Chautauqua Institution

  • Hotel General Manager

    Posted Date 2 weeks ago(2 weeks ago)
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    Chautauqua Institution is a ‘not-for-profit’ global conveyer of dialogue and debate on the most significant issues of the day through engagement across four pillars of arts, education, religion and recreation.  The Chautauqua Community is located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in Southwestern New York State and comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine/performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship/programs, and recreational activities.


    I.  Position Summary

    The General Manager of Chautauqua Hotel Company is responsible for all aspects of operations, from day-to-day staff management to ambassador for the Chautauqua brand, responsible for delivery of an exceptional guest experience throughout the organization. As General Manager you will function as the primary strategic business leader, while directing and mentoring a team to assure an exceptional level of service and performance. Chautauqua Hotel Company is a for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of Chautauqua Institution, and serves the mission and needs of the Institution.  S/he participates as a member of the Chautauqua Institution Senior Leadership Team, and acts as a resourceful strategic business partner with excellent communication and leadership skill. The General Manager assists in and supports the transformation of the organization to a values-driven, entrepreneurial and collaborative team culture in a dynamic organizational landscape.  


    II. Duties and Responsibilities


    Talent Management

    • Develop and provide strategic direction to a cohesive, high performance management team:

    Director of Food & Beverage who is responsible for interworking culinary outlets owned/operated by the Hotel, including: Hotel Fine Dining Kitchen, Afterwords Café, Brickwalk Café & Gazebo Proudly Serving Starbucks, Café at Fowler-Kellogg Art Center and Bellinger Student Dining Hall.

    Lodging Manager who is responsible for Executive Housekeeper, Laundry Manager, Building Maintenance and Front Desk Team, including: Front Desk Attendants, Reservations, Night Audit, Bellstaff, Concierge and Security.

    Director of Conference Services and Special Events who is responsible for Banquet Operations, Event/Wedding Specialists and Sales.

    • Communicate routine and specific performance feedback as well as hold senior management accountable to goals and standards. Establish effective work processes and systems to maximize individual and collaborative performance.
    • Manage organizational talent by creating consistent learning/development opportunities, identify necessary resources to strengthen team and envision a succession plan for future openings.
    • Create a synergistic team environment that consistently delivers positive results. Provide systemic training and career progression programs to support successful operations.
    • Build rapport with employees by ensuring leadership actions are consistent and fair. Foster an environment that rewards open communication, integration of management in daily operations and encourages management be available to employees for advisement (open door policy).  Publicly celebrate individual and team success to maximize employee engagement. 

     Business Strategy and Execution

    • Oversee total operations function of the Athenaeum Hotel, Heirloom Restaurant, Conference Services and Special Events. Contribute information/analysis, assign responsibilities and make recommendations for strategic initiatives. 
    • Anticipate industry trends and variances that will impact customer satisfaction and competitive market. Maximize revenue through innovative sales practices, forecasting demand and yield management programs. 
    • Partner with marketing, reservations and sales to explore new business opportunities.
    • Ensure hotel business plan is aligned with strategic plan of Chautauqua Institution. Hold senior management team accountable for successful delivery on business plan and strategic initiatives. 
    • Evaluate success of strategies to inform future plans/enhancements and determine impact on operations.

    Revenue Management

    • Develop effective pricing strategies to balance seasonality, economy, customer segments, property objectives and guest satisfaction.  Establish revenue strategy that supports position in local market.
    • Prepare, review and approve annual operating budgets/financial reports and provide input on capital expenditures.  Analyze costs to understand performance outcomes versus budget and identify inconsistencies, taking corrective action as necessary.  
    • Coach management to maintain profit margins without compromising guest satisfaction by effectively controlling labor costs and other expenses.  Establish appropriate inventory guidelines to support forecasted activities without experiencing over/under stocking.  
    • Demonstrate routine care and vigilance to assure pleasing hotel aesthetic and welcoming environment for guests.  Collaborate with Vice President of Campus Planning & Operations to ensure historic structure is well maintained in a condition that assures viability for future generations. 
    • Lead key property issues including capital projects and refurbishment. Help in the procurement of operating supplies and equipment including contracting with third-party vendors.

    Brand Champion

    • Partner with Director of Guest Experience to support a Chain of Excellence Service Strategy and distinctive customer brand. Standardize best practices to constantly improve quality, profit, team productivity and guest service standards. 
    • Communicates clear and distinctive message regarding Chain of Excellence and acts as a passionate advocate/role model that demonstrates exceptional work ethic and inspires achievement of operational excellence.
    • Maintain high visibility in all departments and interface with customers on a regular basis to obtain feedback on quality of product, service levels and overall satisfaction. Take ownership for guest complaints while empowering managers to resolve issues.
    • Facilitate ongoing interaction between Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua Hotel Company with special consideration for key operating departments, such as: Chautauqua Foundation, Campus Planning and Operations, Education & Youth Services, Finance/Human Resources, Marketing and Communication, Performing and Visual Arts, Recreation and Religion.
    • Communicate daily with team leaders to provide/obtain information and conduct routine inspection of Athenaeum Hotel and related operations. Attend and conduct regular meetings to develop creative solutions and overcome obstacles to continually improve hotel operations.

    Public Relations

    • Create a strong rapport with Chautauquans by proactively informing board members, community visitors, donors, property owners/residents of initiatives and performance to establish a value for both.
    • Obtain frequent feedback about experiences on property and use this feedback as a resource to improve Chain of Service Excellence.
    • Establish a community presence through involvement, developing business alliances and anticipating needs of high profile guests and/or large group functions.  Deliver flawless service that verifies quality of product and promotes publicity. 

    Human Resources & Legal Compliance

    • Partner with Human Resources on strategic initiatives to support an employee-oriented organizational culture emphasizing quality, continuous improvement, collaboration and high performance.
    • Use Human Resources support to direct the hiring processes for all management and staff, including review of applications, conducting interviews and completing corresponding paperwork.
    • Conduct routine coaching, annual performance appraisals, corrective counseling and terminations.
    • Audit areas of responsibility to guarantee compliance with Federal and New York State Labor Laws, Company Policies/Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures and Guest Service Standards. 
    • Responsible Public Health/Safety, including but not limited to: Occupational Health & Safety Act (OSHA) Regulations, Blood Borne Pathogen (BBP) and Hazard Communication Procedures/Safety Data Sheets, Food Safety/Serve Safe Training and Record Keeping, Fire/Evacuation Procedures, Employee/Guest Injury Documentation and Worker’s Compensation.


    III. Formal Education Requirements

    • Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Hospitality/Hotel Management coupled with formal continuing education and certifications required.

     IV. Formal Experience Requirements

    • 7-10 years progressive country club, culinary, hospitality, hotel and/or resort management experience with total profit and loss responsibility required. Prior experience with dining and lodging operations in an environment focused on high level guest service strongly preferred.

     V. Skills and Abilities


    • Working knowledge of Hotel Operations, including but not limited to: SOP’s, P&L, Budgeting, Yield Management, Sales Processes, Customer Relations, Capital Project Management, Contract/Vendor Negotiation, Health Safety Standards, Federal/State Labor Law and Employee Development/Training.
    • Ability to develop and maintain effective operating/control processes for maximum efficiency and profitability while ensuring adherence to established guest service criteria.
    • Must have excellent interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities with a capacity to remain calm when faced with multiple priorities and deadlines. Exercises sound independent judgement to confidently resolve concerns and provide solutions to guests with highest expectations of service standards as well as team members.  Advanced written/verbal communications skills to direct and collaborate with diverse groups at all levels. 
    • Working knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) and Hotel/Travel and Social Platforms (Expedia, Facebook,, Hotwire, KAYAK, Oribtz, Priceline, Travelocity, Trip Advisor, Trivago, VRBO and Yelp).  Prior experience working with diverse Hospitality, Point of Sale (POS) and Property Management Software Programs, including functional assessments and system conversions.

     VI.  Working Conditions and Environmental Hazards

    • Normal levels of noise from guest traffic and office equipment.
    • Temperature generally is moderate and controlled by hotel environmental systems; however, must be able to work in extreme temperatures like freezers (-10°F), kitchens (+110°F) and outdoor environment (occasionally in inclement weather) for one or more hours.
    • Periodic travel required to various industry conferences or events.
    • Flexibility to work evenings, weekends and holidays required and willingness to flex up in scheduled work hours (based on business need).

    VII. Physical Requirements


    • Combination of sitting, standing and walking throughout the day. 
    • Frequent handling of objects, reaching, maneuvering and continually positioning of oneself to perform assigned tasks.  Ability to physically grasp supplies and transport items up to 50 pounds without mechanical assistance.

    VIII. Contacts



    • Executive Leadership Team
    • Senior Leadership Team
    • Staff of Chautauqua Institution & Chautauqua Foundation
    • Board of Directors of Chautauqua Hotel Corporation
    • Board of Trustees of Chautauqua Institution


    • Community-at-large
    • Guests and visitors
    • Vendors and suppliers

     IX.  Supervision and Guidance

    • Director of Food & Beverage and associated senior management/interworking departments
    • Director of Lodging and associated management/interworking departments
    • Director of Conference Services and Special Events and associated management/interworking departments
    • Provides routine guidance to other direct and indirect staff, including summer seasonal staff and interns


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