Page 1 Mountain Messenger
What to expect:
Letter from GM, Laura
Neumann 1 April 1, 2011
Dear Team: Can you feel the excitement in the air? The majority of our Resort renovations are nearly
Promotions 4 finished. It’s a Big Deal!
Can you feel the energy of our people who know Spring has arrived and our Season is nearly upon us?
Birthdays 6 It’s a Big Deal!
Have you read/heard the feedback of our guests and clients in the past three months alone? It’s a Big
Service Fanatics 7
Manager of the Deal!
I wanted to send you a quick reply to let you know how impressed I was with the level of service
Quarter 8 provided by all of your staff. I can't remember any previous hotel or resort where EVERY-
Employees of the ONE greeted me regardless of where I was on the grounds. Hats off to you and your
Month 9-10 excellent staff!
Green Seal 11
McCoy/Rossman I wanted to take the time to extend my congratulations on your conference center and its manage-
Wedding 12-13 ment. …the lasting impression your staff left makes me pause for a few moments to write you
Fellow Properties 14 this note. Your team there was extraordinary in the way they cheerfully and professionally
Committee Updates 15 cared for us in our time there. Every detail…that needed attention seemed only to be an
Benefits 16 opportunity to show their attentive service. I asked several of your staff if they liked
Summer Workout 17 their jobs and the answer was always an unequivocal "yes" with a smile - which, of
Kevin’s Catch 18-19 course, made being there a pleasure for everyone. Again, I offer my sincere congratulations
Renovation Update 20 and thanks.
Guest Comments 22 Thank you for absolutely everything last week!! You and all the service the group received at
Employee Spotlight 23 the hotel was fabulous...we really appreciate it! It is also very impressive to see so many
Word Search 24 of the same people 2 years later...that really speaks to your organization!
Brain Teaser 25
Puzzle Key 26 I would like to let you know that I am always completely impressed with the service that I get
Calendar 27-28 when staying at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. …When leaving my room I was having a hard
time finding how to get to the main desk due to the construction. When I approached a
housekeeper, she quickly shut the door to the room she was cleaning and kindly
escorted me to the front desk in person.
I can say that in my travels I have not ever witnessed such amazing service and look forward to
staying there again soon! Most importantly, I feel safe in my stay at your Resort.
This hotel was more than we could have ever hoped for! The staff was excellent and
friendly. Our room had a private balcony that overlooked some of the most beautiful scenery
I've ever seen and the sunset was spectacular! Overall a great romantic getaway!!
I stayed in one of the recently renovated rooms and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The room was
spacious and comfortable with outstanding views of the wonderful Colorado mountains! The
food and service was fantastic! I definitely look forward to future visits!
Team, I read once (believe it was John Wooden) that great and total effort, individually and as part
of a team is not a consolation prize or a second-rate kind of success. It is the top prize, the highest
kind of success. All else, fame and fortune, power and position are simply by-products of effort. Thank
Colorado you for giving all the effort you’ve got in the months ahead as this year…
It’s a Big Deal!
Mountain Messenger Page 2
Benchmark Hospitality International Adds Exclusive
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa to Management Portfolio
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, February 2, 2011 … Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-based hospitality manage-
ment company, has announced the addition of Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa to its management portfolio of luxury hotels and re-
sorts. The exclusive, Four Diamond property is located on the banks of the Colorado River in scenic Moab, Utah, often referred to as the
adventure capital of the American Southwest. Burt Cabañas, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International, made the an-
“It is a pleasure to welcome Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa to Benchmark Hospitality,” said Mr. Cabañas. “This remarkable property,
which joins our company’s unique collection of Personal Luxury Hotels & Resorts™, is set in an idyllic location within one of the most
breathtakingly beautiful regions of North America.”
Recently named a “Top 10 Luxury Wilderness Lodge in the USA” by Luxury Travel Magazine and Utah’s sole member of the prestigious
Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Sorrel River Ranch defines rustic elegance with unparalleled comfort, cuisine, and service set amid the
red rock cathedrals and expansive skies of Southwestern Utah. The property’s main lodge provides luxury accommodations overlooking
Utah’s storied sandstone cliffs, soaring mesas, and the Colorado River, which flows along side the ranch.
Spacious guestrooms and suites, ranging from 400 to 1,000 square feet, combine rustic yet elegant ranch décor with the charm of a country
inn, the comforts of home, and the service of an upscale hotel. Each offers a private deck to fully absorb the arresting natural beauty sur-
rounding the ranch. Guestroom appointments include baths with glass showers, log-beamed ceilings, and custom-handcrafted furnish-
ings. Guest comfort is assured with luxurious linens, guestroom and bath accessories, as well as superb service. Luxury suites feature hy-
drotherapy bath spas, each with river and mountain views. Wireless Internet service is available throughout the ranch. Consistent with all
Benchmark Hospitality properties, Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa is pet friendly.
The resort’s Sorrel River Grill provides one of the Southwest’s finest dining experiences. Whether guests prefer a quiet dinner for two, a
casual riverside barbeque with classic ranch cuisine, or a five-course formal banquet, the culinary team at Sorrel River Ranch consistently
delivers exceptional cuisine and highly attentive, personalized service.
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa also provides 7500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, ideal for high-end execu-
tive-level meetings. The property is equally adept at hosting weddings, receptions and large social gatherings.
Activities are endless at the resort and include whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Colorado River, hiking (both guided and unguided),
mountain biking, rock climbing, and an equestrian program with lessons and trail riding. Secluded canyons, hidden arches, prehistoric dino-
saur tracks and breathtaking desert sunsets await visitors to the ranch. Those with the spirit of exploration can utilize all-terrain vehicles
or take Jeep & Hummer tours to discover the remains of ancient civilizations and possibly dinosaur bones along the way. The ranch also
offers photography tours and scenic flights. Nearby are two of Utah's five National Parks, including Arches National Park and Canyonlands
Back at Sorrel River Ranch are tennis courts, swimming pool and hot tub overlooking the Colorado River, and the Spa, which offers an
array of massage therapy, body treatment and spa services that guests find rejuvenating after a day on the trail. The Spa at Sorrel River is
small, intimate and inviting, allowing therapists to focus on providing personal service in a soothing atmosphere, and holistic treatments for
guests enjoying a health and wellness vacation.
About the Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa
As Utah’s only Small Luxury Hotel® and the sole AAA Four-Diamond rated resort in Moab, Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa provides
leisure and adventure travelers with an exquisite base from which to explore the Southwest’s natural landscapes. Activities such as river
rafting, mountain biking, and hiking in Utah’s National Parks ensure adventures for every interest. On top of all that, Sorrel has made it so
that the property is equipped to provide relaxation and excitement to those who are less adventurous as well. Travelers agree that Moab’s
finest hotel, Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa, brings luxury accommodations to a world-class adventure destination. For more information
and to book reservations, visit www.sorrelriver.com.
Page 3 Mountain Messenger
Benchmark Hospitality International Announces
$25 Million Hotel Adjacent to Brooklyn’s Historic Downtown
Introducing “Hotel 718”
Brooklyn, New York, March 24, 2011 … Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-
based independent hospitality management company, announces the addition to its portfolio of
Hotel 718, a stylish new 128-guestroom, 19-floor property at 231 Duffield Street in Brooklyn.
Hotel 718 is scheduled to open November 2011. Burt Cabañas, Benchmark’s chairman and
CEO; Gregory Atkins, president of V3 Hotels, the owner and developer of the property; and
Daniel Reznik, director of operations for V3 Hotels, jointly announced Hotel 718.
“I am very pleased to announce our involvement with this exciting new hotel,” said Mr. Ca-
bañas. “We at Benchmark Hospitality look forward to working closely with ownership as Hotel
718 becomes an active part of this unique Brooklyn neighborhood.”
“We are excited to add a dynamic hospitality company like Benchmark to our team,” said
Gregory Atkins, president of V3 Hotels. “Downtown Brooklyn is the fastest growing district in
New York City and we know that there is a major demand for hotel rooms in the area,” Mr.
“As Brooklyn continues to become a major travel destination, we have to provide urban adven-
turers with an opportunity to stay at hotels that fit their lifestyles and desires,” said Daniel
Reznik, operations director for V3 Hotels. “We know Hotel 718 will thrive in this niche mar-
ket and beyond.”
Designed by H. Thomas O’Hara, the $25 million Hotel 718, which is named in recognition of Brooklyn’s area code, will feature a perfect
blend of comfort required by today’s discerning traveler with a celebration of the heritage and culture of Brooklyn. The building’s exterior
features floor-to-ceiling windows and red artesian textured brick with matching mortar, lending a seamless verticality to the hotel. An an-
gular façade provides each room with a different view floor by floor.
Guestrooms at Hotel 718 will feature the most current technology, with wireless Internet access, MP3 docking stations, large HD flat
screen televisions, as well as gaming consoles upon request. The eco-sensitive hotel will include a rooftop sundeck and garden. Upon com-
pletion, Hotel 718 will offer spa services, a fitness center and cardio room, and 24-hour Brooklyn-centric concierge services. The hotel will
also feature an inspired 75-seat signature restaurant and bar. Original works of art will be placed throughout, complementing the sweeping
views from the 19-floor tower. Ample parking is available nearby.
Just steps away from the MetroTech Center, court buildings and the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, Hotel 718 will provide ready access
to Brooklyn’s rich cultural amenities. These include the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn
Botanical Gardens, Frederick Law Olmsted’s masterfully-designed Prospect Park, and countless vibrant and diverse cultural and entertain-
ment attractions day and night.
The property is within walking distance of Brooklyn’s historic Downtown and hip brownstone neighborhoods, as well as sleek new residen-
tial towers, and is minutes from Manhattan by subway, bus, taxi or automobile. The nearby Brooklyn-Queens Expressway provides easy
access to LaGuardia and JFK Airports. Downtown Brooklyn is home to more than 100,000 office employees, eight universities and colleges
with more than 57,000 students, Brooklyn Hospital Center, one of the busiest retail strips in the nation, and more than 40 premier arts and
cultural organizations. Since 2006, more than $3.6 billion has been invested in Brooklyn’s Downtown area from the private sector.
About V3 Hotels
V3 Hotels is a hospitality company that specializes in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of hotel properties in major
metropolitan cities and resort markets in the United States. The V3 Hotels objective is to create and support properties of superior design
and finish, and to complement them with exceptional personal service. V3 Hotels partners with the latest hospitality companies in order to
provide superb quality that eclipses industry standards while creating a warm and friendly personable atmosphere. The goal is to provide
its visitors and guests with an environment that exemplifies a new standard in the hotel industry. V3 Hotels is the ultimate destination for
industry leading standards and reliability.
Page 4 Mountain Messenger
Josh Hady promoted to Conference Senior Supervisor
Nickolaus Lachman promoted to CC Chef
Robert Marengo promoted to Cook 2
Mountain Messenger Page 5
Mountain Messenger Page 7
1st Quarter CMR Service Fanatics
Renee Anderson Joey Avila Lisa Bisgrove
Sabrina Brechtl Michele Cerenzia Lydia Debelak
Sandy Fitzpatrick Lloyd Grant Tanner Greimann
Don Holifield Demetrius Jefferson Sarah Lane
Chris Marvin Marla Meehan Ryan Neel
Ricky Rivera Jerry Seidl Reynold Smith
Melvin Still Brandon Wallace Odain Walters
Alexis Vachon Chris Beyer Juston Bryant
Ian Campbell Juan Cid Estevan DeOlivera
Kevin DeSousa Tommy D. Chuck Frye
Paul Guzman Josh Hady James Koch
Brian McKinney Sebastian Meszaros Greg Pringle
Richelle Reyes Birgit Rivas Bob Smalley
Monika Swisher Anthony Sykes Shawna Thornton
Daikuri Watson Chelsea Woloszyn Andrew Young
Mike Bluhm Chad Martin Rhonda Bammer
Lynette Budu Joe Ortega Frank Figueroa
Robert Marengo Alexis Vachon
Page 8 Mountain Messenger
Chris Sperling – Audio Visual
Chris has been with CMR and the Country Club of Colorado for several years. During his tenure, he
has proven his dedication and loyalty to our property over and over, and is a valuable asset to our CMR
Team. His high level of knowledge with AV and IT issues is exemplary. No matter what his workload is
or how many long hours he works to set up special events or needs to trouble shoot issues, he always
keeps a professional demeanor as well as upholding our 4 diamond service standards by keeping our
first priorities and core values at the forefront. Chris strives for excellence and expects and supports the
same from his team. Chris takes pride in everything that he does whether it be in his daily tasks as the
Manager of AV or when assuming the responsibility of relief Manager on Duty shifts. He is always will-
ing to assist where ever needed and will respond to various conference calls when the conference staff is
unavailable or busy, he is a real team player. I am very proud to recognize Chris for this prestigious
award. It is truly well deserved!!!
Chris has been instrumental to the success of the renovation occurring at the property. From a confer-
ence space perspective Chris has had a true vested interest in ensuring that CMR moves to the next level
from an audio visual and technology standpoint. He has not been afraid to push the envelope. From a
guest room perspective Chris has gone above and beyond. The process with the television install and
upgrade has been tedious to say the least. Chris has shown true loyalty and dedication as this has been
near 24/7 for several weeks to ensure that the process was managed to the best of our ability. Through-
out the renovation Chris has proven himself to be dedicated professional with true skin in the game. He
will do whatever it takes, and then some. Excellent work Chris.
Mountain Messenger Page 9
Maretha Teske-Johnson – Resort Housekeeping
Maretha is the Assistant Director of Housekeeping and has been with the Resort
since May 1990. Long a pillar of Housekeeping, Maretha has consistently proven
that she has a solid foundation in the operations of the department in all areas. A
“tough sergeant” when the job has to be done, she understands the importance of
our guests’ experience and the affect that Housekeeping has on the success of the re-
sort. She is also the bearer of a kind heart, bigger than she may wish everyone to
know. She is often the gentle matriarch getting to know the needs of her staff, recog-
nizing how hard they work, and helping in what ways she can to make their lives a
bit easier, especially when a crisis hits. The above has been said of Maretha in previ-
ous nominations and they remain true, but in the month of January, she took herself
and her team to a new level.
Melvin Still – Club Housekeeping
Melvin is a Lobby Attendant in our Club Housekeeping Department and has been
with the Resort since July 2010. Melvin does a great job cleaning the Fitness Center
each night. Prior to Melvin joining our team, we would get occasional complaints
about the cleanliness of the men’s shower walls. This has always been a hotspot with
members that would potentially give us negative comments. This problem has virtu-
ally become non-existent since Melvin has focused his efforts on improving the area.
We have the confidence in Melvin to know that if he is scheduled to work, there will
not be any issues with the cleanliness of the showers. In addition to working so hard
to maintain the showers, Melvin has done a consistently good job of keeping up with
the public areas of the fitness center.
Ashley Frank – Front Desk
Ashley has been with CMR since August 2010. From the very start, she has proven
to be a tremendous asset to the front desk as well as CMR. In guest services she
keeps a professional attitude whether it be checking in or out a guest, or assisting a
guest in PBX. She follows our four diamond requirements and procedures as well
as our First Priorities. She always goes the extra mile to assist the guests and to
ensure that they are knowledgeable of our offerings and the property. She upholds
high levels in service standards and expectations of herself and her fellow co-
workers and she strives for excellence. Her willingness to enhance the CMR experi-
ence is at the forefront of her position. She partakes in our Hometown Hospitality
Committee and always shows an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm in whatever
project she is involved in and strives for excellence. I would consider her to be a
strong lead person in the absence of her supervisor and/or manager. She is able to
take care of all facets of the front desk area. Ashley can sometimes have a “take
charge” attitude and she does so when needed. Ashley shows initiative and versatil-
ity by taking on extra responsibilities.
Page 10 Mountain Messenger
Monika Swisher – Resort Housekeeping
Monika works in our Resort Housekeeping and has been with us since Febru-
ary 1987. Her dedication to ensure that the Elk lodge is in excellent condition
at all times. She is passionate and dedicated to her job. Recently I saw her
cleaning the edges of the outside front door and remove the salt spots of the
door threshold. I do not have a lot of interaction with her, however the few I
have are always positive.
Chuck Frye - Engineering
The month of March has been a particularly taxing one on the Facilities De-
partment. The demands of renovation take much time away from the nor-
mal responsibilities of the department. That coupled with the effort to re-
duce payroll by 10% in the month have left many days with less than ideal
staffing levels and more than ideal workloads. Chuck has been involved in
so many renovation related projects that it would be hard to name them all.
He has been involved in the installation of and modifications to the new
lighting and A/V systems, trouble shooting guestroom wiring issues, identi-
fying power for the observation deck and water features, installing new exit
and emergency lights, troubleshooting and repairing pool lights, trouble-
shooting and repairing exterior sign lights, and much, much more. He has
worked very diligently and been a big contributor to the success of the de-
Bob Smalley – Audio Visual
Bob has always been an outstanding employee, however this past month he
has truly shined. Bob has bore the brunt of the Guest Room Television up-
grade project. He has spent countless days escorting reps from Lodgenet &
Philips into our guest rooms. He has worked diligently inspecting what our
outside vendors have been doing and ensuring that they are following proper
procedures while on property. Bob has been meticulous in keeping track of
each room that he has entered and what work has been performed. He has
also been instrumental in overseeing that the other AV department employ-
ees are doing the same. Bob has maintained a winning attitude throughout
the frustrations of this project. He has shown true hospitality not only to
every one of our guests but to our vendors as well. Bob has consistently put
in the extra hours and days necessary to keep up with the high demand for
this project as well as completing his normal daily routines also. Lastly, Bob
has done an outstanding job of taking direction and even positive criticism
and making the necessary changes all with a smile.
Page 11 Mountain Messenger
Page 12 Mountain Messenger
March 21, 2011
Yesterday we hosted the McCoy/Rossman Wedding Ceremony and Reception
as a Hometown Hospitality effort for Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Bench-
Their story was brought to us by Randy Rodriguez as he was their DJ they had
hired originally. They wanted to have a ceremony at the courthouse and very
small reception with cake somewhere. After hearing their story Laura and John
decided on behalf of Cheyenne Mountain Resort that these two people de-
served more for all their sacrifices they had made for their country. We then did
what we do best, rolled out the red carpet! Laura and John got busy with the
Hometown Hospitality efforts through Benchmark and our PR company. I got
busy planning a wedding and then it all came together. Once their story was
told we were able to get the following vendors that contributed and donated their services complimentary. It
took a village to pull this off, please recognize and thank them when you can for all of their contributions:
Through the efforts of Hometown Hospitality with Laura, John and our PR Company the new Rossman fam-
ily is headed today to Orlando for spring break/honeymoon! The Villas at Grand Cypress has donated a 5
night stay in a villa along with Frontier airlines that donated 4 plane tickets for the family from Colorado
Springs to Orlando, roundtrip. This was such an incredible story that the New York Times had a reporter and
photographer attend the wedding, more to come…
This was the most gratifying event that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. I would like to thank Laura
and John for allowing us to host this amazing event and for everyone that really pulled together and made it a
special day for them yesterday!!! Yesterday they said they felt like “Royalty”.
About the Groom: Ed Rossman is a decorated war veteran that suffered major injuries in Iraq. Ed has en-
dured 7 different surgeries on his back, spine, vocal cords and hardware implanted in his body have kept him
from being able to work. His last surgery was around Christmas, he almost did not make it. He can’t work but
started a Cub Scout troop at Lori McCoy’s elementary school where she teaches (Pikes Peak Elementary
School), now has about 50 boys that really need positive influence, all from a man that can barely
move. Attached is the story he wrote for Solider Magazine of SPC Jonathan Kephart, the young man who gave
his life to save his and many others.
About the Bride: Lori McCoy lost her husband SSG Gregory McCoy to the war in Iraq, killed in action in
2005. Lori has two boys, now Logan, 10 years old and Tyler, 7 years old. She went back to school and became
a school teacher and teaches at Pikes Peak Elementary. She is very involved within the community and volun-
teers at the YMCA with the widows group on base.
Ed Rossman had many of his friends killed, like his best friend, SSG Gregory McCoy. He tried his best to
take care of SSG McCoy’s kids and Lori when he comes back home. After spending a lot of time helping each
other through this ordeal, romance was kindled and they decided to get married. They had their reception
booked two years ago but had to postpone due to his injuries/surgeries, twice. The military is not paying for
them all as he wants to live as best as he can and has gone to UNV Hospital in Denver instead of the VA hos-
pital, needless to say they went through the budget for the wedding on medical bills, etc…
Mountain Messenger Page 13
In Ed’s words to me, “It was 10 soldiers against 300-500 insurgents. We should have never made it out. We drove 4
kilometers in trying to rescue another down patrol and found the way blocked, and had to drive back through the same
4KM of hell. When you see 2 M1 tanks, most powerful in the world, hauling butt coming from the area we were going in,
that’s not a good sign. 5 Bronze Stars (3 with Valor) 6 Purple hearts. The medic hat was (SGT DiVirgilio) is a big deal now
as she was the first female medic to be awarded a combat medal. They named part of the Military Police School after
Since Burt Kephart lost his son, he spends most of his time travelling the country visiting families who just lost a loved
one in the war. As soon as he sees it on the news, reads it, he contacts the family and asks if he can come visit. You can
imagine no family has never said no. He comforts and supports them while they go through this tough time of their lives.
He has touched so many peoples’ lives. Not just his son, but Burt is also my hero! Till this day, I talked the Kepharts all the
time. They are like my second family. One of the biggest honors of my life is when Mr Kephart came to my retirement
A university even did a play about SPC Kephart’s life and travelled the country. No kidding. I have seen it twice. It is kind
of weird to see a young 19 year play me in the play. My daughter Steffani (who is in Indiana going to Indiana University,
you’ll get to meet her) saw the play there. The guy that played me asked her after the play how he did portraying your
Dad. She said great, but you need to sound a little meaner and don’t smile so much, remember he was their Sergeant.
Last Mr Kephart out of his own pocket made a book about his son, being a Christian, his life, and his sacrifice. I will bring a
copy to give you. Like I was telling you, he had Lunch with President Bush 3 days before he left office. He told me Presi-
dent Bush cried and his heart was struggling with all the men and women who died fighting for their country. Here is Mr
Kephart, providing comfort, a strength, and support to the President of the United States. Like I said Mr Kephart is my
When I was First Sergeant, I would make my new Privates read the story I sent you and tell them this is the type of sol-
ider/person you should aspire to be like. Some of these new MP’s remember SPC Kephart from the school where they
first learned about him. It was funny because when they got to the unit (right out of Basic-MP School) and would be
standing at the front of my desk, I tell by looking at them they recognized my name, and sure enough every once in
awhile one would ask, “First Sergeant, you weren’t the guy that fought with SPC Kephart”. But anyhow as part of my in
brief, they read the story, made them come back the next day and tell me what were the 3 most important things you
got out of the story, Sometimes they could do it without crying. (Hey I still get choked up).”
Companies that help this day become possible…
(2) Bridesmaids Dresses- Terry Ortega, Bridal Elegance
(6) Tuxedo Rentals– Terry Ortega, Bridal Elegance
Alteration of the Bridal Gown- Terry Ortega, Bridal Elegance
DJ- Randy Rodriquez & Jonathon Starr
Linens, Napkins, Chair Covers- Terry Ortega, Bridal Elegance
Florals for Ceremony & Cake- Rhonda Nichols Floral Designs
Floral Centerpieces for the Reception- Lori Goede, Skyway Florist
Wedding Officiate- Reverend Dale Bowman
Wedding Cake- Keith & Nancy Johnson, Like No Other
Chocolate Wedding Favor Boxes for each Guest- Patsy’s Candies &
Melodie’s Mom (Mae Smith)
Laminated Bookmark Favors of their 1st Dance- Created by Sara Barrett (Sarah Lane & Angie Farmer assisted her in cutting them all out)
Photographer- Tim Skrastins, Image Factory Photography
Videographer- Michael Hering, Lodo Cinema
Ring Bearers Pillow, Flower Girl Basket, Guest Book, Garter, Toasting Glasses, Cake Knife- Carol & Michael Pennica, Pennica Finan-
Champagne Toast- Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado
Ceremony & Reception Location, Food & Beverages- Cheyenne Mountain Resort
Melodie Owens | Director of Catering
Page 14 Mountain Messenger
The Hotel Granduca was built with a theme of old world
Italy, it features original Italian art work and fine Italian
linen. Granduca offers 6 room and suite options, all in-
clude plasma HDTV, complimentary wireless internet
and a fully stocked kitchen. Hotel services include twice
If you would prefer to relax, the pool is a great place to sit and
get some sun. The pool is surrounded by gardens and adjacent
is a fitness center available to all guests. Some other amenities
include 24 hours room service, dry cleaning, concierge, and valet
with courtesy transportation within a 3 mile radius.
When visiting you must make reservations at the Ristorante
Cavour, it specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. It is a fine
dining restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Sala Del Borgo is a great room to host a special occasion,
such as a bridal or baby shower.
The Veranda faces the pool, gardens and fountain and
is a great place to sit, converse, and enjoy a beverage.
Feel like exploring Houston? The Uptown Park Shop-
ping Center is just across the street. You’ll be able to
shop, try out the wonderful restaurants and enjoy the
Benchmark employees enjoy a $99 rate at the Granduca
Hotel. Please contact Human Resources for information
on how to make reservations.
Mountain Messenger Page 15
CMR Committee Updates
Hometown Hospitality Committee
The HHC will create a quarterly bulletin of all the HH events. Some up-
coming events are the Red Ribbon Ball and Furrr Ball in April and the LT
Car Wash tentatively schedule for May 10th. HHC is looking into new
partnerships as well of new fundraising events. We encourage employees to
participate and help out these wonderful causes!
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Mike and the Green Committee, CMR
received the Green Seal Certification.
Ops committee is working on developing CMR supervisors. One a month a meet-
ing will be held to discuss issues that supervisor’s face and ways to remove those
Culture Committee is happy to announce that their will be two Employee Golf
Tournaments this year The first will is tentatively scheduled for May 16th, 2011 at
1pm to kick off the season. The second will be scheduled as the season comes to
Don’t be surprised if you see a large group touring your area. The
Safety Committee is focused on learning where and what to look
for in each department.
B*SAFE Bingo Winners
Page 16 Mountain Messenger
FREE BENEFITS FOR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES
Life/AD&D Insurance - the amount is 1 times annual salary (available to employees only)
Lab Services provided by Lab Corp (when enrolled in medical coverage)
Diabetic testing supplies provided by Med Wise (when enrolled in medical coverage)
Benchmark Hospitality International values the health of employees like you. We understand the im-
portance of wellness initiatives and preventative care.
Preventative care is imperative for detecting health
problems and diseases as quickly as possible. That is why we
offer generous preventative care benefits under the medical,
dental, and vision plans.
Wellness is necessary for continued good health and
preventing or deterring many health problems, such as high
cholesterol and blood pressure. Benchmark Hospitality
International offers a $300 fitness benefit to support healthy
$300 Fitness Benefit:
Includes a $300 maximum benefit per year for health and fitness programs PER COVERED PERSON!
Expenses are covered at 50% of membership fees or initiation dues up to a maximum of $300.
Weight loss and fitness centers must have a tax ID # in order to be eligible
***NEW BENCHMARK BENEFIT***
Benefits Concierge Line
The Benchmark Hospitality International Benefits Concierge is available to
serve you and your covered dependants and assist with questions you may
have about your health and welfare benefits. The Benefit Concierge is a
resource for the following Benchmark Hospitality International benefits:
Flexible Spending Accounts
Benefits Concierge is provided at no cost for all employees and is available from Monday-Friday from
Mountain Messenger Page 17
Abs– The plank position will help you get those flat abs for the summer season. Below are three levels of the plank
position, begin with the level that matches your fitness level.
Plank (level 1): Lie face down on Leg Lift (Level 2): Start with the Cross Fit Plank (Level 3): Start
a matt resting on the outer fore- plank pose. While you pull your belly with the plank pose, then put one
arms, palms up. Push off the floor, button towards your spine, lift your foot against the wall and then the
raising up onto toes and resting on right leg around 6-8 inches above the other, using your arms and abdomi-
the elbows. Keep your back flat, ground. If you are keen to have a nal muscles to lift your body and
and keep your abdominals held toned body, squeeze your gluteal keep it straight. Move both your feet
tight to support the lower back. muscles (those in the butts) while do- up slowly one at a time so you are 8-
Hold this position for 20 seconds. ing this exercise. Get back to the 10 inches of the ground. Make sure
Complete 3 holds with a 1 minute plank pose and repeat the exercise by your body is a straight line. Hold
rest between. lifting the left leg up. Repeat the plank this position for 20 seconds, and
pose leg lift for at least 3-5 times on complete 3 holds with a 1 minute
each side. rest in between.
Back– Below are some great exercises to strengthen and tone your upper back. Start with 15lbs and then increase
the weight when it becomes easier for you over the following weeks.
Lateral Shoulder Raise- Keep your back straight with the Shoulder Press- Hold the dumbbells up with your
dumbbells facing forward. Then lift your arms out to the palms facing forward at eye level. Then fully extend
side until they are shoulder height. Hold for a second then your arms upward into the air. Bring them back
bring them back to the starting position slowly. Repeat for down to the same position and repeat for 3 sets of
3 sets of 12-15 reps. 12-15 reps.
Mountain Messenger Pag
Kevin’s Catch of the Day
This was a very difficult interview process for me this 1st quarter, I am in the process of purchasing a home
and I knew I had to do Kevin’s Catch of the Day since it is an Award Winning Piece but I thought I had a lot
more time so need to say I procrastinated a bit but needless to say I came through for CMR and our news let-
ter to bring to all of you 2 great interviews with my 2 cents.
My first interview was with Kathleen Lucchino CMR’s morning security supervisor. Kathleen’s been in the
hospitality security business for 20 years and with CMR for 5. Kathleen has 2 children Donnovan & Libby and
her grandson Merrick, who she did say “is the love of her life!” On her days off she enjoys reading, gardening,
and playing internet games. So let’s see what else I found about one of our security officers.
How do you promote Benchmark and CMR? By voicing her
personal feelings about CMR to guests and others she meets up
and about, or perhaps during her internet game playing. She tells
them about our upscale service and how great the staff is espe-
cially the “HANDSOME” concierge! (OK OK I added that last
part) but seriously at the very least I am adorable.
If Mrs. Neumann agreed to switch places with someone
else…dead or alive, for one day, who would you pick?
“SHE”S GREAT!” I didn’t except that answer only because we all
know how great Mrs. Neumann is, so I made her answer. Kath-
leen went with good ole’ Honest Abe because he’s honest and he
cared for the people.
Besides Cheyenne Mountain Resort, what other Bench-
mark property would you like to work for? And like every-
one else who has answered this question Kathleen went with Turtle Bay in Hawaii.
If you could be one animal what would it be? This was a very weird answer, out of all the animals
out there in the animal kingdom. Kathleen chose the powerful, fleet footed, fierce (I’m going to give
you all a few seconds to guess……… drum solo please “THE SQUIRREL” because there busy crea-
tures. Yeah busy teasing my dogs and eating my peaches!
What do you want to be when you grow up? When Kathleen grows up she would like to mow the
grass for a golf course! I can see Kathleen now on the ride on mower, with her sleeveless shirt.
Makes me think of that country song “SHE THINKS MY TRACTORS SEXY”
Now that we are almost done with our renovations, what is your favorite? Kathleen like the
rest of catering is looking forward to the “Grand Rivers Terrace” especially the landscape with the wa-
Besides the position you currently work now, what other position would you like to work in?
She answered that on question 5, “ KATHLEEN THINKS MOWERS ARE SEXY”
If you could be a superhero for a day, which one would it be? This question took her a bit but fi-
nally she answered every little kid’s hero “FIREMAN SAM” because it’s her grandson’s favorite.
What CD is in your CD player right now car or home? Not sure who this is but she went with Seal
If you could live for a day with a T.V. or movie character who would it be? Tom Cruz in Top
Gun, she thinks flying with Tom would be fun, (Tell that to Goose!)
If you could switch places with any member of the Leadership Team who would it be? Kath-
leen chose Mr. Green Seal himself Mike VanDuzer, because they get along well and she enjoys fixing
Mountain Messenger Page 19
Kevin’s Catch of the Day
For my second interview I went vibrant & bubbly Sara Barret. Sarah is the Catering Admin. and has
worked at CMR for about a year. She has been married for 2 ½ yrs and enjoys mountain biking. She
has 2 cats Tanzy & Chunky and has a scary obsession with Garfield (the cat not the grounds keeper)
How do you promote Benchmark and
CMR? Her pleasant attitude comes into play
here, and she treats everyone as she would like
to be treated.
If Mrs. Neumann agreed to switch places
with someone dead or alive… who would it
be? Sara went with a different approach here
and put herself in Mrs. Neumann’s shoes and
went with who she thinks Mrs. Neumann would
choose and she thinks she would go with some-
one who is very business savvy. She went with
“THE DON” at first but then changed her mind
and went with Steve Jobs.
Besides Cheyenne Mountain Resort, what
other resort would you like to work at?
And like everyone else she went with Hawaii but
then I reminded her about our new resort in Moab Utah and due to her love for mountain biking
she changed her mind.
If you could be any animal what would it be? She chose her cat Tanzy, because she is spoiled and
has a great life plus she didn’t want to go with her other cat Chunky, (What girl would!)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Sara has no plans of growing up!
Now that we are almost done with our renovations, what is your favorite? This was a tough
on since she has yet to see our sleeping rooms but she went with all the water features and she is
glad we changed out all the old light sconces.
Besides the position you work now, what other position would you like to work? Sara loves
her job now and would have no intention of leaving it.
If you could be any superhero for a day, which one would it be? Spider Woman, so she could
fling her webs and go swinging from building to building. I thought it would be to hang upside down
and …. Never mind!
What CD is in your CD player right now, car or home? In her car she has KORN and not the
yellow vegetable and at home she has Breaking Benjamin.
If you could live for one day with a TV or Movie Character would it be? She thought long and
hard about this one and she went with Drew Barrymore, because she thinks they would have lots of
fun and be great friends.
If you could switch places with any member of our Leadership Team, who would it be?
Sara chose Mr. Push-up Scott Marble, because of how great he looks in a pair of tights and his great
Mountain Messenger Page 20
Guest Room renovations will be completed in mid April. A big thanks goes out to Scott Marble, Mike
VanDuzer, Steve Schiff, and the Housekeeping & Engineering staff! With their tireless efforts these reno-
vations are still on schedule and will be ready for the summer season!
Remingtons will be complete once the wallpaper is replaced in the next couple of weeks.
The Grand River’s deck is scheduled for completion on March 25th but because of some unforeseen
problems with the concrete it will not be sold until May 1st.
Page 21 Mountain Messenger
I want to share with you an experience that I had earlier this morning…. I was told by Maretha
that a woman wanted to meet with me on the conference level, that she was demanding to speak
to the Executive Housekeeper right away, and that she sounded angry. I told Maretha, „something
tells me I better bring a notepad.” It sounded like I was about to get an earful from this woman
and hear of a horrible housekeeping issue.
I found the woman who asked, “Are you the executive who‟s in charge of all of the housekeeping
around here?” I held my breath and prepared for the worst… She continued, “My name is Vicki
Rogers and I‟m the Protocol Officer (meeting planner) for this group.” It was the military group
who‟s in-house and was having a meeting inside the Arkansas room while we were speaking. I
thought , oh, boy here it comes; let me have it. She stated, “I want you to know that I travel to
hotels all over the world and the cleanliness at this resort (here it comes, brace for impact)... is
better than I‟ve ever seen anywhere!
What a relief! She went on to give my staff the biggest compliment that I
have ever heard from a customer in my entire 14 year career in this busi-
ness. She wanted to be sure to tell me directly that the staff has a great at-
tention to detail, that housekeeping has been doing an excellent job of tak-
ing care of all of there needs, and that everyone has been greeting them
with a smile and going out of their way to offer assistance. She wanted to
She also said that bathrooms are her pet-peeve and she always focuses
heavily on this wherever she goes. She was happy to report that there were no issues and that
she couldn‟t find any mildew anywhere.
Ms. Rogers told me that she had already informed her Executive Director about the great house-
keeping that she had encountered at the resort.
I thanked her profusely for the comments and the feedback. I just wanted to let you know that this
will be shared with my team during our 8:00 shift meeting tomorrow and know what a great mo-
rale booster this will be for the staff.
Unfortunately, Housekeeping is a department that doesn‟t typically get a lot of appreciation from
the public, so it‟s rare that we have someone seek out the manager to give this type of compli-
Needless to say, this interaction first sounded like it was going to be disastrous, but ended up
making my entire week.
Steve Schiff| Executive Housekeeper
Mountain Messenger Page 22
'The trainers said the dinner last night was fantastic! They said our participants with the food concerns also had a very nice salmon
dinner! Thank you and your staff for doing a great job! - Jennifer Pak-Collins, CCL LTI Program
'Thank you for absolutely everything last week!! You and all the service the group received at the hotel was fabulous...we really appre-
ciate it! It is also very impressive to see so many of the same people 2 years later...that really speaks to your organization!' -
Kate Pruett with CCL NASA PPMD
Please pass along to all the staff working the last few days. A true gem of a resort! We had a fantastic time and are already
planning a trip for spring/summer. Hats off to everyone there and many thanks to Faye at the front desk for making it a
more memorable time as well.
The accommodations and the customer service of the staff TOTALLY EXCEEDED my expectations and my experience at the
resort was EXTREMELY WONDERFUL!
Thank you very much!
Please forgive the tardiness of this praise for your service and Cheyenne Mountain Resort. We are a small staff and our first obligation is
to our members which has kept us very busy since the annual meeting.
Our members and staff enjoyed CMR and staff during our ninth annual meeting more than any annual meeting before. The 127 evaluations
we received from attendees were full of complements for the beauty of your venue and the service of your staff. Several commented on
the friendliness and helpfulness of John, the greeter at the entrance.
Brenda is just an angel. She helped us through so many rough spots, particularly with reservations and late cancellations. She exuded car-
ing. Your people who handled A/V were kind and considerate when we needed last-minute changes.
When a few of our members had special requests at lunch, your wait staff and kitchen were kindly and quickly responsive. We received
positive comments on that too.
Your business staff was equally admired. They helped us understand the billing and their explanations were clear.
I'm sure we are not the easiest group to handle. Every one of our members has suffered unspeakable trauma. Yet it was as if your people
were aware of the extra care we needed and gave it so warmly and without complaint.
Thank you so much Lee. We are very grateful. You and your staff went above and beyond expectations.
Howard Morton, Executive Director
I just wanted to compliment your facility on how great your staff are to guests and vendors. I was a vendor at the bridal show this last
weekend and all of the staff were extremely helpful. I also wanted to say that in particular Billy, the security guard was very professional
and polite in getting the vendors in and out while also protecting them and your facility making sure all involved were safe. I hope that you
recognize your employees and this individual for what they bring to your resort.
Mountain Messenger Page 23
“For 95 years, PGA Professionals have promoted, taught and grown our great game. Tonight, we
honor and thank those who proudly wear the PGA badge and an industry innovator for their tire-
less contributions to and passion for golf.
Allen Wronowski, PGA President, PGA of America
Team: As most of you know, last night was the 95th annual PGA of America Awards Gala at the Or-
lando Convention Center. Ann Finke, along with 11 PGA professionals, was honored prominently by
her accomplished peers as the only Coloradoan and only woman. She joins an esteemed rank of 13 Coloradoans (including
being the first CO woman) who have been bestowed national recognition in years past. For this legendary event, she was
surrounded by 20+ Finke family, friends, colleagues and Country Club of Colorado Members when she accepted this honor;
along with hundreds watching from afar.
As most of you know, Ann has many “firsts” to call her own including being the first female in her high school to win an
athletic scholarship (of any sort) and the first woman in the state of Colorado to achieve 25 years with the PGA (and the 9 th
in the nation). To witness her give her gracious, professional, heartfelt acceptance speech at the “Academy Awards of
Golf” gala and accept her “Superbowl-like” ring and plaque while being photographed like a rock star was an experience
like no other. I can only imagine what that must have felt like to those who have loved her for decades and have been
cheering her on since she was a little girl.
For those of you who are familiar with the term “glass ceiling”; you may rest assured, in the world of golf that ceiling was
shattered across the nation last night and echoed throughout the auditorium for all those present. The whispers about the
“lone woman on stage” were not lost on any of us. Although as I elbowed my way past the press and photographers to get
a close-up of Ann with her fellow winners on stage; I did have to respond to one person who had exclaimed rather loudly
about the “only lady”, “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
A photo collage along with that incredible video will be posted on a website dedicated to Ann shortly. Until then, suffice to
say, it was a privilege to see a professional with such humility be recognized with such magnitude. Her grace on stage was
like no other. Congratulations, Ann Finke. Laura
Team: Please join me in congratulating Steve Kander as an official member of the Court of Master
Sommelier’s Guild. This is the first step of three within the Court’s program culminating in a Mas-
ter Sommelier designation. As you may recall he was the second person in all of Benchmark to
achieve the status of Certified Wine Specialist. As an official member of the Master Sommelier’s
Guild; this is step one in Steve’s arduous journey toward the “ultimate” of Master Sommelier.
Should any of you wonder what kind of BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) Master Sommelier may
be, you should know the Court of Master Sommeliers is the world's preeminent examining body
for wine service professionals. Over the four decades since the Court's first examination was held,
174 candidates have earned the Master Sommelier Diploma. In the service of wine, spirits and
other alcoholic beverages, the Master Sommelier Diploma is the ultimate professional credential
anyone can attain worldwide.
Needless to say we are proud of Steve’s ongoing accomplishments! Laura
Mountain Messenger Page 24
Mountain Messenger Page 25
1. There are three switches downstairs. Each corresponds
to one of the light bulbs in the attic, you can turn the
switches on and off and leave them in any position. How
would you identify which switch corresponds to which
light bulb if you can only make one trip to the attic.
1. Policemen are allowed to bite a dog if they think it will calm the dog down in Paulding, Ohio.
2. A representative from Oklahoma, Linda Larsen attempted to lower the divorce rate by proposing a law
that would require the following requirements before a marriage license would be issued: neither party
should snore, at least one meal a week should be prepared by the non-primary cook, toothpaste should
be squeezed from the bottom of the tube, pantyhose shouldn’t be left hanging in the shower, and the
toilet seat should always be down when not being used.
3. An old Colorado law states that a person must have a doctor’s prescription before taking a bath.
4. In Lexington, Kentucky, it is against the law to carry an ice cream cone in a pocket.
5. It is illegal in California to lick toads,. Apparently some people were licking toads to get high. Unfortu-
nately some people were getting harmed by the frogs poison.
President’s Day Trivia Answers
1. Who was the only president that did not represent a politi- Keep the first bulb switched on for a few minutes,
cal party? letting it warm up. So all you have to do then is
2. He was the 18th president and the commander of the Un- switch it off; switch another one on, walk into the
room with the bulbs, touch the bulbs and feel for
ion army during the Civil War. which one was turned on first 9the warm one) and
3. Which president kept a pet alligator in the East Room of the others are easily identified.
the White House?
4. Which president was paralyzed from the polio disease? 1. George Washington
5. Who was the only president to serve in both World War I 2. Ulysses S. Grant
3. John Quincy Adams
& World War II? 4. Franklin D. Roosevelt
6. Who was the first president to be born in a hospital? 5. Dwight D. Eisenhower
7. Which president once worked as a fashion model? 6. Jimmy Carter
8. Who is the only US President to resign? 7. Gerald R. Ford
8. Richard Nixon
Page 26 Mountain Messenger
Page 27 Mountain Messenger
Admin. Furrr Ball
*Tentative*’ Professionals Safety Committee
Easter Highway Cleanup 3:00pm
LT Car Wash
B.O.B. Safety Committee
Nominations Due 3:00pm
Mountain Messenger Page 28
Comm. 2pm ACS ACS Relay for
Relay for Life Life
We would love to hear your
Please let us know if you have any
3225 Broadmoor Valley Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906 suggestions for the 2nd Quarter
Contributors for the Mountain Messenger are:
HR Coordinator Heather Buldhaupt-Publisher
Benefits Coordinator Jessica Reijgers– Benefits/Health
Phone: ( 719)538-4000 Ext. 4315
Conference Concierge Kevin Desousa– Kevin’s Catch
of the Day
Special thanks to Fran Kayton, Fitness Manager, for all
her exercise tips and demonstrations!