time by blending the lines between the professional and the personal will reign.
MMI Hotel Group recently executed third-party management contracts for two north Mississippi hotel properties. As of March 1, 2016, Holiday Inn Express – Grenada, MS began receiving the support of MMI’s suite of hospitality management and marketing services. Hampton Inn – Yazoo City, MS will join the MMI family on April 1, 2016. Both properties will continue to be owned by Chawla Hotels, the MS Delta’s largest developer and owner of quality, select service hotels.
“We are pleased to extend our corporate support to the Chawla family as they continue to invest in the communities that value true Southern hospitality,” stated Micajah Sturdivant, President at MMI Hotel Group. “We believe we will be able to provide immediate operational support to the properties thereby allowing ownership to dedicate their attention to continued expansion.” MMI’s long-term relationships with Hilton and IHG enable its team to leverage a host of resources for Team Members and guests alike.
MMI Hotel Group’s hotel teams have have supported Clean the World for several years. While most of the contributions made have supported those in need overseas, we are proud to know that our efforts are being used nearby as well.
Clean the World has a two-part mission:
- Collect and recycle soap and hygiene products discarded every day by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste.
- Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people, prevent millions of hygiene-related deaths each year, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, and encourage vigorous childhood development.
After serving on the IHG Owners Association Global Board of Directors for 2015, MMI Hotel Group President Micajah Sturdivant returns to focus his attention to local matters. Since the 1950s, a MMI leader has been involved in some form or fashion in the IHG Owners Association. This body was formed soon after Kemmons Wilson developed the Holiday Inn brand and the Jones and Sturdivant families invested in franchises. Recognizing the opportunity to work with the franchisor in a collaborative manner, the Owners Association has grown to carry great influence for the entire hospitality industry.
Today, The IHG Owners Association is the owners’ voice to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). The organization is comprised of owners of IHG properties throughout the world, working hand-in-hand to improve the profitability of our hotels, strengthen our system and exchange ideas and best practices. The Association represents the interests of nearly 2,000 owners and operators of more than 3,400 IHG brand hotels. The Association works together with IHG to maintain the highest professional hospitality standards for its brands.
Mike Sturdivant, Earle Jones, and Gaines Sturdivant have all had to honor of serving as President of the IHG Owners Association.
When Micajah joined MMI nearly 10 years ago, he was encouraged to immediately begin volunteering for this advisory organization. After serving on and leading various committees for several years, the 2015 President selected Micajah to serve on the Global Board. The IHG Owners Association Board of Directors is responsible for leading the Association and determining the direction it will take to fulfill its mission.
The Board is comprised of 24 owners of IHG brand hotels who are also leaders in the hospitality industry, from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Latin America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). IHG senior executives also hold seats on the Board.