General manager appointed for Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort


Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG) recently announced the appointment of Jason Kern as general manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort, which scheduled to open this summer.

Kern will oversee the hiring of new staff and day-to-day operations of the resort, which is currently being constructed along the Atlantic shoreline in St. Augustine Beach. The new resort will feature onsite dining, an oceanfront Splash Park, waterfront meeting space and other guest amenities. Key International, a Miami-based real estate investment and development company specializing in hospitality, is the owner and developer of the property.

"Jason is an industry veteran with a tremendous track record of success at upscale beachfront properties on Florida's easy coast," said Ron Mader, regional vice president of operations of HVMG. "His skill set and experience make him the ideal choice to manage what is going to be a very special resort in St. Augustine."

With two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Kern comes to the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort with a background in hotel operations and management. As general manager of the 212-room, four-diamond Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, Kern led the property to growth in overall revenue, RevPar and TripAdvisor score. He has established a program encouraging employee teamwork and inclusiveness that resulted in a positive corporate culture at the resort.

A change in ownership at The Shores presented Kern with the opportunity to return to Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast as the director of sales and marketing, where he had previously worked since 2004. Returning to the property just as Hurricane Matthew struck, Kern quickly adjusted operational efforts to redefine the resort's experience, exceeding revenue projections.

Kern started his hospitality career at Universal Parks & Resorts, where he served on pre-opening teams for Islands of Adventure and CityWalk, as well as the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

“The local community and our guests are going to be very pleasantly surprised by everything this new resort will have to offer,” said Kern. “We’re building on Embassy Suites by Hilton’s most popular brand amenities and best-in-class service to create something that will exceed all expectations.”

Situated 10 minutes from historic downtown St. Augustine and adjacent to the iconic St. Augustine Pier, the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort will offer 175 two-room suites providing spacious accommodations appealing to both leisure and business travelers. Each suite will include a private bedroom and separate living area with sofa bed, armchair and well-lit work/dining table, wet bar, refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. Other amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, cable and in-room movies, telephone with voicemail and data port and a laptop-sized safe.

In addition, the resort will feature an infinity-style oceanfront pool and Splash Park for children. The resort will also feature 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,200-square-foot, oceanfront ballroom with outdoor terraces and expansive waterfront lawns for events.

Guests will enjoy Embassy Suites by Hilton's free cooked-to-order breakfast and nightly evening reception, but will also have a number of other culinary options from several onsite venues. The resort's signature restaurant, Harvest & Reel, will feature locally sourced and specialty seafood, served from an open-show kitchen, while the poolside bar and grille will offer Latin-inspired dishes. Within the main lobby area, the upscale Rhum Bar will feature specialty cocktails and Atlantic views, with a full-service Starbucks Cafe and 24/7 market also available.

With Pier Park to the south and Anastasia State Park to the north, resort guests will also find plenty of off-property opportunities to relax, bike ride, surf, fish, paddle board and more. The resort is partnering with local outfitters to provide a variety of guest experiences, such as eco-tours, surf lessons and historical tours of St. Augustine.

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