Ville Magazine l Insider Access for City Lifestyle Mar/Apr 2016 / People Issue - Page 27
and very international. Relatively speaking, Seattle’s
hotel community is more intimate, and Seattleites
have taken an active part in its creation. I think of the
locals who’ve dined at the old Painted Table at the
Alexis Hotel, celebrated a romantic evening at the
Inn at the Market, or toasted the holidays at Hotel
Sorrento. That’s what makes the Seattle industry so
unique - our locals living among the visitors.
You returned to Seattle as the GM of Hotel Vintage
spearheading its multimillion dollar transformation
rebrand. What challenges did you face to make sure the
rebrand delivered the right message?
When relaunching a property, the pressure amounts
because there is only one chance to rebrand. At Hotel
Vintage, we called on our local Washington winery
partners to help differentiate the hotel by telling the
story of Washington wine country. Within the hotel,
each room is dedicated to a local winery, and wine
makers host special events and tastings in the lobby.
In that case, we created a Washington Wine pop
up in New York City to share what is so beloved in
our region and introduce it to East Coast clients and
media. That event kicked off the rebranding of Hotel
Vintage as the urban gateway to the Washington
Wine experience. The team there is so talented and
passionate about that hotel.
Photo: Thompson Hotels
Why did you start your career in Seattle?
IN 2010, AMANDA PARSONS WAS NAMED
ONE OF THE “25 WOMEN TO WATCH” BY THE
MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL,
AND TODAY SHE IS ONE TO WATCH IN SEATTLE.
I was living in Chicago and was set for
culinary school in the fall. I was working
double shifts to prepare for my move, but
I began having second thoughts. I went
to the local library and started reading
newspapers from cities I had never visited.
I narrowed it down to two cities and
flipped a coin -- Seattle won. I moved out
here without knowing anyone, without a
place to work or live, but I knew the minute
I arrived this was home
You started at Kimpton Hotels as a sales
manager and worked your way up to assistant
general manager at Hotel Monaco. What
After 15 years of national hospitality allowed you to advance so quickly?
experience from marketing to leading
multimillion dollar renovations, she is taking
on her next challenge as General Manager
of Thompson Hotel, which is opening this
summer. Her passion began with her first
job bussing and waiting tables at Juan’s
Cantina in Richardson, Texas. Connecting
with people and the unique opportunities
are what fueled her love and passion to
grow her career further. It was luck that
brought her to Seattle, but it’s the purpose
to redefine the luxury boutique experience
and contribute to the community that have
made her stay.
I’ve always had a lot of ambition, but what
allowed me to advance so quickly was
working with many great mentors. They
were not afraid to challenge me with new
projects outside of my role which led to
invaluable learning opportunities – this
included many missteps, successes, and an
immense amount of growth. Looking back
on that time just reiterates that you never
You left Seattle to work in the Midwest. What
is the difference between the industry there
verses in Seattle?
The Midwest hotel industry is so enormous
Why did Thompson Hotels choose Seattle?
When bringing the Thompson brand to life, we look
to be a reflection of the community. It’s important
for us to honor the complexities that comprise
Seattle. We’re humbled to join a remarkable city.
How will it be different from the rest?
The developers spent many years cultivating the
right partners to make this project representative
of Seattle. They carefully and thoughtfully selected
Olson Kundig Architects, a Seattle-based design
practice which honors the connection between
nature, culture, and people; Huxley Wallace
Collective and Executive Chef Josh Henderson to
provide handcrafted food and inspired spaces and
culinary experiences; and locally celebrated Turner
Construction to create Thompson Seattle’s modern
and sleek design. The result is a team focus Yۂ