Loews Annapolis general manager heads to Baltimore
Nov 21, 2012 (The Capital - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The general manager of Loews Annapolis is leaving to build up business at a downtown Baltimore property.
On Tuesday, James LoBosco announced that he is leaving the hotel he has managed for four years for a position with Chicago-based Kokua Hospitality LLC.
The properties that firm manages include the Tremont Suites Hotel & Grand Historic Venue in downtown Baltimore, which will become Embassy Suites Baltimore by the spring. LoBosco will handle that transformation and oversee business at the Grand Historic Venue.
LoBosco's last day in Annapolis is Dec. 7. He will start his new job Jan. 2. The Grand Historic Venue was a historic Masonic temple before a $24 million conversion. A skywall connects the 45,000-square-foot property to the 300-room hotel.
The Grand Historic Venue "is arguably one of the nicest catering facilities in Baltimore," said LoBosco, who will continue to live in Rockville. "Launching that property and converting the Tremont to an Embassy Suites is going to be a huge transition and that seems to be my expertise these days."
Kokua Hospitality partner and Chief Operating Officer Philip Tufano previously worked with LoBosco at the Grand Hyatt in New York and at Embassy Suites in Chevy Chase.
"It's a really unique venue and we needed a really unique (general manager)," Tufano said. "I know how good a general manager he is. When this opportunity became available, I thought he'd be a great fit for our company and our hotel."
Prior to coming to Loews, LoBosco spent two years managing The Madison Hotel in Washington D.C. The Johnson and Wales University graduate also held top jobs at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and The Jefferson, a former Loews property in Washington D.C.
During his tenure at Loews Annapolis, the hotel began a three-year renovation that included a redesigned lobby, an expanded fitness center and additional guest rooms. The project cost at least $5 million and included the West Kitchen & Tavern restaurant, which opened in September.
The next phase of construction affects the ballroom, multipurpose area and fitness center.
Over the years, LoBosco worked with the MainStreets Annapolis Partnership and the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau. He was known for volunteering in the community and offering the hotel to host events.
He also did some things behind the scenes, such as providing catered food for an Annapolis resident who had been bedridden during an illness.
"He looked outside of the four walls of Loews and basically looked at all of downtown as his customer base and I thought that was really great," MainStreets Annapolis Executive Director Lisa Craig said. "The most successful and most engaging (hoteliers) are really part of the community."
Visitors Bureau President and Chief Executive Officer Connie Del Signore said LoBosco's departure was bittersweet. Over the years, Del Signore and LoBosco have become friends and she noticed that they have similar personalities.
"We like to get into a project and blow it up and put all the pieces back together again in a new fashion. We enjoy that process," Del Signore said. "This is another opportunity for him to get in there and make a difference. (The new job) needs a person of his caliber."
LoBosco said his period in Annapolis was the first time he was able to get involved in the community. He plans to do that in Baltimore.
"Businesses in Annapolis that are the most successful are those that are very active in the community," LoBosco said. "Loews has always been an integral part of the Annapolis community and for over the last 20 years has been an active participant and I see that continuing.
"I only see great things to come. It's a great hotel poised for great growth in the future."
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