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Turnberry, Fairmont part ways

The Aventura resort formerly known as Fairmont Turnberry Isle has dropped the “Fairmont” from its title and operations.

Turnberry Hotel Group has taken over management of the 392-room property, now known as the Turnberry Isle Hotel & Resort. Turnberry Hotel Group is a division of Turnberry Associates, which created the resort in the 1970s and reacquired it in 2006.

In a statement, Turnberry Hotel Group President C. Scott Rohm thanked the international luxury hotel chain for its efforts. “However, it is time for change at Turnberry Isle Hotel & Resort,” Rohm said. “Turnberry Hotel Group is re-emphasizing the glamour, personalized service and experiences that reflect the iconic resort’s unique history and character.”

Reservations, meetings and other events will transition without any changes, the hotel said.

The statement said that “nearly all” Turnberry Isle staffers have been invited to remain. The company would not say how many decided to stay or how many employees had been let go.

Douglas Hustad, formerly the vice president/general manager at The Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. is the new managing director.

Through a spokesman, Rohm declined to answer any additional questions. A Fairmont spokeswoman would not comment beyond issuing a statement acknowledging “issues related to the Turnberry Isle and its hotel management agreement.“

The companies were involved in legal wrangling back in 2009, when Turnberry sued Fairmont claming the operator mismanaged the property. Fairmont said it was owed millions in fees, and an arbitrator eventually said Turnberry had to pay Fairmont $6 million. Neither company would address that history Monday.

Miami-Dade hotel consultant Scott Brush said shedding a brand and management company could save an owner money — but there are risks.

"The question is whether they can, without that name, generate all that business. And it’s tough,” Brush said. “Except the Turnberry does have a name all on its own.”

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