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SHELTON, Conn. - - March 1, 2017—Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, a leading third-party management company and hotel developer, today announced that longtime Jekyll Island hotelier, Kevin Runner has been named general manager of the Westin Jekyll Island. The 200-room, beachfront hotel opened in 2015, adjacent to the Jekyll Island Convention Center and the recently-completed Beach Village. 

Runner is a career hospitality executive who opened the Jekyll Island Club in 1986.  Originally a 134-room full-service hotel, the historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel has evolved into a four-diamond resort largely credited with the island’s renaissance.   

“With Kevin at the helm, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel has played a pivotal role in the island’s redevelopment as a modern resort community,” said Chase.  “Kevin’s knowledge of seasonal resort operations and the coastal Georgia market is second to none and I am looking forward to having his expert hand guiding our Westin in this next phase of its evolution.”

“The first two years of a new hotel are very challenging and the Westin staff has done a remarkable job getting the hotel ramped up, and ranking in the top 10 percent for guest satisfaction among Westins worldwide,” said Runner.  “I’m starting with a table that’s been expertly set and I look forward to leveraging 35 years of local area expertise to help both the hotel, and the entire island achieve, their full potential as a resort destination.” 

About Westin Jekyll Island

With ocean views and direct beach access, the Westin Jekyll Island features the complete suite of Westin signature amenities including the Heavenly Bed®, and Heavenly Bath® with exclusive White Tea Aloe bath amenities, all designed to promote overall wellbeing. In-room, high-speed Internet access and an ergonomic work space will offer travelers convenience and productivity in a tranquil setting.  Dining options at The Westin Jekyll Island include The Reserve, an upscale, casual restaurant serving the freshest local seafood and Salty's poolside bar and café for cocktails and lighter fare. Harry’s @The Reserve, the hotel’s outdoor rooftop bar with sweeping views of the beach and ocean is available for private parties. Westin SuperFoodsRX™ options are on the menu at all three restaurants.  Additional facilities include a resort-style outdoor pool, beach chair and umbrella service, and the brand’s signature WestinWORKOUT® gym experience, including loaner gear and a running concierge.

Close to the island's National Historic Landmark District, The Westin Jekyll Island also is convenient to the island's four golf courses, 10 miles of barrier island beaches and a variety of outdoor recreation, including marsh eco-tours, and more than 20 miles of bike paths and kayaking waterways.

The Westin Jekyll Island offers the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, which offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program without blackout date restrictions.   

About New Castle Hotels & Resorts

The Westin Jekyll Island is managed by Shelton Ct. based New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner, and developer with 20 hotels and resorts and nearly 3,500 rooms under contract or in development.  New Castle’s growing portfolio of hotels spans nine states and two Canadian provinces, including several historic landmark hotels and resorts.  The privately-held company was established by CEO, David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America.  New Castle is a preferred operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton and Starwood families. For additional information, please go to

Contact: Lauralee Dobbins / 609-451-5102

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