After 20 years helping run luxury properties, Wisconsin native returns home for “the perfect opportunity and fit”
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Nov. 10, 2020) – After building a successful career working for luxury hotels from Florida to California, Wisconsin native Chad Bates has returned home to take the reins as general manager of the Inn at SentryWorld, an upscale boutique hotel slated to open by summer 2021.
Located on the Sentry Insurance campus in Stevens Point, Wisconsin—home to SentryWorld, a championship-level parkland golf course—the Inn at SentryWorld will provide guests a masterful blend of elegance and authentic Wisconsin charm. Bates says the Inn, designed to provide exceptional experiences through exceptional service, is “the perfect opportunity and fit” for him.
Bates forged a career working for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts with a stint in between at The Lodge & Club Ponte Vedra Beach, just a stone’s throw from TPC Sawgrass, home to THE PLAYERS Championship. He credits “great leaders” for helping him understand the industry.
“I attest where I’m at today to those leaders who helped me, saw my potential, and guided me along through my progression,” Bates said. “Being from the Midwest, and Wisconsin let alone, it’s kind of natural to make people happy—to smile and to care. You just have human conversations with guests. And it doesn’t matter if they’re celebrities or high-end business clientele. We’re all people.”
Prior to joining the Inn at SentryWorld, Bates was assistant general manager for the Temecula Creek Inn golf resort in Southern California wine country. Mike James, SentryWorld general manager, liked what he saw in him. “SentryWorld welcomes back a person who fully understands central Wisconsin values,” James said. “Chad brings 20-plus years of experience in managing luxury hotels that put a high emphasis on the total guest experience—the same type of experience guests will find at the Inn at SentryWorld.”
The Inn will offer 64 guest rooms, spectacular golf course views, spacious rooms and suites, intimate gathering spaces indoors and out, and executive-level experience and services. It’ll also offer additional amenities like a café, bakery, and bar, kids’ playroom, and The Outfitter shop where guests can check out a bike, fishing pole, snowshoes, and cross-country skis to take advantage of the scenic Green Circle trail and lush Wisconsin River valley. The 18-hole golf course, which recently played host to the USGA U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, is just steps away.
The Inn is a welcome asset to the central Wisconsin community, said Bates, who grew up just 15 miles away from SentryWorld and played golf and tennis there. Sentry Insurance fully renovated the golf course and fieldhouse in 2013–2014 to much national acclaim. During a hometown visit two years ago, Bates dined at SentryWorld.
“Having the goal of running an upscale hotel, something that I’ve worked for my 20-plus year career, and for it to be in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 15 miles from where I grew up in Wisconsin Rapids, is pretty amazing,” Bates said. “How lucky am I to be able to help bring this unique, luxury experience to central Wisconsin. It’s all about the person who’s in front of you. We want every guest to feel just as comfortable as they would be walking into their own home.”
Before the Inn opens by summer, one of Bates’ bigger tasks is to hire a staff. To that end, he has a simple philosophy.
“We’ll look to hire happy people,” Bates said. “You cannot teach someone to smile and you cannot teach someone to care. If you have those two natural abilities and are willing to learn, then we’d like to talk to you about joining our team.”