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St. Regis hiring event draws large turnout as resort nears completion

A rendering of the reception area of the St. Regis Longboat Key, featuring the mural and bar.
A rendering of the reception area of the St. Regis Longboat Key, featuring the mural and bar.
Courtesy image
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With the St. Regis Longboat Key expected to open this summer, General Manager Winfred van Workum and his team had a big goal: hire for over 400 positions spanning from housekeepers to butlers. 

It wasn’t van Workum’s first time overseeing a St. Regis hiring event, but this time he was surprised and impressed with the quantity and quality of applicants. He said there was a line out the door of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center even before the event started at 10 a.m. on June 12. 

“I think the turnout has been really fantastic, but also the quality of applicants is impressive,” van Workum said at the event. 

Director of Human Resources Clariseli Acosta gave a rough estimate that a little over 500 people attended the hiring event.

Overall, there was lots of interest across the board, but especially in food and beverage. 

Van Workum said many candidates from local restaurants were excited about something different and for the new concepts promised by the resort. 

There were a lot of culinary candidates who did their homework before interviewing with the chefs, according to van Workum. 

Hotel Manager Kara Hardiman and General Manager Winfred van Workum at the hiring event.
Photo by Carter Weinhofer

The event was like St. Regis speed dating, van Workum said. 

Candidates checked in at the Van Wezel lobby and, as long as they filled out an application beforehand, were asked to wait in the lobby for their turn at an interview. 

When candidates’ turns were up, they would be escorted to the large meeting space filled with small tables. On the other side of the tables were managerial staff for the St. Regis Longboat Key, from the head chef to the general curator for the 350,000-gallon lagoon. 

Interviews for St. Regis staff typically last an hour, van Workum said, but for these events, the interviews are around half an hour.

After the interview, candidates may be offered a job on the spot or be asked to continue to a second interview. For some positions, van Workum said it's important to have multiple interviews to ensure it’s a good fit for both the candidate and resort. 

Aside from the hiring event, van Workum had other good news: the St. Regis recently acquired temporary certificates of occupancy. 

That’s a huge milestone, van Workum said, and it will allow the development team to stay on track. As long as there aren’t a lot of storms that could cause delays — or any other sudden disruptions — van Workum said the team is still aiming for a summer opening

The next step for the construction team is to get started on furniture, fixtures and equipment.



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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