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Richard Holtzman appointed Operations, Asset Management and Stakeholder Engagement at The Athens Group

Richard Holtzman
Images by The Athens Group

Hospitality industry leader Richard Holtzman has joined The Athens Group (Athens Group), a full-service real estate development company specializing in the creation of luxury resorts and urban hotels, branded and non-branded luxury residences, home sites and communities, as well as golf courses, spas and related recreational amenities.  With over four decades of experience and leadership, Holtzman will serve as a principal and vice president of hospitality. In his role, Holtzman will be responsible for the company’s core operations and asset management disciplines in addition to assisting in the growth and management of Athens Group’s portfolio of projects, and its strategic partners and relationships including capital partners and hotel operators.

“Richard Holtzman brings an invaluable blend of expertise in luxury hospitality and a proven track record in project development and operations. His addition to The Athens Group underscores our commitment to excellence and innovation for the benefit of our partners,” said Kim Richards, President & CEO of The Athens Group. “We welcome him as an integral part of our team as we continue to elevate our projects and set new standards in the industry.”

The Athens Group will open three new luxury resort and hotel development projects over the coming year. Holtzman will work closely with the company’s operating and financial partners to ensure the success of each project. The three projects are:

  • Asher Adams: Opening in the fall of this year, Asher Adams will be the first Autograph Collection hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. The Athens Group has partnered with Hatteras Sky, and Pivot, the lifestyle operating vertical of Davidson Hospitality Group as the manager and operator of the hotel. Asher Adams is an adaptive reuse of the historic Union Pacific Depot Train Station and will incorporate the historic train station with the addition of a new, eight-story guestroom tower with 225 guest rooms and suites including signature rooms in the train station itself.
  • Nekajui, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Costa Rica: Set to open at the end of this year, Nekajui is located in one of Costa Rica’s most luxurious and sought-after resort communities, Peninsula Papagayo. This luxury resort will further enhance Papagayo’s exclusivity and status with the addition of 107 guest rooms and suites, featuring canopied outdoor terraces, private plunge pools, spa-like bathrooms, and spectacular views overlooking Pochote Bay and its surrounding islands. The development also includes 36 luxury villas and estate homes.
  • Naples Beach Club: Opening in the spring of 2025, and in partnership with BDT & MSD, Athens is developing the Naples Beach Club, a 125-acre luxury beachfront resort and residential destination which lies along 1,000 feet of white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The project will include a 215-room Four Seasons Resort and will feature multiple food and beverage experiences including Old Naples’ only beachfront dining at HB’s on the Gulf and the Sunset Beach Bar; an 18-hole Tom Fazio designed golf course; a clay-court tennis center; a luxury spa and state-of-the-art fitness center; and the Market Square town center.

“I am thrilled to join The Athens Group,” said Holtzman. “I look forward to playing a key role in strengthening The Athens Group platform by leveraging my years of experience in luxury hotel and resort operations and development, along with my industry relationships, to benefit our projects and our partners and stakeholders.”

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Prior to joining the Athens Group, Richard Holtzman was at Montage International for over a decade serving as a vice president.  He opened the Montage Kapalua Bay, located on the former site of the iconic Kapalua Bay Hotel, in Hawaii.  Following the opening, Holtzman assumed a corporate role with Montage International focused on senior leadership development to support the growth of the Montage International brands.

Throughout his four-decades of diverse professional experience, Holtzman has held leadership positions at The Plaza Hotel, Arizona Biltmore and was the opening General Manager at The Boulders Resort and Club in Arizona. The Boulders later served as the platform to build Carefree Resorts, with Holtzman as its founding President. Holtzman was voted “Hotelier of the World” by the readers of HOTELS magazine in 1995 in recognition of the impact of Carefree Resorts on the resort landscape. He remains the youngest recipient of this prestigious award to date. After the sale of Carefree Resorts, Holtzman worked with Wyndham International as division President, worked for Scottsdale based DMB Associates as President of Kukui’ula Development Company and led the Resort Division for Pyramid Global Hospitality.

Holtzman graduated with a B.S. in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.

He and his wife, Sheila, live in Scottsdale, Arizona.  They have three adult children, Jennifer, Whitney, and Kevin. Holtzman remains active in national industry affairs as an Executive Committee member for The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Resort Committee and formerly served as its chairman.

Tags: Asset Management and Stakeholder Engagement, operations, The Athens Group

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