The Orchard Hotel - General Manager
Since winning fourth place at the Berlin youth Championships in the "Catering Trade," Stefan Muhle knew he would have a career in hospitality. He literally grew up working as an apprentice and intern at resort hotels in Germany and Switzerland and studied at the renowned Institute Cesar Ritz. He moved to the U.S. in 1989, graduated from Washington State University, and was hired by the four-star, Drake Hotel in Chicago and was made Director of Catering Sales in 1996, and increased catering revenue by $2 million. Ironstone Vineyards brought Stefan out West, where he made history in his first year by increasing revenue 23%. Proving his multi-tasking skills, he managed a multi-million dollar construction project while running daily operations as Director of F & B at The Bishop's Lodge in Santa Fe. Stefan was named General Manager of the award-winning Orchard Hotel, which opened in late 2000. The downturn in the economy and the impact of 9/11, which battered the city's hotels, meant that Stefan had to swim against the tide to keep his new hotel afloat and his team motivated to succeed. Hard work, hands-on operations, personalized customer service, optimistic leadership and creative risk-taking have seen the Orchard's fortune, fame and reputation grow. Their 2005 budget was surpassed and another hotel - comparable in service and style is under construction. By implementing his customer service skills, results-oriented management style, and strategic marketing strategy, Stefan and his team have created one of the finest boutique hotels in the country. Stefan is also active in industry organizations. Proud papa, Stefan and his wife, Betsy, recently welcomed baby daughter Mimi.