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May 24 2022
May 25 2022
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719-520-4988 ext 4988

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Request an Appointment

719-428-2202

A STRATA Experience Guide looks forward to connecting with you about your request; please anticipate the outreach within the next 48 hours.

  • Garden of the Gods Resort Sunset

    Enriching by Nature

Garden of the Gods Mountain Overlay

The power of place.

Dream big.

Wellness for life.

Hospitality from the heart.

These values are core to our Garden of the Gods culture, and the foundation of what makes us great as a property and as a collective of passionate individuals. With service and support carefully crafted to meet the needs of each guest, our team of hospitality and health professionals will guide you through your stay with the utmost care and consideration — ensuring an experience that is uniquely tailored and seamless in every detail.

 

James Gibson, President & CEO at Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

James Gibson

President and CEO

James Gibson is a luxury hotelier with more than 30 years of vast and varied experience in the resort and private club industry. Gibson is coming to Garden of the Gods after an esteemed and successful six-and-a-half-year tenure as Vice President of Operations for Sea Island Resort — the world’s only resort with two Forbes Five Star hotels; a Forbes Five Star spa; the only Forbes Five Star restaurant in the state of Georgia; four PGA golf courses; and the exclusive private club, Ocean Forest.

In his role as President and CEO of Garden of the Gods, Gibson oversees all facets of the property, as well as support future growth of the organization, including: the expansion of new Cottage and Casita room inventory; expanded amenities and services; the evolved branding of Strata Integrated Wellness Spa; and the grand opening of Vermilion, a community of custom, onsite residences.

Pat Cone, Director of Membership & Special Projects at Garden of the Gods Resort & Club
Pat Cone

VICE PRESIDENT OF MEMBERSHIP & SPECIAL PROJECTS

Pat Cone joined us after her position as Special Projects Director for KOAA-TV. She began her career in broadcasting in 1987 as assistant to the General Manager. She held the role of Special Projects/Community Affairs Director since 2002, and had previously been sales assistant and administrative assistant to the General Manager.

Pat has been an integral part of our community for many years. She was named the 2006 Broadcast Citizen of the Year by the Colorado Broadcasters Association, Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction, American Cancer Society Volunteer of the Year, and American Heart Association Pulse Award winner. Currently, she serves as President of Artemis, on the Discover Goodwill Board of Directors and on Parkview Medical Center Board of Directors, as well as volunteers for several nonprofit organizations.

She has worked with the senior management of all southern Colorado area hospitals, the City of Colorado Springs and the City of Pueblo, the Pikes Peak Center, UCCS, the Denver Broncos, the Colorado Rockies, and Governor Hickenlooper. Pat is married to Tom Cone, a local commercial real estate broker and developer.

Denise Perkins 1

Denise Perkins

Vice President OF Marketing

Throughout her career, Denise Perkins has held numerous positions with prestigious hotels and resorts across the country. Prior to joining Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, she served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Noble House Hotels & Resorts in Napa, California. During her three-year tenure there, her efforts included launching a new CRM marketing program and re-launching the nationally acclaimed AAA Four-Diamond Napa Valley Wine Train attraction.

Her previous positions also include senior hospitality sales and marketing executive roles at Red Mountain Resort and Spa in Utah, the Mandalay Resort Group Las Vegas, and as VP of Marketing & Sales at the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. In her free time, Denise loves adventuring in the outdoors and traveling. She is an avid hiker, snow skier, cyclist, golfer, and twice completed the 27-mile Grand Canyon North Rim to South Rim hike.

Michael Garrow 3

michael garrow

Vice President of sales

With over thirty years of experience at notable and prestigious hotels and resorts across the country, Michael Garrow most recently held the position of Director of Sales at Meadowood in Napa California where he was responsible for all aspects of group and leisure sales. During his tenure over the past 9 years there, Michael helped to lead the property to a Triple Forbes Five-Star rating for the resort, spa and restaurant. Michael has also held several senior sales and marketing roles across the country including Director of Catering & Conference Services at Peaks Resort in Telluride, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, and Director of Sales and Marketing at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Michael, with wife Laura and their two fur babies 6 month old Black Lab Greta and 5 year old French Bulldog Rose, are thrilled to be back in Colorado, a place to which they have always wanted to return.

Eugene Smith

Vice President of Information Technology

Eugene Smith is an information technology expert with over 20 years of experience in the Hospitality, Telecommunications, and Healthcare Industries. He holds a Masters of Science in Information Technology as well as several leading industry certifications. Throughout his career he has provided support to multiple 5 Star 5 Diamond Hotels including The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, and The Broadmoor. Specializing in infrastructure design, implementation , and revitalization, he provided oversight and installation support for the remodel of The historic Hotel Jerome and has been an instrumental part of the construction and remodeling projects at The Garden of the Gods Resort and Club. In addition to his work at GGRC he provides IT consultation and support for small to medium sized businesses in the Colorado Springs and Denver area including Restaurants, Doctors Offices, Real Estate professionals, and Boutique Hotels. In his free time, Eugene is an Avid Hiker and Skier.

Melisa Lesperance

VICE PRESIDENT OF Human resources

Melisa Lesperance has served in the hospitality industry for a remarkable 20 years with a specific focus in human resources. She began her career at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a AAA Five-Diamond resort. Lesperance joined the team in 1999 and continued to work positions over the span of eight years as a Front Desk Agent, Executive Assistant in Human Resources, Employment Coordinator, Learning Coach and Recruitment Specialist. She began her first leadership role thereafter as Employment Manager in 2007, a position she held for four years. In this role she directed recruitment efforts for the resort, conducted new hire orientations, initiated and administered all H-2B and J-1 Visa seasonal hires and assisted with team member relations.

As a result of her efforts, she was promoted to Benefits Manager, a position she held for two and a half years in which she managed team member benefits including medical, dental, 401K contributions, monthly benefit audits as well as arranged annual health fairs for employees and quarterly learning events for the property. In 2013, she was promoted to Assistant Director of Human Resources. During her eight years in this position, she led the Human Resources department and reported to the Regional Human Resources Director who oversaw multiple properties.

In her spare time, Lesperance likes to hike, read and chat with her family. Lesperance looks forward to exploring the surrounding scenery of Colorado Springs and is thrilled to be joining such a notable team at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club.

Michael J. Barber, MD, PHD, FACC, FHRS, FAHA, Medical Director at Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

Michael J. Barber, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS, FAHA

Medical Director

The STRATA Med’s clinical team is headed by board-certified Cardiologist, Internist, and Electrophysiologist, Michael J. Barber. He received his PhD with distinction in Physiology from Loyola University in Chicago. Dr. Barber attended the Indiana University School of Medicine where he received his MD, as well as the University of Virginia for residency, and Duke University for Cardiology and Electrophysiology fellowships.

As an expert in his field, Dr. Barber holds several medical fellowships and serves on advisory boards and committees within these professional organizations. He holds fellowships with the American College of Cardiology, the Heart Rhythm Society, and the American Heart Association. Dr. Barber’s areas of focus are cardiovascular disease, integrative cardiology, internal medicine, hypertension and lipid abnormalities, executive wellness, and IV nutritional therapies.

Tania McCorkle

Director of Wellness

McCorkle directs STRATA Integrated Wellness and Spa’s spa and fitness operations and assist in integrating wellness experiences throughout all resort amenities and offerings, as well as supports the STRATA Medical Team leadership. Tania has had a distinguished career in wellness resort destinations, executive spa leadership and athletic health club operations. As recent Spa Director at Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort, McCorkle oversaw all areas of the spa, including its programs, services, facilities, and staff. She was responsible for creating inspired, industry-leading spa and sports services centered around life-enhancing properties aligning with the resort’s wellness brand.

Before that, McCorkle held spa and fitness leadership roles at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, Lakeway Resort and Spa, The Downtown Club in Houston, Club One Incorporated and The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. McCorkle, born in Cape Town, South Africa, is also a world-class athlete having been an award-winning member of the U.S. National World Netball Championship Team and an accomplished cyclist and triathlete.

Rich Parker, PGA, Director of Golf / Head Golf Professional at Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

Rich Parker, PGA

Director of Golf / Head Golf Professional

Rich Parker comes to us from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where he was the Head Golf Professional at Benvenue Country Club for the past 15 years. Along with substantial, professional golf management experience, he brings great enthusiasm and vision to the operation and tournament programs at Kissing Camels Golf Club. Rich and his wife Beth have three children, Meredith, John, and Andrew.

Meet the Team 16

Rick Perkins

Chief Engineer

A seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in the construction and building trades industry, Rick Perkins brings immense knowledge and experience to the engineering department at the resort as Chief Engineer. Prior to Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, he served as Superintendent, Project Manager and Purchasing Director for several years at California-based Brooks-Street Development where he managed development projects including Napa Valley Wine Train and shopping center spaces, commercial rental spaces, restaurant and wine bars with renovation values to $25 million. Within the engineering department at Xanterra Parks & Resorts’ Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley, CA, Rick served as Fire Chief and Fire Life Safety manager responsible for the Fire Department overseeing over 378 acres and all its entities including training, EMS, ICS, NIMS, Hazmat, Fires and Medical Response and directly managing outside agencies such as Fire, Medical, Life flight, Hospitals, National Parks, BLM, Division of Forestry and Las Vegas Emergency Management Teams.

Beyond career passions and over 20 years of experience as a Firefighter, EMT and Fire Chief in Texas, Utah and California. In May 2022, Rick was awarded the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club “The President’s Award” for life saving measures to a guest who experienced full cardiac arrest. With Rick’s background in EMS he was able to administer life saving measures in combination with another medical professionals nearby, and the guest ultimately survived. Rick enjoys a diverse array of outdoor activities including golfing, hunting, skiing and scuba diving and spending time with his family.

Michelle Johnson

Director of Retail

With over 24 years of retail experience from Fortune 500 publicly traded companies to small boutique shops to owning her own ecommerce business she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the resort.

Most recently Michelle was Regional Director of Retail overseeing a $1.5 Million Dollar operation that included two Four Diamond Four Star Resorts, The Sheraton Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach Florida and Horseshoe Bay Resort in Austin, Texas. These operations included three club houses, Tennis, Marina and two Retail Market outlets along with assisting hundreds of Club Members and all the Clubs Golf Tournaments with their specialty purchases.

When Michelle is not building new relationships and staying on top of all the new fashion trends you can find her spending time with her family enjoying the great outdoors of Colorado. Originally from Tucson, AZ she now calls Colorado Springs home and is excited to help you find that next one-of-a-kind items you have been looking for.

Thomas Hartwell, Executive Chef at Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

Thomas Hartwell

Executive Chef

Thomas Hartwell brings a distinguished and celebrated career wholly committed to the hospitality industry and passionately devoted to the culinary arts. His decades of experience span the globe with chef assignments from the Caribbean through the United States, from the prized Napa wine-and-food community to Micronesia.

Chef Thomas has collaborated with some of the industry’s top culinary leaders, and has worked at and contributed to several of the finest hotel and restaurant companies such as Chef Morimoto, Ritz Carlton, Meritage Resort & Spa, Gateway Canyon Resort, ZuZu Napa, and most recently Edgewood Tahoe Resort.

Possessing an insatiable thirst for culinary knowledge and experiences, Chef Thomas continues to challenge and expand his culinary skills through continuing education, collaborating with culinary professionals and surrounding himself with high performing culinary talent. His career also includes American Culinary Federation (ACF) sanctioned competitions, where he and his team earned gold medals.

Jared Kadzikowski

Director of Restaurants

Jared Kadzikowski was born and raised in Colorado Springs and began his career in the hospitality industry while graduating from University of Colorado with a degree in business management and leadership communication. He has worked in food and beverage for more than 15 years, at properties such as The Broadmoor and The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs, along with Aria and Wynn in Las Vegas.
Prior to joining Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, Jared most recently operated a $14 million restaurant as a General Manager at Forbes Five Star Five Diamond Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior operating an $18 million restaurant, Jean Georges Steakhouse in Aria. Jared has had the opportunity to work with renowned chef’s such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Shawn McClain and David Walzog.

Jared has a passion for wine and sat for his Level 2 Certified Sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas in 2015, passing with distinction. In his role as Director of Restaurants, Jared utilizes his extensive background in hospitality to lead Garden of the Gods Resort and Club’s restaurants and their operations.