DALLAS-Gemstone Hospitality of Park City, UT will start interviewing general manager candidates in 10 to 14 days for its newest assignment–the Hotel ZaZa in Dallas’ Uptown and the newest kid on the block of perhaps the most elite hotels in Dallas. Gemstone gets a five-year contract, with renewals, and a percentage of the profit.

“Our compensation is driven by our performance on the bottom line,” Mark van Hartesvelt, Gemstone partner, tells GlobeSt.com. The starting point is to get a GM on site before June ends. Gemstone just beat out 12 other hospitality operators for the contract, one awarded by a hotel developer, who’s a novelty to the industry but intent on building a brand. Gemstone says the management contract is regarded by insiders as the catch of the year.

Hotel ZaZa carries a “lifestyle” labeling, not boutique or any other of the more popular buzzwords associated with the hotel industry. Its promoter, Charles Givens of Oklahoma City, has just one other hotel under his belt, the Waterford, a traditional facility situated in his homeport where he amassed his wealth as a general contractor. For his effort, Givens now owns and is developing a premier tract at 2403 Thomas Ave. in one of Dallas’ most upper-crust neighborhoods. Van Hartesvelt pegs the development price per room at $150,000.

The 146-room hotel will deliver in October, with an owner prepared to go the extra mile in hospitality offerings to capture his share of a stretched market. Van Hartesvelt says Givens is looking to the food and beverage components, Dragonfly, to make the difference. Then again, Hotel ZaZa isn’t holding back on other angles, using theme rooms (from Zen to Texas) to pique the fancy of those willing to spend anywhere from $225 per night for an executive suite to as much as $1,100 for the presidential quarters.

Givens’ target audience is the young professional or the young at heart. Van Hartesvelt says Hotel ZaZa is “for the people who engage life,” the seekers of cool and the trendsetters of the new Millennium. The goal is to be a four-star, four-diamond venue. After all, Hotel ZaZa needs to keep up as best it can with its neighbors: the five-star, four-diamond Mansion on Turtle Creek and four-star Crescent Court.

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