R. Eric Bettelheim, Founder of the Ascona Group, is a native of Amsterdam, Holland and has over forty years of experience in the hospitality industry with more than twenty years in various management and consulting positions. He was trained in all facets of the hotel and resort industry in several prestigious, five-star hotels in Amsterdam, Holland. Mr. Bettelheim relocated to the United States in 1977 and, since, has gained wide experience holding senior management positions with various hotels and hotel companies.

Prior experience includes management of commercial, resort, convention and casino hotels including the Orange Tree Golf & Conference Resort, the Paradise Valley Resort, and Sanctuary Resort all in the Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona Metropolitan Area. 

Additionally, Bettelheim has held various management positions with Sonesta International Hotels (Amsterdam and Key Biscayne, FL), Four Seasons Hotels (Toronto, London, San Antonio, TX and Washington, DC) and Regent International Hotels (Albuquerque, NM and Puerto Rico), the Hotel Pontchartrain in Detroit, Michigan (in charge of a $16 million refurbishment), The Brighton Hotel and Casino in Atlantic city and both the Warwick and Warwick Post Oak Hotels in Houston, Texas.  He has been involved with seven hotel openings.

For almost three years, Mr. Bettelheim was President and COO of Southwest Hospitality Management Group in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The company owned and operated six small boutique hotels, and produced in excess of $50 million in revenues. Bettelheim was hired to streamline the operations and expand the company into the Western United States by acquiring additional boutique and historic properties.

As well, Bettelheim was asked to reposition and oversee the management of the Sanctuary Resort (a 53-acre private property in Paradise Valley, Arizona) and worked with city government to secure zoning approval for the expansion of the resort. Additionally, under Bettelheim's direction the Resort achieved a ranking amongst the top ten resorts in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area by Zagat and Conde Nast and a ranking as a top US tennis resort by Tennis Magazine and Racquet Magazine.

Presently, Eric Bettelheim is Principal of The Ascona Group, an international hospitality management consulting company. The company has operated since 1987, serving clients throughout the United States, Pacific Rim, Europe, the Far East and the Caribbean.


Hotel School Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands: Hotel Management & Business Administration. Continued Education: Cornell University - Motivation & Leadership; Rice University - Sales & Marketing; Phillip Crosby Quality Improvement Process College, Orlando, Florida.


Eric Bettelheim is married and he and wife Sophia have two children: daughter Natascha, a graduate from The University of San Francisco School of Law, and son Shannon, an MIS major graduate from the Karl Eller College of Management, Information Technology and Entrepreneurship, The University of Arizona. Bettelheim enjoys Internet technology, classical music, international cuisine, hiking and biking.


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