A Newport Beach hospitality company that manages hotels throughout the state has been hired to manage the iconic Queen Mary docked in Long Beach Harbor.
Evolution Hospitality, which manages a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Anaheim and a Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, among others, took over Monday managing the retired ocean liner, now a tourist attraction and hotel. The company is the third management firm to operate the ship since 2007.
The city of Long Beach bought the Queen Mary in 1967 from the Cunard Line shipping company. Since then, the city has brought in several firms -- including Walt Disney Co. -- to manage the ship and develop about 45 acres of adjacent oceanfront property. In addition to the hotel, the ship features three sit-down restaurants and several ornate ballrooms.
The current lease operators, New York-based Garrison Investment Group, hired Delaware North Cos., a New York hospitality and food service company, in 2009. But Delaware North announced in April that it was ending its relationship with the ship.
Delaware North said it had achieved "its goals of rebranding the attraction with targeted marketing, renovation of the ship's staterooms, as well as some of the restaurants and meeting spaces. These have resulted in increased occupancy and higher revenue in lodging, food and beverage, retail and attractions."
Before Delaware North, Illinois-based Hostmark Hospitality Group operated the Queen Mary from 2007 to 2009.
A spokeswoman for Evolution said the company hopes to take advantage of its familiarity with the hotel market in Southern California to increase revenue at the Queen Mary.