The Tribe is pleased to announce the selection of Robert Utz as the general manager for the planned 4-star hotel in downtown Port Angeles, WA. Utz was most recently the general manager of the Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel before their recent sale. He has been an engaged leader in the Port Angeles community the past three years including serving on the board of directors for the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he is the immediate past president, and also as a member of the Port Angeles Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
Utz has a 35-year career in hospitality that has allowed him to develop considerable experience in all aspects of hotel operations. His experience includes 20 years managing within the Hilton hotel system, IHG (Holiday Inns) and most recently with Red Lion Hotels Corporation. Utz has also served as the Director of Operations/COO for Chris-Bro Hospitality based out of Rapid City, SD.
Utz has a wide-range of experience where he has opened new hotels, turned around struggling hotels and just about everything in between. Utz will serve on the construction and design team for the planned hotel and also assist with employee recruitment and development in the coming months before the hotel opens for operation. Utz is known to be an experienced, revenue driven leader who is dedicated to quality and profitability. LEKT Chairwoman Frances Charles says, “We are very pleased to welcome Robert and are fortunate to have been able to recruit such a strong and experienced leader who will help guide our Tribe and employees through the start-up of this new economic venture and beyond.”
Planning for the downtown hotel continues that most immediately involves demolition of existing structures and remediation of contaminated soil on the property. Demolition of all existing structures on the property is eminent and will proceed once permits are in place through the City of Port Angeles. Roglins Inc. of Aberdeen, WA has been selected as the demolition contractor. Demolition should take 4 weeks and clean-up of contaminated soil discovered on the property through extensive testing by AEG Environmental will take 6-8 weeks and will start immediately after demolition. An estimated 2,000 tons of contaminated soil will need to be removed from the site. Once a schedule is set, LEKT will look to coordinate with the downtown businesses and business organizations to help minimize impacts during this phase of the project.
LEKT has also selected PNE Construction of Longview, WA to oversee design and building of a roughly 100-room hotel that is planned to also include a restaurant and lounge. Construction is tentatively planned to begin in the late Spring.