GM of hotel that helped launch Hamilton’s revitalization efforts leaving for new role

Members of the Hamilton community and a bevy of business and community leaders joined efforts 13 years ago to redevelop the site of the former Hamiltonian hotel and transform it into Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton.

Shawn Stidham, the hotel’s general manager, was a large part of that revitalization effort.

Now Stidham is moving on to a new role: director of sales for the Marriott at the University of Dayton, starting Feb. 11.

When he joined parent company Concord in 2008 as director of sales for Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton prior to its 2009 opening, Hamilton “really wasn’t a desirable market for a hotel or certainly (to) start a new business,” he said.

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“I thought it was going to be a challenge and it was, but I think that the team here did a fantastic job of delivering quality service and Concord gave an excellent product,” said Stidham, who was promoted to general manager in 2016. “Certainly you have to thank the Hamilton Community Foundation and all the people that donated to make this project happen. They gave us the resources to put out a terrific product.”

Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co. purchased and renovated the former Hamiltonian property at a total cost of approximately $12 million with help from the Hamilton Community Foundation.

John Guidugli, president and CEO of the Hamilton Community Foundation, said Stidham, during his tenure at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, has been “an asset to the hotel and to the community.”

“He constantly worked hard to promote the hotel and to promote Hamilton,” Guidugli said. “I believe his dedication has paid off by bringing businesses and visitors to our community.”

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In addition to his work at the hotel, Stidham has served on a numerous boards and committees, further adding to his success in promoting the community, Guidugli said. They have included the board of directors for the Butler County Visitors Bureau, the Hamilton Visitors Bureau and the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Stidham “certainly has been a true partner” in Hamilton’s revitalization, according to Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

“He’s believed in the turnaround in Hamilton and shares that vision of what Hamilton’s going to be in the future,” Bates said.

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The hotel transformed existing restaurant Amici’s into Plaza One Grille in 2012 and underwent a $1.3 million renovation in 2017.

Stidham said it’s been “really cool” to see Hamilton grow over the past decade, especially the additions of next door neighbors RiversEdge amphitheater, Municipal Brew Works, Marcum Park and The Marcum luxury apartments.

He said the move does come with “a bit of a heavy heart” as it means leaving Courtyard Hamilton, which is considered by many officials to be one of the key aspects of launching the city’s revitalization efforts.

Opening the hotel and being a part of the team for 10 years has been “incredibly gratifying,” both personally and professionally,” Stidham said.

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“The nice thing is, I’m not leaving Butler County or the area and will still be around from time to time as I remain with Concord,” he said.

Stidham’s new role at Marriott at the University of Dayton, the largest hotel within Concord Hospitality and one that recently underwent a more than $30 million renovation, brings him back to the city in which he started his hospitality career.

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