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PRIME CONFIRMS POURZAL'S DEPARTURE

The owners of Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort issued a terse three-paragraph press release Tuesday confirming a St. Thomas Source report that Nick Pourzal is out as the hotel's managing director.
The release did not say why Pourzal left but said Andrew HeLal is replacing him "effective immediately."
Pourzal late Tuesday issued his own statement, saying he regretted Prime's decision "to change management."
"I have an outstanding record with Frenchman's Reef for 25 years," Pourzal said. "Employees of Frenchman's Reef are family to me. I strongly disagree with Prime's decision and have retained counsel to pursue all remedies."
Pourzal reportedly was asked to leave Monday in a surprise visit by the CEO of Prime Hospitality Corp., the firm that owns the Reef. He had been in negotiations with Prime officials over a buyout of his contract.
The action came as a surprise and a shock to the hospitality community, according to Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association. Pourzal served numerous terms as president of the organization over the last two and a half decades.
"Nick Pourzal is a pillar of the community," Nicholson told The Source Tuesday evening. "His many contributions have benefited not only Frenchman's Reef and tourism but the whole community." She said the association "was shocked to learn of Mr. Pourzal's removal, and I know I can speak for the other associations."
She said she knew of no reason that the hotel's ownership would want to replace Pourzal.
The Prime release stated:
"A.F. Petrocelli, chairman and CEO of Prime Hospitality Corp., which owns Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resorts in St. Thomas, has announced a change in management at the 504-room resort complex. Effective immediately, Andrew HeLal has been appointed vice president and managing director.
"HeLal steps in following the departure of Nick Pourzal, former managing director of the resort. HeLal, a seasoned hotel executive with over 20 years experience, has been with the Marriott St. Thomas resorts since 1994 in charge of operations, sales and marketing.
"For further information contact Mafalda Arena, director of corporate communications for Prime Hospitality Corp. at 973-882-7685."
Editor's note: See earlier story on Pourzal's departure.

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The owners of Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort issued a terse three-paragraph press release Tuesday confirming a St. Thomas Source report that Nick Pourzal is out as the hotel's managing director.
The release did not say why Pourzal left but said Andrew HeLal is replacing him "effective immediately."
Pourzal late Tuesday issued his own statement, saying he regretted Prime's decision "to change management."
"I have an outstanding record with Frenchman's Reef for 25 years," Pourzal said. "Employees of Frenchman's Reef are family to me. I strongly disagree with Prime's decision and have retained counsel to pursue all remedies."
Pourzal reportedly was asked to leave Monday in a surprise visit by the CEO of Prime Hospitality Corp., the firm that owns the Reef. He had been in negotiations with Prime officials over a buyout of his contract.
The action came as a surprise and a shock to the hospitality community, according to Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association. Pourzal served numerous terms as president of the organization over the last two and a half decades.
"Nick Pourzal is a pillar of the community," Nicholson told The Source Tuesday evening. "His many contributions have benefited not only Frenchman's Reef and tourism but the whole community." She said the association "was shocked to learn of Mr. Pourzal's removal, and I know I can speak for the other associations."
She said she knew of no reason that the hotel's ownership would want to replace Pourzal.
The Prime release stated:
"A.F. Petrocelli, chairman and CEO of Prime Hospitality Corp., which owns Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resorts in St. Thomas, has announced a change in management at the 504-room resort complex. Effective immediately, Andrew HeLal has been appointed vice president and managing director.
"HeLal steps in following the departure of Nick Pourzal, former managing director of the resort. HeLal, a seasoned hotel executive with over 20 years experience, has been with the Marriott St. Thomas resorts since 1994 in charge of operations, sales and marketing.
"For further information contact Mafalda Arena, director of corporate communications for Prime Hospitality Corp. at 973-882-7685."
Editor's note: See earlier story on Pourzal's departure.