Wolfgang Jonas, who has been the lead on the pre-opening team for the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park set to open in early 2020, has been named general manager of the Downtown architectural landmark.
Hersha Hospitality Management Group, or HHM, also announced Wednesday that Amy Hussmann has been named director of sales of the 130-room, 4.5-star boutique hotel.
According to a news release Hussman moved to El Paso in 1985 and has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and sales industries, including 10 years as general manager of Coronado Country Club in the 2000s.
“HHM is extremely proud to manage our first luxury boutique hotel in El Paso,” Jody Blackinton, HHM regional vice president of operations, said in a statement. “It’s a pleasure to have Wolfgang Jonas’ leadership as part of this historical re-opening and as the city undergoes a dynamic revitalization.”
According to the news release, Jonas has 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has held operational and management positions with several brands, including the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Westin Hotels and Resorts in Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Built in 1930, the high-rise was Conrad Hilton’s first in what was to become a global hotel empire. Designed by famed Southwest architect Henry Trost, the hotel was a modern marvel.
Conrad Hilton’s mother resided in the hotel in the 1940s, and actress Elizabeth Taylor briefly lived in the penthouse during her marriage to Conrad’s son, Nicky.
The penthouse will reopen as a rooftop bar and restaurant called La Perla – inspired by the pearl that passed from the Spanish monarchy to Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother before appearing on the neck of Elizabeth Taylor, according to the hotel’s new website, PlazaHotelElPaso.com.
The building sat vacant for decades before El Paso businessman Paul Foster bought it and took on the ambitious renovation project.