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? THE CARETAKER 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 stop learning. 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