Home News Local news Lisa Hamilton Named to Head V.I. Hotel Association

Lisa Hamilton Named to Head V.I. Hotel Association


Jan. 23, 2008 — Lisa Hamilton, who currently serves as the sales and marketing director at Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort, will be the new president of the V.I. Hotel Association.
"It seems like a great growth opportunity for me," Hamilton said Wednesday.
The association was expected to make the announcement at its meeting Wednesday at the Best Western Emerald Beach Hotel.
Hamilton currently serves as a member of the association's board of directors. She spent the last four years as the chairwoman of the marketing committee.
Hamilton has played an integral part in the success of the hotel association, said Richard Doumeng, chairman of the association's board.
She replaces Rik Blyth, who left the post in September 2007 after only a little more than five months on the job. He replaced Beverly Nicholson Doty, who departed from her job as president of the Hotel Association in March 2007 to serve as the territory's tourism commissioner.
The new president won't leave her Marriott job until the company finds a replacement for her, Hamilton said.
"That will take 30 to 60 days," she said. "The association agreed to give me as much time as I need."
Her number-one focus will be a strategic alliance with the Tourism Department to promote the territory, Hamilton said. She sees the Internet as key and the Hotel Association will allocate 60 to 70 percent of its dollars toward Internet marketing.
"Customers are making their buying decisions online," she said.
In fact, the Hotel Association is in the midst of a "guerilla" marketing campaign to bring the territory to the public's attention. In guerilla campaigns, Hamilton said, some sort of teaser appears. In this case, the Hotel Association's public relations firm, Fareed, Zapala and Koepke, has hired bikini-clad models to bounce beach balls on the chilly streets of New York. Wednesday morning, they were outside at "The Today Show" when the camera panned the crowd.
"That is so cool," Doumeng said, sounding excited as "The Today Show" made mention of the campaign while he spoke to a Source reporter.
The campaign will hit the streets of Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Hamilton said.
The Big Beach Ball campaign offers viewers a $100 resort credit if they book at the listed hotels on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Hamilton and Doty, when she served as Hotel Association president, were responsible for the newly launched campaign, Doumeng said.
Hamilton was an ardent supporter of joining forces with the St. Croix Hotel Association to form the joint organization, he said.
"That's really been a big thing," Doumeng said.
Hamilton, 40, is a native of Savona, N.Y. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Geneso.
She has worked for 20 years in the hospitality industry, starting with a job making beds. She was working first as a bartender and then as banquet manager at the Montauk Yacht Club on Long Island when a friend convinced her to spend the winter of 1991 on St. Thomas.
"I got a job at Frenchman's Reef, and the rest is history," she said.
Except for short stints in sales at the V.I. Daily News and Innovative Communication, she spent all the years since 1991 at Frenchman's Reef. She credits the Hotel Association's office and marketing manager, Canika George-Jon, with keeping things running while the organization continued without a president.
When she's not busy at her job, Hamilton spends time visiting with family and her two rottweilers.
"My sister and her husband are here, and my mother and father come for their annual vacation," she said.
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