New Hotel Slated to Open January 2015

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga./SHELTON, Conn. — May 6, 2014 — Officials of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, a leading hotel owner, operator and developer, today named Alex Lugo  general manager of the Westin Jekyll Island, currently under construction on Jekyll Island’s oceanfront. The 200-room hotel is expected to open in January 2015.

Most recently, Lugo was the director of operations for the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga., where he was responsible for substantially improving the hotel’s performance in terms of profitability, guest and meeting planner satisfaction.   For the past 10 years, Lugo has served in positions of increasing responsibility within the Starwood family of hotels, including the Sheraton St. Louis City Center, The Westin Beach Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and the Westin & Sheraton Grand Bahama.

“Alex’s experience with both resort and convention-oriented hotels, as well as the Westin brand made him an outstanding choice to lead this new, ocean-front, convention center hotel,” said Gerry Chase, president and COO in making the announcement. “Alex has a terrific track record of financial and guest satisfaction performance and I have every confidence that he’s ready for this next step in his career.”

In addition to offering guests the only luxury hotel experience on the Jekyll Island beach, Westin Jekyll Island will be the anchor hotel for the recently-opened, 128,000 square foot Jekyll Island Convention Center.

“The Westin brand with its emphasis on personal well-being and rejuvenation is perfectly aligned with the relaxed, unspoiled, environmentally appreciative ethos of Jekyll Island,” said Lugo. “Those factors, coupled with the significant demand generated by the new convention center, make this a truly remarkable opportunity for the region. I look forward to getting involved in the local business community and helping Jekyll Island achieve its full potential as a vacation and meeting destination.”

With breathtaking ocean views and direct beach access, The Westin Jekyll Island will feature both meeting and banquet facilities alongside a full suite of Westin’s signature amenities and services.    It will include a full-service restaurant and the brand’s signature WestinWORKOUT® program, all designed to promote overall wellbeing. LEED design elements, coupled with the brand’s room designs, which are 60 percent more sustainable than earlier iterations will ensure that the hotel will minimize its impact on the environmentally sensitive barrier island and meet guests’ desires for a more healthful hotel experience.

The Westin Jekyll Island will be convenient to the island’s four golf courses, 10 miles of barrier island beaches and a variety of outdoor recreation, including marsh eco-tours, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and more than 20 miles of bike paths and kayaking.

About New Castle Hotels & Resorts

The Westin Jekyll Island will be operated by Shelton Conn. based New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with 30 hotels and resorts and nearly 5,000 rooms under contract or in development. New Castle’s growing portfolio of hotels spans 10 states and three Canadian provinces and includes several of Canada’s historic landmark resorts.  The privately-held company was established by CEO, David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America, serving the United States and Canada.  New Castle is a preferred operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton and Starwood families. For additional information, please go to

Media Contact:
Lauralee Dobbins
Daly Gray, Inc.