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Strathallan blooms by adding new facilities

Rochester Business Journal
November 11, 2016

The Strathallan Hotel—a DoubleTree by Hilton has grown through acquisitions that have allowed it to expand with new venues: the historic Century Club of Rochester, 7 on Strath and, opening later this month, the Strathallan Spa. And all that within the past three years, following a renovation of the upscale hotel at 550 East Ave., which includes 155 guest rooms, Char Steak and Lounge and Hattie’s rooftop bar and restaurant.

The property is an entity of MC Management of Rochester LLC, a partnership of Robert Morgan and David Christa, who had a vision for bringing a new vitality to the East End downtown.

“We have created a one-stop shop for a great, sophisticated experience,” said Todd Plouffe, general manager. “Our campus here is truly unique.”

Plouffe described the Strathallan property as a campus because of the carefully planned additions to the hotel venue that create the feeling of a luxurious resort with the convenience of additional services nearby.

The 7 on Strath is located adjacent to the hotel at 7 Strathallan Park in a Queen Anne style Victorian mansion that was built in 1903. It includes five suites.

“It looks like a bed and breakfast. It’s great for business and leisure travelers as well as social events such as wedding groups, who can rent the entire house,” said Paul Walters, director of sales and marketing at the Strathallan, noting guests can lease the entire mansion for $1,200 to $1,900 per night, depending on season and availability.

The Century Club across the street, one of Rochester’s oldest women’s clubs, was purchased in November 2015 and is a meeting space for the hotel, serving as a venue for corporate as well as private, social events.

Along with the Century Club, the hotel acquired the Carriage House and began renovations to turn it into its newest offering for guests: the Strathallan Spa. The 4,500-square-foot salon plans to offer massage, skin care, hair and nail services.

“It’s a home run for us and our clients, right next to the hotel, a major wedding venue,” Walters said.

Through the expansion of the Strathallan there has been significant growth in both revenue and its employee base, Plouffe said. The company would not divulge revenue numbers other than to say the percentage growth has been in double digits each of the past three years.

The number of employees has grown from 115 in 2013 to 135 in 2014 to 180 in 2015. Today there are 250 full-time workers on staff.

“We anticipate hiring an additional 75 employees in 2017 with the opening of the Hyatt. The renovation should be done about midsummer,” Plouffe said.

MC Management in February purchased Hyatt Regency Rochester for $16 million, and a $16 million renovation is set to begin in December.

One of the challenges in the hotel industry, staying ahead of technology trends, also could be an opportunity for the Strathallan by expanding exceptional customer service, Walters said.

“We are looking at installing new door locks to allow customers to pre-select a room prior to arrival. They can utilize their cellphone to check in to their guest room without stopping at the front desk,” he said.

Paul Guglielmo, radio host and producer with the Brother Wease morning show, and his wife Ryann Bouchard, public relations manager with Dixon Schwabl Inc., had their wedding reception in the Cityview ballroom at the Strathallan in September. The couple loved the customization of their experience.

“Other than my wedding night, the greatest night of my life was when we went to choose our food,” Guglielmo said. “The chef met with us and they kept bringing out a taste of this and a sample of that. It’s amazing, decadent food. And they didn’t rush us.”

The couple entertained 135 guests. Many from Guglielmo’s family were from out of town, and he enjoyed the ability to book a block of 30 rooms.

While the venue is large enough for a large group, he did not feel that guests would be scattered about.

“The room is not gigantic. We loved that. It feels nice and intimate,” Guglielmo said.

What drew him to the Strathallan was the view.

“I was doing a remote broadcast here and when I saw the panoramic view I texted Ryann and said I found our spot.”

Strathallan Hotel—a DoubleTree by Hilton
(dba of MC Management of Rochester LLC)
Full-service hotel
Year founded: 1980
Top executives: David Christa and Robert Morgan, managing partners
Current employment: 250
2016 ranking: 47
Headquarters: Rochester

11/11/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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