Jungle Island appoints new General Manager
26-Year hotel veteran, Curtis Crider, has been named Jungle Island’s new General Manager. The South Florida attraction welcomes Crider’s hospitality management experience, and he will oversee the 18-acre park during the next phase of its multi-million dollar reinvention into an eco-adventure theme destination.
Upon completion, Jungle Island will boast a family-friendly hotel and new attractions that provide visitors from around the globe with a real jungle adventure experience in the heart of Miami.
“Curtis understands the hospitality industry inside and out in South Florida,” said John Dunlap, CEO of Iconic Attractions Group, the management company for Jungle Island. “We are thrilled to have him join our leadership team. Coupled with his vast hotel experience and outstanding reputation, he is the ideal candidate to lead the park through its rebirth in the esteemed role of General Manager.”
During the course of his distinguished career, Crider worked solely for Sonesta Hotels and Resorts where he impressively climbed the ladder into various leadership positions including most recently General Manager for 10 years of the Sonesta Coconut Grove. Under his leadership of the 212 units, 22-story luxury and boutique condo/hotel, the hotel’s RevPar and average rate increased by 10% and annual revenues exceeded $12 million. He also served as Resident Manager at both Sonesta Coconut Grove and its sister property, Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne. Additionally, the Miami native held the position of Director of Food & Beverage, directing an $8.5 million food and beverage operation.
Passionate about serving the community, Crider sits on a number of executive boards including the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association, and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and Historical Society. In addition, he was a member of the Grove Chamber of Commerce where he was vice president for two terms.
Crider takes over the helm from Christopher Gould, who joined Jungle Island in 2014 and will be transitioning to Senior Vice President of Iconic Attractions Group. During his five years with Jungle Island, Gould is credited with navigating the governmental slopes to receive approval of Jungle Island’s future transformation plans, accomplishing the sale of the park, and winning a referendum to extend the lease.