Grand Hyatt Vail: A new brand for venerable hotel |

Grand Hyatt Vail: A new brand for venerable hotel

The hotel started life as a Westin

Grand Hyatt Vail General Manager Dan Johnson.
The name game The hotel at Cascade Village opened as a Westin, then became the Cascade Resort & Spa. After its sale in 2016, the new owners renamed the place the Hotel Talisa. In the summer of 2019, the hotel rebranded as the Grand Hyatt Vail.

This story has been corrected regarding a quote about the corporate culture at Hyatt hotels. Also: the hotel was a Westin before it was the Cascade.

VAIL — The hotel in Vail’s Cascade Village has been through a number of changes in the past few years. Dan Johnson wants people to know one thing: “The Hyatt is here to stay.”

Johnson is the general manager of the Grand Hyatt Vail. The hotel, formerly the Cascade, and from 2016 to this year the Hotel Talisa, rebranded to Grand Hyatt in July.

Johnson said there’s a difference between a Grand Hyatt and a Park Hyatt — there’s one of those in Beaver Creek. The Grand Hyatt brand focuses more on group business. The Hyatt Regency brand combines guest and leisure business.

When the Cascade was sold, the new owners — the Los Angeles-based Laurus group — announced a move into the higher end of the market, and launched an extensive renovation program to back up that move.

Johnson said the Grand Hyatt will continue to operate in that part of the market.

But what the Hyatt has that the Hotel Talisa didn’t is the attraction of both a brand and a loyalty club. There’s now a sales force dedicated to bringing clients into the hotel’s 30,000 square feet of meeting space.

Groups fill rooms and purchase other services from hotels. Groups can also supply future leisure travelers.

A large hotel group can also supply leisure travelers using their points from business travel.

That brand power works behind the scenes, too. While a number of people working at the Grand Hyatt are holdovers from the Cascade, Johnson noted that the Hyatt brand offers employees a good bit of flexibility and opportunity for advancement.

Johnson started working for Hyatt about 25 years ago, as a switchboard operator at a property near Washington D.C. and has worked his way up to management.

Johnson said there’s a “culture of care” for colleagues in the company. That extends to customers, he added.

While he’s been in the valley a relatively short time, Johnson said his goal for his time at the Grand Hyatt is to “energize and activate” the resort, from the creekside recreation path to the hotel’s mountain access to the neighboring condos.

“We have a world-class product,” Johnson said. That’s going to continue, and improve, he added.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at or 970-748-2930.

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