William Otto to join Kalahari Resorts as Executive Vice President
Kalahari Resorts and Convention Centers?is thrilled to announce the addition of industry heavyweight, William Otto, to its senior leadership team. In his role as Executive Vice President, Otto will lead all operations across the Nelson-family businesses in the Wisconsin Dells, Sandusky, Ohio and Pocono Mountains, including Kalahari Resorts and Trappers Turn Golf Club.
“We are extremely excited to welcome such a well-respected and highly recognized leader, like Bill Otto, to the Kalahari Resorts family,” said Todd Nelson, owner of Kalahari Resorts. “Bill brings an unparalleled ability to translate big-picture visions into every detail of operations, which will be crucial to Kalahari as we continue to grow our brand and prepare to introduce our unique, ‘beyond expectations’ experience to the East Coast in 2015.”
In addition to leading all operations, Otto’s responsibilities will also include oversight of all activities from Kalahari’s development company. This new project focuses on expanding and diversifying Kalahari’s profile by identifying and carrying out management contracts for existing non-Kalahari properties. Otto will focus on bringing several in-discussion contracts to fruition in 2014 and beyond.
Otto brings more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry to his role, most recently consulting for a variety of high-profile hospitality and higher education projects in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin, including a yearlong assignment with the renowned University Club of Milwaukee. His expertise includes a steady tenure at the?Marcus Corporation?– a leader in the lodging and entertainment industries. He joined Marcus Corporation in 1993 and served as senior vice president, operations and chief operating officer before moving into the role of President, Marcus Hotels in April 2011, where he remained until his resignation in November 2011.
Prior to joining the Marcus Corporation, Otto worked for the Stouffer Group of hotels for 15 years, filling a variety of roles including General Manager of the Stouffer Nashville hotel.
Otto received a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and has earned the Certified Hotel Administrator designation from the American Hotel and Motel Association.
Throughout his professional career, Otto has served as director on the board of Visit Milwaukee, IAHI- Intercontinental Hotel Group Brand Committee, Spirit of Milwaukee, Junior Achievement of Greater Milwaukee and The Preferred Hotel Group. He’s also served as Chair of the Greater Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau (now known as Visit Milwaukee), Wisconsin Innkeepers Association and the Governor’s Council on Tourism and was an appointed Wisconsin delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. In 2012, Otto received the Wisconsin Tourism Industry’s Legacy Award from Governor Scott Walker for service and dedication to Wisconsin’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry.