Westminster Hotel In Livingston, NJ, Provides PGA Championship Players a Good Night’s Rest During Recent Tournament

By Day, Hotel’s Top Clients Enjoy Easy Access to Baltusrol Course Play

LIVINGSTON, N.J., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Practice and planning readied the staff of Westminster Hotel in Livingston, N.J., to handle one of its most challenging assignments to date: providing seven nights of rest and relaxation for world-famous golfers vying for a PGA Championship title. Their preparations paid off as top-notch golfers were able to slip away each evening from the enthusiastic crowds of fans surrounding the historic Baltusrol Golf Course in Springfield, N.J., to enjoy some privacy and pampering in the hotel’s luxurious accommodations.

“Westminster Hotel was extremely proud to be a patron of the 87th Annual PGA Championship,” noted Michael Polese, the hotel’s general manager. “We did not take our involvement with this historic event lightly,” he added. “Nate Wiener, my administrative assistant, and I began discussing the hotel’s participation a year ago, and he has worked closely with the staff to ensure the finest service for our special guests.”

Wiener’s preparations included mapping out alternate, back roads for the 20-minute drive from the hotel to the 110-year-old golf club in Springfield. “Many of our staff live in the area and can expertly navigate the roads around Baltusrol,” explained Wiener. “We rehearsed the routes in advance to ensure the golfers staying with us arrived early and unflustered for their tee times.”

Hotel Links Top Clients with Championship Play

Wiener’s work didn’t wind down when the golfers teed off. Westminster Hotel was the only area hotel to sponsor a Champions Club Table at the PGA Championship. This unique opportunity enabled the hotel to offer 70 of its most loyal clients a chance to see world-class golf up-close in a comfortable setting. Each day of the qualifying and final rounds, 10 clients were provided with transportation from the hotel to Baltusrol, unrestricted access to all areas of the course, and unlimited refreshments in the exclusive — and air- conditioned — Champions Club. As an added value, clients also received access to the Baltusrol Clubhouse on certain days.

Westminster’s clients enjoyed breakfast and lunch plus afternoon hors d’oeuvres, with an open bar available to them from noon until 7 p.m. They also received gift bags with souvenir shirts and hats bearing the PGA Championship logo, and artistic renderings of Baltusrol. In addition, the hotel created its own contest to provide extra excitement off the course. Each client was randomly assigned five PGA players. On a daily basis, the hotel e-mailed clients the current leader board so they could track their players’ progress. At the conclusion of the tournament, the client linked to winner Phil Mickelson received a $100 gift certificate to the hotel’s Strip House restaurant and a $150 gift certificate to Golfsmith, a golf store in Livingston.

“This event provided an extraordinary opportunity for the hotel to thank the clients who have contributed to our success,” remarked Polese. “Because the tournament marked only the second playing of the PGA in New Jersey, ‘front-row’ seats like we had were highly prized.”

“It was an incredible experience for me,” continued Polese, “and I knew nothing about golf prior to the hotel’s involvement. “The atmosphere at Baltusrol was so electric, the impact of being around golfers like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods was so great, I may even take up the sport.”

Despite the excitement and the heat, Polese and his staff remained calm, cool and collected when an unexpected weather suspension on Sunday forced the first Monday finish for the PGA Championship in 19 years. “A few of our original guests did need to stay an extra night for Monday’s conclusion,” noted Polese. “Of course, we were happy to accommodate them.”

Operated by Westminster Hospitality Group, the contemporary Westminster Hotel features 187 guestrooms with upscale amenities designed for business travelers, 15,000 square feet of sophisticated banquet and conference space, a highly acclaimed Strip House restaurant, plus an indoor pool, spa facility and fitness room. Since the hotel opened in January of 2003, it has achieved several significant distinctions, including the elite Four-Diamond rating from AAA and first-place honors in Lodging Hospitality’s Annual Design Competition. In addition, Westminster Hotel was named 2004 Facility of the Year by Meeting Planners International (MPI) — New Jersey Chapter.

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