Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is pleased to welcome Joe Pagone as general manager and Jess Johnson as director of sales and marketing for its highly anticipated Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, set to open in summer 2015.As general manager, Pagone will oversee the opening of the hotel and is responsible for all personnel, business development, property operations and guest relations for the 319-room and 41-suite hotel located in the Rainey Street Historic District.
Joe Pagone, general manager
With more than 20 years of lodging experience, Johnson will oversee all hotel sales and marketing functions, positioning the hotel as one of Austin’s top hotels for leisure and business travelers, as well as the local community.
“We’re thrilled to have two experienced industry professionals usher in this hotel and help create an environment that reflects Austin’s vibrant personality. They’re already brainstorming innovative services, amenities and marketing strategies to create a distinctive position for the hotel in a city that defines cultural independence,” said Ron Vlasic, regional vice president of hotel operations. “Our intention is to bring highly localized and personalized experiences to our guests as we do at all of our Kimpton hotels.”
Jess Johnson, director of sales and marketing, Hotel Van Zandt
Pagone joins the Hotel Van Zandt team from the Hotel Monaco Baltimore. At the 202-room hotel, he achieved such notable successes as maintaining customer satisfaction rankings within the top ten list of hotels in Baltimore on TripAdvisor and increasing overall revenue for the hotel over a two-year period. Prior to the Hotel Monaco, Pagone was assistant general manager at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar in Chicago. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where he majored in hospitality with a minor in business administration.
Johnson comes to the property from the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Texas where he steered sales and marketing operations to record revenues during his time there. He also raised the resort’s average daily rates and group occupancy to unprecedented levels. Prior to that, Johnson was appointed director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Nashville Downtown and was responsible for achieving combined revenues of $14 million for the hotel. Johnson is a graduate of Pima Community College and a member of ASEAE, MPI Global Community and the Society of Incentive Travel Executives.