French Lick Casino Execs Named

22 August 2005

FRENCH LICK, Indiana – (PRESS RELEASE) -– Houston area-based Benchmark Hospitality International, the Blue Sky partner that assumed management of the French Lick Springs Resort & Casino in April, just announced the appointment of four key executives to the senior leadership team at the historic resort.

The following were appointed to the senior leadership team:

Scott Spurlock, General Manager

Spurlock was previously general manager at Benchmark's Virginia Crossings Resort, located near Richmond, Va., where he led a remarkable turnaround in revenue generation and profitability. During his tenure at the resort, it achieved the coveted AAA Four Diamond rating for the first time in its history.

An experienced hotelier, Spurlock brings two decades of professional hospitality management experience to his new position at French Lick. Prior to his tenure as general manager for Virginia Crossings Resort, Spurlock was assistant general manager for the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and The Country Club of Colorado, located in Colorado Springs, Colo. He also served for a time as director of marketing for Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

Early in his career, Spurlock served as resident manager at Cheyenne's sister resort, Scottsdale Conference Resort, located in Scottsdale, Ariz. Spurlock has also been previously employed at the renowned Graylyn International Conference Center of Winston Salem, N.C., the Westfields International Conference Center of Chantilly, Va., and at the Hastings International Conference Center, located in Hartford, Conn.

Spurlock is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University of San Marcos, Texas, where he received a bachelor's degree in sociology and political science. He and his family have relocated to French Lick.

Eric Whitson, Director of Sales & Marketing

A long-time Benchmark sales executive, Whitson was previously director of sales and marketing at The Chattanoogan, located in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. He was part of the pre-opening team for The Chattanoogan and was instrumental in its successful positioning within local and regional markets, including the key feeder market of Atlanta.

Whitson has been honored by Benchmark with the company's "Director of Sales & Marketing of the Year" designation and the annual "Marketing Award." His remarkable career with Benchmark spans nearly 20 years and includes successful positions at The Founder's Inn (Virginia Beach, Va.), Lansdowne Resort (Lansdowne, Va.) and The Northland Inn (Minneapolis, Minn.). A Minnesota native, Whitson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He and his wife have relocated to French Lick.

Michael Cicutto, Director of Resort Services

Cicutto was also a member of the Benchmark transition team at French Lick. He served previously as director of operations for Benchmark Hospitality at The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta.

Cicutto brings considerable operations experience to French Lick Springs Resort & Casino, having served for 15 years in positions of increasing responsibility with International Conference Resorts, a company Benchmark purchased in 2001. This included serving as resident manager at the Ocean Place Conference Resort of Long Branch, N.J., assistant general manager at the Graylyn International Conference Center of Winston-Salem, N.C., and in diverse operational positions at Cheyenne Mountain

Resort in Colorado Springs. Cicutto is a graduate of the University of Colorado. He and his family have relocated to French Lick.

Keith Schnulle, Director of Human Resources

Schnulle brings more than two decades of experience in human resources management within a resort environment to French Lick. Recently he was director of human resources at the Bay Point Marriott in Panama City Beach, Fla. He has also served as corporate director of human resources for Wesley Hospitality of Atlanta. Early in his career, Schnulle was employed by Marriott Hotels and Resorts, serving at the Marriott Orlando World Center, Marriott Lincolnshire Resort in suburban Chicago, and Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, Ga. He is a graduate of Elgin Community College, located in Elgin, Ill., and is the recipient of the professional designation of SPHR. He and his wife have relocated to Orange County.


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