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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Jayne Aston Named Bahia Resort Hotel GM


Jayne Aston is back in San Diego – and the third time is officially the charm for the United Kingdom native.

After 25 years working for the Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in several sites around the United States – including two stops in San Diego – Aston moved over to Evans Hotels and was tabbed in June as general manager of the local mom-and-pop chain’s original venture, the Bahia Resort Hotel.

Evans Hotels is a family-owned hospitality company that includes the Bahia Resort Hotel, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa and The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

San Diego natives and entrepreneurs William D. and Anne L. Evans founded Evans Hotels in 1953 and the company has been part of the region since.

Aston, 51, took over for Will Cherashore, the resort’s previous GM of nearly two years. Cherashore, who was part of the interviewing panel that hired Aston, was promoted to chief financial officer for Evans Hotels as Aston stepped into his role.

Jayne Aston
Bahia Resort Hotel

“When this position came up, I was super excited because I’ve known about Evans hotels for a long time,” Aston said. “The culture is similar to Hyatt – a family-focused and family-driven (business). I thought, ‘This is a great fit.’ Even though walking away from Hyatt was a little difficult and I had some initial trepidation. After eight weeks on the job, I don’t think I could have asked for a better fit.”

Cherashore said that during interviews for the position that he was leaving, what he was looking for was someone who could move in and be part of the Bahia team.

“It was important for me to be comfortable in moving on by finding the right person who could assume a team of 300 people that they will be responsible for,” Cherashore said. “The person that will ultimately set the course, from product to service to delivering to guest engagement. I felt strongly that person was Jayne. She said a few things philosophically about the employees, the culture and the team, and about strategy leadership, hospitality, revenue management and capital. Once I heard that, I instantly was like, ‘OK, I think we really have someone special here.’”

Aston’s father worked for the military in England and she andher family lived in several spots in Europe when she was a child. She first came to the U.S. during college in 1991 for a stint at the Marriott in Boston as part of her hotel management studies at Oxford Brookes University.

In her new management role, Aston will lead day-to-day operations at the Bahia, the 313-room hotel on a 14-acre peninsula that is part of Mission Bay. The hotel, named a top 10 resort in America for value by TripAdvisor, has about 300 employees.

Before joining Evans Hotels, Aston worked for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts where she held several progressively responsible leadership positions at seven properties in six states. Most recently, she was the director of operations for the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas.

Aston has extensive experience in the San Diego tourism market, where she spent 2000 to 2005 in different roles at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. There she was director of food and beverage and then director of operations. She returned to San Diego three years later and from 2008 to 2019, Aston was the director of food and beverage at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina – which she said she can see across the way from the Bahia.

“The Bahia is quite a little gem,” Aston said. “It’s constantly evolving. You can see how much commitment the family has to this place, and their emotional attachment. It’s the one Mr. Evans opened first, and their pride and joy. I feel very blessed and grateful to come to San Diego and be home with my family. And already I feel like part of the (Evans) family. The employees are incredibly welcoming and a number of them have been here for 18 years or more.”

Aston said the employees and particularly Cherashore, whom she called “amazing,” have made her transition smooth.

Cherashore’s new responsibilities will encompass Evans Hotels’ financial reporting and compliance; recommending and implementing the company’s plans concerning capital investments and financing; and overseeing and providing financial analysis for operations and management.

Will Cherashore
Evans Hotels

Cherashore, 35, began his career at Evans Hotels in 2009 in the marketing department and subsequently worked as a sales manager for The Lodge at Torrey Pines from 2010 to 2013.

The La Jolla native and USC graduate spent 10 years gaining significant hospitality experience and participated in hotel acquisitions and dispositions totaling nearly $2 billion dollars. He also served as asset manager and owners’ representative of 11 domestic branded and independent luxury hotels totaling more than 3,750 rooms and generating annual revenues of more than $550 million.

In 2018 and 2019, he was the VP of finance for Kelly Slater Wave Company and its parent company, the World Surf League.

“I’m excited for Jayne to succeed me and continue our efforts to reposition the Bahia following extensive renovations to the property, including Dockside 1953, our new bayfront signature restaurant,” Cherashore said. “I’m looking forward to taking on additional responsibilities at our other properties.”

“My experience in commercial real estate at large focused on hospitality,” he added.“I’m always looking for new growth opportunities to expand the portfolio. That’s what I rejoined Evans hospitality to do, to continue to build on the 70-year legacy of Evans hotels.”


Evans Hotels
FOUNDERS: William and Anne Evans
CEO: Robert H. Gleason
BUSINESS: Hospitality
WEBSITE: evanshotels.com
NOTABLE: In 1961, to aid guest transportation between the Bahia and Catamaran hotels, company founder William Evans purchased a 45-foot ferry and reconstructed it as an authentic Mississippi sternwheeler, the Bahia Belle, which was rebuilt in 1981 to increase guest capacity to 200 passengers.


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