Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas
- 4150 North MacArthur Boulevard, Irving, Texas, 75038, U.S.A.
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2003
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Hotel Manager, The Pierre Hotel, New York (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel)
- Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC; Four Seasons Hotel Houston; Four Seasons Hotel New York; The Pierre Hotel (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel); Sheraton New York; Hudson New York Hotel; Elbow Beach Resort, Paget, Bermuda; Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, Florida; Hotel Breidenbacher Hof, Düsseldorf
- Düsseldorf, Germany
- Hotel and Restaurant Management degree, Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, South Carolina
- German, English
Like any hotel industry professional with talent and ambition to spare, Dirk Burghartz prefers to move things forward rather than maintain status quo, and so he is right at home as Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. “I feel great about the challenges that await me here with new ownership focused on repositioning the property,” says Burghartz, who stepped into the Resort’s top spot just a few weeks before the beginning of spring 2015. “The Resort has great bones and a remarkable team that has one of the most tenured staff in the company. I could tell at once I was going to have a lot of fun working here.”
Fun indeed. Upon his arrival at the sprawling Irving address just outside of Dallas, the Resort team welcomed Burghartz with a “ring of fire” reception that saw every manager – from 3 months to 34 years on the job – lined up to greet him. He got down to work in a hurry, providing leadership for a complete renovation that began with the Resort fitness centre just two weeks before his arrival and is expected to last three years. “My role in the renovation is to make sure everything stays on target, that the guests are minimally impacted, and that the experience for the Club’s 1,500 members remains as enjoyable as possible.”
In addition to the fitness centre, Burghartz is overseeing renovation projects throughout the Resort including the conference centre, three suites, the Resort pool and deck, and the Club restaurant, as well as the main hotel lobby.
Burghartz brings quite a lot of experience for accomplishing just that. A 12-year Four Seasons veteran upon his appointment, he previously led a guest room renovation as General Manager in Houston and the same for the meetings and event spaces and Spa as GM in Washington, DC. Distinctly different from those two hotels, a “huge part” of his job in Dallas is acting as liaison between Four Seasons and the Sports Club private membership. “The members have been invested in the Resort for many years. The Resort is like their second home and they take great pride in the facilities,” he says. “They want to know the GM, and I want to know them.”
Long enamoured of travel, Burghartz took his first steps in the hotel business far from the hotel floor at the suggestion of an industry insider. “He told me the kitchen was one of the most difficult jobs in the business, and that if I could learn to appreciate it, I’d make it.” The hours were long. The ovens were quite hot, and the multi-tasking was beyond demanding. But when Burghartz got his first taste of the camaraderie that is integral to the job, he knew he could do it.
Things moved quickly thereafter with assignments in Burghartz’s native Düsseldorf as well as in South Florida, Bermuda, and finally with Four Seasons in New York where he landed as hotel manager of The Pierre shortly before the company announced the property was changing hands. He can still recall the reaction of the hotel’s employees, some of whom had been at The Pierre for decades, when they heard the news.
Rather than leave them hanging, however, Four Seasons found new assignments for everyone who wanted one, including the majority of managers who worked under Burghartz. “That affirmed to me that Four Seasons walked the talk,” he says. “The company didn’t just say its employees were the most important asset; it went out of its way to put people at ease.”
The Big D is a long way from Burghartz’s previous address in The Big DC. As much as he was excited to move back with his family to Texas, he admits feeling bittersweet about leaving the Four Seasons flagship in Georgetown. “I miss serving the high-profile heads of state and political types, as well as the amazing staff I worked with over my few years there.”
Then again, he says, the Nation’s Capital doesn’t have anything like the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, a PGA TOUR event that plays out on TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas raising big bucks for charity each year. “Continuing the legacy of the tournament is a big thing for Club members and another big part of my job.”
So how is Burghartz’s golf game? “It needs improvement,” he says, adding quickly with a laugh, “vast improvement.” But with a world-class golf instruction team at the property, it’s sure to be in tip-top shape in no time.