Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - 33

a personal, unique, memorable experience for our guests.”
Hiring, training and employee retention are all high priorities for the resort. Prospective employees are recruited from
the community and go through an extensive interview process
meant to ensure they’re a good fit for Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s
culture of service.
Once hired, new staff members attend a two-day orientation
program, and ongoing development opportunities are also offered for long-term employees.
Staff members are encouraged to express their individual personalities and use their own personal strengths on the job. “We
want to hire people who fit our culture well and are suited for
this business, but we want them engage with our guests in their
own way and style,” Ells adds.

YEARS OF GROWTH
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s visitors and guests alike are celebrating
the resort’s 90th anniversary this year. The resort’s origins date
back to 1923, when entrepreneur Edward Libbey – the founder
of Libbey Glass Company – began making plans to open a private country club and golf course in Ojai.
Libbey commissioned George Thomas, a prominent golf
course architect, to design the course, and architect Wallace
Neff was hired to design its clubhouse. Libbey died in 1925, before seeing his plans to build a hotel on the site come to
fruition; however, Neff’s drawings were archived and later used
as the basis for a 22-room hotel completed in 1934.
The property – then known as Ojai Valley Country Club – was
transformed in 1942 into Camp Oak, a military training center.
The base was turned over to the Navy for a rest and recuperation
facility in 1944, but soon after returned to private ownership.
A group of investors purchased the property in 1947, ushering in an era when many Hollywood stars regularly made it
their destination of choice. The resort received its own moment
in celluloid history in 1952, when the film “Pat and Mike,” starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, was filmed there.
The resort was purchased in 1985 by the Crown family of
Chicago, who invested $50 million into renovating the property.
Further renovations were completed in 2003.
LATHER Known for distinctive branded and custom amenities, LATHER was approached by Ojai Valley Inn & Spa to develop an exclusive collection of bath and shower products. Working with the resort’s
own aromatherapist and inspired by local ingredients, LATHER created a luxurious amenity collection,
plus a corresponding retail and spa program that captured the essence of this unique property.

Fall 2013 L e i s u r e a n d H o s p i t a l i t y I n t e r n a t i o n a l | w w w. l h i m a g a z i n e . c o m

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013

Contents
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Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - Cover3
Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - Cover4
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