A flurry of pink slips was issued Friday by Silverado Resort’s new management company, gutting the ranks of top management as the property changes ownership.
A syndicate headed by Johnny Miller, a golfing great who is an analyst for NBC Sports, will become the new owners of the resort effective Thursday
Miller is in partnership with Roger Kent, the founder of Rug Doctor, and Tim Wall, Rug Doctor’s CEO and president. The new owners have hired Dolce Hotels and Resorts to manage the property.
At least 20 Silverado employees were let go Friday, according to Kirk Candland, the resort’s current general manager. They include Candland himself, who has worked at the resort for 30 years.
Also let go were executive chef Peter Pahk; Terry Peterson, director of food and beverage; Jeff Goodwin, director of golf; tennis professional Giuseppe Cammaroto; reservation manager Maureen Kimbrough; security director Jeff Van Paris; and Philip Hansell, director of sales and marketing.
“With the pending sale closing on June 30, it was the decision of the new management company to restructure the management at Silverado,” Candland said.
Dolce Hotels and Resorts will run the resort and the food service facilities, including the members’ clubhouse. Troon Golf will manage golf operations.
“The new company had a brief interview with each of the management people and identified which managers they wanted to keep on to become Dolce employees and those that they would not offer continued employment,” Candland said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s typical but its not uncommon,” Candland said of wholesale management change when a new company takes over.
Terminated employees were offered severance packages based on length of service, Candland said. Everyone’s last day is Wednesday, he said.
Candland referred questions about the future to his replacement, John Evans. Evans recently moved to Napa after leaving another Dolce property — the Seaview Resort in Galloway, N.J.
Evans declined to be interviewed until Friday when the new ownership and management company will hold a press conference.
The new management firm was founded in 1981. Since 2008 it has gone by the corporate name Dolce Hotels and Resorts.
“We are dedicated to creating inspiring working environments that bring people together to foster big ideas,” the firm’s website says about the company’s corporate mission.
Dolce Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Montvale, N.J., replaces Xanterra Parks & Resorts as Silverado’s property management company. Dolce is a privately held operator of 26 upscale hotels, resorts and conference hotels in North America and Europe. The company employs approximately 4,000 worldwide and manages approximately 5,000 hotel rooms.
Dolce’s portfolio includes properties in 10 states as well as Canada, Belgium, France, Spain and Germany. Dolce’s other California property is the Hayes Mansion in San Jose.
Troon Golf is a leading golf management, development and marketing company with projects in 31 states and 26 countries. Troon is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., with international offices in Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland and Dubai.
Pahk, executive chef at Silverado for the past 13 years, attempted to put as much positive spin on the mass terminations as the situation allowed.
“I’ll be in Napa Valley for a while,” he said. “I’m getting calls to stay here, even though I did have an offer from Hawaii. I’ll be looking at jobs that fit my profile.”
“I think I could have produced (what the new managers have in mind for Silverado),” Pahk said. “But I didn’t get that chance.”
Dolce’s emphasis will be on bringing the Professional Golf Association tour back to Silverado and filling rooms, with less emphasis on food, Pahk said. “I think you’ll see the Grill doing buffets, in line with what (Dolce) has instituted in other properties it manages,” he said.
In September, Silverado was listed for sale on behalf of Setsuo Okawa of Tokyo and his family, who have owned the resort for the past 20 years.
The property initially received as many as 16 offers with a high price of $36 million, said Bob Eaton of PKF Capital, which brokered the sale. Eaton said the final price was confidential.
The Okawa family is pleased with the sale, Eaton said.
“I think they are very happy with the outcome,” he said. “They believe that Johnny Miller and his association with Silverado will be a big positive for the resort. I think it was a good deal for everybody.”
Miller is a former Napa resident who played his PGA Tour golf out of Silverado Resort in the 1970s. Miller is a 25-time PGA Tour winner and current lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. He is in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Messages left for Johnny Miller Enterprises were not returned by press time.
Okawa’s father, Isao, purchased the resort for $110 million in 1989. Isao Okawa, a venture capitalist and the former president and chairman of Sega Corp., passed away in 2001.
Silverado Resort is one of the country’s first condominium-hotel properties, where resort rooms remain separately owned by individuals who elect to put their units into a rental program. PKF Capital’s listing excluded the 280 guest condo hotel units and private cottage suites as well as adjacent housing developments.
The history of Silverado Resort stretches back to the mid-1800s, when retired military general John Miller built the signature Southern-style white mansion near Atlas Peak Road. In the late 1960s, AMFAC Corp. turned the property into a resort.
In 1984, Robert Meyer bought the resort for $20 million, selling it five years later to the Okawa family.
The resort includes 1,200 acres, two 18-hole championship golf courses, 13,000 square feet of meeting space, 10 swimming pools, 16 tennis courts, three bocce ball courts, three dining facilities and a 16,000-square-foot spa.
In September, Candland said the resort employed 500 people and had 800 country club members. On Wednesday, Candland said he doesn’t have any immediate plans after his last day as GM. “Just take some time off and see what opportunities present themselves,” he said.
Register reporters Pierce Carson and Marty James contributed to this story.