Rick Medwedeff must have felt like Christmas came about two months early. The J.W. Marriott’s General Manager got some great new last week when his son announced Medwedeff and his wife Deborah would become grandparents next year.
This will be a first for the Medwedeff family, who have a son and daughter in San Diego and another daughter in Oahu, Hawaii.
The next piece of news, although exciting, is somewhat bittersweet with the announcement last week by Marriott Corporation that Medwedeff, a 35-year veteran of the corporation had been chosen as the new General Manager for the Gaylord Resort and Conference Center, just outside Denver, Colorado. That property will be opening right after the first of the year and is part of the Marriott Corporation.
Medwedeff is extremely excited about the opportunity, but is understandably sad leaving a property he has managed for 20 years of his 35- year career with Marriott. He had originally been at the property for eight years before being chosen to manage a Marriott Resort/Conference property outside Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He would return to the Marco Island property 12 years ago and would spearhead the rebranding and expansion of today’s J.W. Marriott Golf and Beach Resort over the last three years.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for my entire family. Our relocation will place us closer to our children and our new grandchild. Just as importantly it moves us closer to my wife’s wonderful mom and dad who are now retired in New Mexico,” said Medwedeff.
There are presently only four Gaylord branded properties owned by Marriott. Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Gaylord National outside Washington, D.C., Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas and the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. With the opening of Gaylord Rockies outside Denver, Colorado there will be a total of five of the upscale convention/conference resort properties under that brand.
“We will certainly miss Rick’s dedication to making Marco the wonderful community it is,” said Alex Parker, President of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. Parker was one of many Marco residents who spoke glowingly of Medwedeff’s contributions to the Marco community.
Jane Watt, founder of the Marco Island Academy, a public charter high school on the island was sad to hear of Medwedeff’s departure. “He and the Marriott have been a huge part of our success here on Marco. I’ll miss him as a friend, but the children of Marco Island, present and future will miss the impact of his vision and leadership,” said Watt.
Cindy Love, Executive Director of the Greater Marco YMCA was equally upbeat regarding her relationship with Medwedeff. “Rick and the Marriott Corporation were always community partners we could count on, no matter what,” said Love.
“Rick was a real professional and a great collaborator on many of the community projects and outreach efforts that were undertaken by the Marriott, making them both great members of our community,” said Councilman Bob Brown.
“It will be hard leaving behind the wonderful staff we have here; they are like our extended family, along with our friends and especially the terrific people that make this island such a wonderful place to live. We are however looking forward to this next chapter in our lives, playing with a new grandbaby, seeing our children and Deb’s parents more often, along with the challenges ahead opening up this great new facility in Colorado,” said an upbeat and smiling Medwedeff.