LaKota Hotels & Resorts recently named Sam L. Haigh (pictured above) as general manager of LaKota Oaks, Connecticut’s premier event and conference center, formerly known as Dolce Norwalk. Haigh is responsible for all aspects of the operation including sales, marketing, guest experience, culinary, human resources and property management.
Soon after Queens Plaza West LLC announced the acquisition of LaKota Oaks, LaKota Hotels & Resorts quickly set into motion plans for the redesign of guest rooms and amenity areas, as well as all rebranding and marketing campaigns. Haigh, a native of Norwalk and graduate of Brien McMahon High School brings more than 18 years of success in the hospitality industry as a leader of luxury resorts, conference centers and boutique hotels to LaKota Oaks. Haigh received his B.S. in hospitality and tourism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to joining LaKota Oaks, he served as corporate director of operations for LaKota Hotels & Resorts and provided consulting services to hotel owners and operators through his company, Fairwater Hospitality LLC.
“I am thrilled to take the reins of this exceptional event and conference destination and work with this outstanding team of service professionals” says Haigh. “I’m excited to reconnect with the Norwalk community and take part in the growth and success of this magnificent 121-room, 66-acre property,” adding that “this facility has been Connecticut’s best kept secret far too long—with our amazing team, we’re geared to quickly make it the destination of choice for social events, conferences and offsite retreats.”
Haigh’s previous experience includes serving as general manager for the 239-room Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, N.J., where he achieved the best financial and guest service performance in the history of the property. He also led operations at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, N.J., and served in key management roles in several properties with Hyatt Regency Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and InterContinental Hotels.
LaKota Oaks, Connecticut’s event and conference center, is situated on 66 secluded acres of rolling hills, sweeping lawns and scenic ponds in the heard of Fairfield County, offering 121 deluxe guestrooms, large social event spaces, state-of-the-art conference facilities, a 75-foot indoor lap pool, fitness center, walking, jogging and bike trails, indoor basketball and racquetball courts, outdoor tennis, volleyball and bocce courts. The conference center features 20 unique hi-touch and hi-tech collaborative spaces for training, strategic planning and team building and, a food service system specifically designed to cater to conference and social groups. It is an International Association of Conference Centers certified venue and was voted “Best Weddings” by The Knot. Just minutes from I-95, the Merritt Parkway, Metro North Rail stations, several marinas and beaches, and all Southern Connecticut attractions, LaKota Oaks is easily reached from anywhere in the entire Metro New York area. For more info, visit www.lakotaoaks.com
LaKota Hotels & Resorts is a specialized hospitality operating company, utilizing dynamic leadership techniques and a “whatever-it-takes” approach to service to transform its properties into thriving hospitality operations. Created by the leaders of two long-time competitors, the LaKota founders built an exceptionally strong team that specializes in turning around under-performing hotels, resorts and conference centers to achieve extraordinary financial results. The National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virgina, is LaKota’s most recent turnaround, where LaKota stepped into the operation of this 914-room property that the lender had taken back, immediately put the business on a positive footing, dramatically increased revenue and cash flow, and tripled the value of the asset in less than four years. For more info, visit www.lakotahr.com