Omni Hotels calls president David Jurcak to Texas
In this pair of stories Allegheny Mountain Radio spoke with David Jucak, outgoing president of the Omni Homestead to hear his thoughts on the past couple of years, and what the future might hold. I asked him what he thought one of the biggest changes might have been.
“The biggest change is, I think we’ve all come together a little bit closer here at the Homestead. I think under prior ownership, and numerous changes, people operated in silos and people operated their operations rather, you know, successfully, but we just didn’t really come together and group together.”
Mr. Jurcak continued.
“I just think we’re a bigger family. I’m a history buff, and so I like the idea that we are closer to the Ingalls era than we are of that period in between. We’re a privately family owned business again. The Homestead is owned by a family; and it seems to be more family to me. My assistant’s been here for over forty years, and I just talked to Ms. Virginia Strasser who’s been here for 67 years, and you know you can see the brightness in their eyes, and the pep in their step, and you know I think a lot of that has to do with the way Omni Hotels operates hotels, but people are excited about the future of the Homestead.”
David Jurcak will be using his experience from the Homestead to lead the reimagining of the Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas. While a much smaller resort, it is even more oriented towards golf with four golf courses. Yet, it will always share a little 21st century hotel history with the Homestead. Mr. Jurcak explained.
“So we acquired the Omni Barton Creek, at the same time that we acquired the Homestead in that same purchase. We purchased five resorts, Grove Park, Barton Creek, The Homestead, Rancho Las Palmos, and La Costa, all the same day, July 1st, 2013.”
Since 2013, David Jurcak became a member of the Hot Springs Fire Department; there was a decision on the hotel’s part to finally pursue a historic structures report for the Warm Springs Pool;, and it also shows some genuine support for local high school students who are travelling to a national competition in New Orleans with a sustainable energy project.
So, in addition to coming together more, here at home, the hotel took a closer look at how to bring in many more guests.
“And I think our marketing effort have changed. We became very family centric. The history of the Homestead, people brought their children, but the old days the children didn’t eat in the Dining Room. They had their own private dining area, and so children were seen but not heard. They’re heard, a lot now, but if you look at young professionals in the northern Virginia area; that’s our reach, Northern Virginia, Richmond area. They young professionals are having children later in life, and they want to come on vacation, and there aren’t a lot of places outside of amusement parks, like Hershey, and places to go, and not everybody wants that. To come to rural environment, quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, away from big crowds, and lines and all that, to come to THIS. I mean this to me is better than Disney with all the really cool things that a kid can do: ride horses, shoot a shot gun, go through the lazy river, go down water slides, you know and soon, zip through the trees on a zip line. So, it’s a really cool place. “
In Part 2 of this pair of stories, Mr. Jurcak reflects on how essential economic development in Hot Springs is for the future of the whole county.