The game of musical managers continues in the Wichita hotel industry.
Earlier this month, Ambassador Hotel general manager Sheila Cole said she would be leaving to take what she hoped would be a job in senior living.
Instead, she’s taking the same job at the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town.
Current Courtyard general manager Tad Stricker is taking the same Ambassador job in about a week.
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“Well, that’s the business, you know,” says Ambassador owner Paul Coury. “It’s not a deep market. … You don’t have just a lot of people, and everyone wants to stay in the market.”
The Ambassador is in the process of becoming aligned with the Autograph Collection by Marriott, and Coury says he likes that Stricker has experience with the Marriott brand and boutique hotels.
“You’re only going to be as good as your knowledge of how to utilize the Marriott product,” Coury says.
Stricker, who was the Courtyard by Marriott’s original general manager in 2006, left two and a half years later to work for a boutique hotel in Chicago. He returned to the Marriott in 2013.
The Autograph Collection will help set the Ambassador apart, Stricker says.
“It’s really a repositioning of the hotel and offering a refined level of service and a very unique experience.”
Cole declined to comment on her move. However, Jim Korroch of A.G. Holdings, which manages the Courtyard, confirms that she’s taking over.
Via e-mail, he said: “Yes, I am thrilled to have (Sheila) join our team. She is a great leader and knows the needs of OldTown/Downtown market better than anyone. I appreciate Tad's time with AG and wish him great success with the newest member of the Marriott family.”
Before joining the Ambassador, Cole was at Jack DeBoer’s Hotel at Old Town. The Ambassador’s original general manager, Michael Frimel, is now with the the Hotel at Old Town and DeBoer’s Hotel at WaterWalk.
Coury says that’s just how it goes.
“It’s the nature of the beast.”