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Matt Owen
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Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club Joins Preferred Hotel Group

Newly renovated Salamander Hospitality property gains admission into the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Golf Club programs

INNISBROOK, FL, April 17, 2009 – Two years ago, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club was a declining, albeit still-storied, property. Today, after a $26 million renovation project, the property has been accepted as a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotel Group and its brands: Preferred Hotels & Resorts and the Preferred Golf Club.
Innisbrook’s Management Company Salamander Hospitality, founded by noted entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson, began an aggressive renovation of the resort immediately upon Johnson’s purchase of the property in July 2007. The far-reaching plan touched all areas of the resort and included opening a new clubhouse, spa and restaurants.
“Our intent was to restore this unique resort back to its rightful place amongst the finest in America,” said Innisbrook Managing Director Chuck Pomerantz. “Our acceptance into the Preferred brand is an endorsement that we have delivered upon our promise.”
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is a luxury collection featuring more than 200 of the world’s most desirable independently owned and managed destinations. Membership in the program provides Innisbrook with additional sales and marketing support, as well as increased reservation visibility. All Preferred Hotels & Resorts embrace the brand’s award-winning Standards of Excellence™, an extensive quality assurance program that has been honored with the “Best Practices Champion Award” by Cornell University. For more than 40 years, Preferred has ensured an unparalleled guest experience, from the very best amenities to superb service.
The Preferred Golf Club, formed in conjunction with American Express, offers participating card members entry to more than 60 of the most prestigious golf courses the world has to offer. Even prior to renovation, Innisbrook was well known throughout the golf community, but since 2007, the resort’s four championship golf courses have each received upgrades. This includes $2 million in improvements to the Island Course, which some believe offers an even more challenging test than the resort’s famed Copperhead Course, home to the PGA TOUR’s Transitions Championship recently won by Retief Goosen.

Salamander Hospitality’s renovation project included refurbishing all 65,000 square feet of Innisbrook’s conference space. All three golf clubhouses were remodeled and they include new restaurants such as Packard’s Steak House and Market Salamander Grille. At the new Osprey Clubhouse, there is also a new centralized guest registration area and a new indoor/outdoor bar that overlooks the North and South courses. The resort’s Tennis Center, which features 11 clay courts, also received a new look, as did as each of Innisbrook’s six swimming pools. The project’s final phase saw the opening in March 2009 of a new 20,000-square-foot spa called Indaba, which is Zulu for “gathering place.”

About Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club

Situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes on Florida’s Gulf Coast near Tampa, Florida, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located just 25 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Recently and completely renovated, Innisbrook features 72 holes of championship golf, 608 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, the new full-service Indaba Spa with 12 treatment rooms and state-of-the-art Fitness Center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space. For additional information call (727) 942-2000 or visit

About Salamander Hospitality

Salamander Hospitality is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson in 2005, the company manages and develops hotels, resorts and inns that reflect the authenticity and character of their surrounding environment. The portfolio includes the recently renovated Innisbrook Golf Resort and Club near Tampa, Fla., host to a PGA TOUR stop every March; Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC, which is one of only four properties in North America to hold Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both accommodations and dining; and the under-construction Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg. Salamander Hospitality also operates a division of gourmet prepared food markets called Market Salamander with locations in Middleburg and Innisbrook, FL, and Salamander Touch, a fine goods and linen store in Middleburg for the luxury resort lifestyle. For additional information, call (540) 687-3710 or visit

Preferred Hotel Group

For more information on the Preferred Hotels and Resorts program, visit For more information on the Preferred Golf Club program, visit

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