SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA — The soon-to-open Hyatt Place Panama City Beach/Beachfront has recruited an executive leadership team with a dynamic depth and breadth of hospitality experience. OTO Development, part of The Johnson Group, is developing and will manage the new, on-the-sand hotel in the heart of the Florida Panhandle.
Tyler Davies is General Manager of Hyatt Place Panama City Beach/Beachfront and Diana C. Canas is Director of Sales. Frank Hughes is Director of Food & Beverage for the onsite Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill, the third location of OTO’s proprietary coastal restaurant concept.
“It’s a privilege — and a challenge — to lead a hotel opening,” says Davies, who has 15 years of hospitality leadership experience, including the past six at OTO-managed properties. “This hotel is beautifully designed, with stylish, flexible guest rooms and common spaces that exude a true sense of place. Even the porte-cochère offers an amazing view — guests can see the ocean literally before getting out their cars.”
Davies studied culinary arts at Metropolitan State University of Denver and earned a bachelor’s degree in restaurant and resort management from Colorado State University. Career accolades include Stonebridge Companies’ General Manager Performance Award and President’s Award/General Manager of the Year; OTO Development’s Most Improved Hotel of the Year Award; and multiple brand Guest Satisfaction Awards Canas brings a wealth of brand experience to Hyatt Place Panama City Beach. She launched her hospitality career more than a dozen years ago as a front desk agent at a small boutique hotel in Miami Beach, taking on operations roles of increasing responsibility before moving into sales and marketing. She served as Director of Sales at a Hyatt property in Miami prior to moving to Panama City Beach to lead revenue strategy development and execution at the new Hyatt Place.
“It’s easy to be passionate about sales and marketing when your product is a stunning, on-the-sand property,” says Canas. “We can’t wait to welcome business and leisure travelers, and we’re ready to host meetings, events and gatherings of all kinds.” A native of Colombia who now calls Florida home, Canas studied hospitality and tourism management at Miami Dade College."
For more than a quarter century, Hughes has been directing food, beverage and leisure operations at events ranging from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, to NFL Super Bowls in Tampa Bay, Florida, and Detroit, Michigan. He most recently worked at Hotel Indigo in Tallahassee before joining the opening team at Hyatt Place Panama City Beach.
“I’ve enjoyed some exciting work experiences over the years,” says Hughes, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from William Paterson University, “but none quite so intriguing as the opportunity to open the third location of Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill. I look forward to fostering and evolving OTO’s signature, beach-specific restaurant brand.”
Scheduled to open July 28, Hyatt Place Panama City Beach/Beachfront is under development by OTO with project partners Bullock Tice Associates, architect; the former P3 Design Collective, interior designer; and Robins & Morton, general contractor. The 11-story waterfront tower comprises 224 rooms — 13 of them suites — along with a resort-style pool, lazy river, hot tub, cabanas and 24/7 fitness room. Its onsite signature restaurant, Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill, features coastal-American fare and handcrafted cocktails, with seating both inside and out. From its ideal on-the-sand location, this pet-friendly hotel is a short walk from popular shopping, dining and entertainment venues.