Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, a leading third-party management company and hotel developer, today announced that Alex Lugo was promoted to general manager of the 366 room Hilton Lexington Downtown.

Most recently, Lugo was the general manager for the Westin Jekyll Island where he oversaw the pre-opening phase of the $41 million project.  In its first six months, the hotel earned three consecutive number two rankings and ended the year in the top 10% for guest experience among 143 Westin Hotels in North America as well as a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.  For the past 12 years, Lugo has served in positions of increasing responsibility within the Starwood family of hotels, including The Westin Buckhead, Sheraton St. Louis City Center, The Westin Beach Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and The Westin & Sheraton Grand Bahama complex.

“Alex’s leadership of the Westin Jekyll Island during both the pre and post-opening phases, coupled with his success working in convention center markets, demonstrate his readiness for a more complex operation in a top 100 market,”  said Gerry Chase, president, and COO in making the announcement.  “Alex has earned the respect of his associates, hotel investors and market partners as well as the satisfaction of the hotel’s guests, and I have every confidence that he’s ready for this next step in his career. After 35 years, we recognize that providing career opportunities to top performers is critical to New Castle’s continued success and I’m gratified that we were able to offer this opportunity to a talent like Alex.”

“The Hilton Lexington enjoys tremendous demand drivers, two popular restaurants and meeting space that is second to none in the market,” said Lugo.  “But, I firmly believe that even a market leader can improve in terms of customer and associate satisfaction as well as investor returns.  I look forward to applying my diverse hotel experience in both resort and city center hotels to an urban market and continue driving those operational measures to new heights.”

Lugo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.

The Hilton Lexington Downtown boasts a full complement of amenities including an indoor pool and fitness center, two restaurants, Executive Club level rooms, and more than 20,000 square feet of stylish meeting space including two ballrooms.  A Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the hotel is connected via skywalk to the Lexington Center, with more than 100 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and Rupp Arena, home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats.  Overlooking Triangle Park, the downtown hotel is just 10 minutes from the Lexington Airport, Keeneland Race Track and five minutes from the University of Kentucky campus.