Westin Alumni Association
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In January 2016, MetLife announced their intent to separate a substantial portion of their U.S. Retail business—a decision driven by a strategic review of their business and the impact of regulatory and economic factors. As a separate company, the U.S. Retail business will benefit from greater focus and more flexibility in products and operations. At the same time, the separation will bring significant benefits to MetLife as we focus even more intently on our group business in the U.S. and our international operations.
On March 6, 2017, the separated U.S. Retail business launched Brighthouse Financial – an independent company focused on life insurance and annuities. The name was chosen to capture the new entity’s optimistic outlook on what it will create for people’s financial futures, coupled with its guiding principles of simplicity, transparency, and value.
Important information for those on the Westin U.S payroll system and eligible for the Starwood Executive Retirement Plan (SERP) and the Westin Hotels & Resorts Retirement Annuity Plan: Know your retirement benefits...to inquire about your eligibility contact the following:
Starwood Hotels & Resorts -- Eutalee Byam, 203-351-2598; firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the hotline: 888-869-3774, select option 4.
MetLife Retirement Annuity --800-638-5656
Originally christened the Hotel Oregon, the name was eventually changed to the Benson Hotel.
Lumber baron and philanthropist, Simon Benson opened the Hotel Oregon in February 1913. It was one of the more soundly constructed hotels and it was well furnished. Unlike some of the poorly constructed hotels that did not survive, the character and ambiance instilled by Simon Benson is still evident in the way the hotel has been preserved.
Benson owned much of the land along the Columbia River Gorge and eventually donated part of it to the city of Portland to build the Columbia River Scenic Highway. This land included Multnomah Falls and Crown Point. The Highway led to his newly constructed Columbia Gorge Hotel at Hood River.
The Savoy-Plaza Hotel was a 33-story hotel overlooking
Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in New York
City, New York. It opened in 1927 and was demolished in 1965.
Harry S. Black, the owner of the nearby Plaza Hotel, bought the Savoy Hotel, built in 1890, and demolished it along with the adjacent buildings on the block to build a newer companion to the older establishment. The 33-story, 128 meter skyscraper hotel was designed by McKim, Mead & White, built at a cost of $30 million, and opened on October 1, 1927.
It was sold to Hilton Hotels in 1958 and they opened a Trader Vic's in the hotel on April 14, 1958. They later renamed the hotel the Savoy Hilton. Hilton sold the hotel to Webb & Knapp, Inc. in May 1962, for $25 million.
Webb & Knapp resold the hotel to British Commercial Property Investments of Toronto later that year. Hilton and the hotel's owners agreed to end the chain's management of the hotel in 1964, though the contract was set to continue through 1967.
Western International Hotels assumed management on June 2, 1964, with Joe Mogush as GM, renaming the hotel The Savoy Plaza, without the original hyphen.
The hotel's planned demolition was announced on August 21, 1964. The news of the demolition brought signiﬁcant public outcry and protests.
On December 16, 1964, it was announced that the hotel would be replaced by a 48-story tower, designed by Edward Durell Stone as the Eastern headquarters of General Motors.
The hotel remained open through the duration of the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair, ﬁnally closing in October 1965.
It was demolished in late 1965 and early 1966  and replaced with the General Motors Building, completed in 1968. (courtesy of Larry Dustin)
So big it takes two pictures to capture....
Row 1 L to R: Laurie Luongo, Dennis Fox, Nick Van der Kaaij Bill Jauregui, Doug Browne, Ray Goad, Larry Magnan, Nick Van der Kaaij Bob Wilhelm, Roger Young, Denis Forristal, Klaus Zander, Bob Chamberlin, Hermann Gammeter, Kim Chappell, Victor Gielisse
Row 2 L to R: Jack Gaines, David King, Hans Zinsli, Tom Dupar, Ed Jensen, Claudia Jensen, Rod Odegaard, Marcel Lagnaz, Larry Saward, Ty Stroh, Larry Dustin Tom Hosea, Andrew Jones
Row 3 L to R: Sabra Wagoner, Patrick Mullin, Phil Reed, John Mavros, Heather Buchanan-Leek, Don Holmes, Mark Zimmerman,, Ed Schwitzky, Elaine Harfst, Laurie Rounds, Mike David
Row 1 L to R: Bill Quinn, Hanne Dittler, Ray Sylvester, Bonnie Best, Carol DeLapp, ___, Paul McDonald, Bill Moyer, Ciaran Kelly, Tony Ruegg
Row 2 L to R: Jay Wildgen, Jere Walters, Hart Sugarman, Bill Tutt, Bob Hawes, Diane Holliday-Germain, George Markantonis
Row 3 L to R: Hans Bruland, Richard Ransome, Peter Blyth, John Cushen, Minaz Abji, Jim Dunford, Stephanie Holtforster-Crawley, Norman Wade
Michael Horrocks correctly named these, left to right, as The Mayflower Hotel, The Carlton Hotel, The Plaza Hotel and the Continental Plaza Hotel.
October 12, 2016: We certainly want to congratulate George Caldwell and his team for receiving this award...but look closer and you will see the name of the award,,,yes, Carlson.
The award is presented to one Navy Lodge world-wide that demonstrates superior performance throughout the year. A lodge must receive top marks in the areas of operations, associate satisfaction, leadership and guest services.
The Carlson Award, which continues to this day, is named in honor of one Edward E. Carlson, a former member of the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Committee. Through his efforts the Navy Lodge Program has become a leading example of hospitality for service members.
Prior to entering into military service Mr. Carlson was manager of the prestigious Rainier Club in Seattle, a position he returned to following WWII.
A remarkable discovery thanks to George Caldwell.
Western Hotels, Inc
Western International Hotels
Westin Hotels & Resorts
First Company President
Harold E. Maltby
First Company Vice President
Frank A. Dupar
Peter Schmidt, Sr.
First Company Chairman
First Vice President
Hotel Benson Luggage Sticker
Joined Western Hotels, Inc. in 1931
St. Francis Hotel Postcard
The Westin Building
Westin Hotels & Resorts
1981 - 1999
2pm on Tuesday, June 11, 1912 the pilot made history (Morning Oregonian, 12-June-1912):
Aviation science took another stride toward perfection yesterday afternoon when Silas Christofferson, the youthful Portland bird-man, successfully piloted his biplane from the top of the Multnomah Hotel building to Vancouver, Wash. He flew the eight miles, crossing the Willamette and Columbia rivers, in 12 minutes.
Other aviators have made speedier journeys, but it remained for the unlicensed ex-automobile racer to be the pioneer in trusting his heavier-than-air machine in a start from the midst of the business section of a great city.
A crowd of 50,000, scattered along half a dozen streets, lining roofs of dozens of office buildings, and perched precariously at every available point of vantage, witnessed the splendid start of the daring young aviator.
The crowd roared as the machine gracefully and surely left its board footing and soared forth on its journey to Vancouver.