A Conversation with Jason Heathgeneral manager, Hershey Lodge
Jason Heath, 45, was promoted to general manager of Hershey Lodge on July 1. He was previously director of resorts sales and revenue management for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co. He has more than 24 years of sales and marketing experience in the hospitality industry.
Heath has a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism administration from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
He and his wife, Angie, live in South Hanover Township, Dauphin County, with their three sons, Bailey, Tyler and Noah.
Q: You replaced Frank Gilbert, who retired after 41 years with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co. and five years as general manager of the Hershey Lodge. Is it harder to replace such a long-standing manager or does it leave a more solid foundation to s
A: I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Frank over the past five years, including several months this year while we worked together as I was transitioning into my new role. Earning Frank’s respect and getting the thumbs up from him went a long way with building trust from the team. Frank has positioned Hershey Lodge for great success and I look forward to continuing to build on the solid foundation he built.
Talk about the lodge's new Water Works, which recently opened. How will this enhance an already robust lodging and meeting business?
We take guest feedback very seriously, and our guests and meeting professionals had been asking for something like this for a while. We knew we needed to provide an elevated fitness and indoor pool experience for our guests to enjoy with their families year-round, and we’ve delivered. We have very loyal guests and groups that return year after year and they are amazed at the transformation. Guests of all ages are really enjoying the water area. The new fitness center is getting rave reviews and the arcade is wildly popular.
With your background in sales and marketing, do you find any challenges in promoting business at the lodge?
Hershey Lodge is fortunate to have a strong following of loyal guests and meeting professionals. Hershey’s Water Works at Hershey Lodge addresses the feedback we had been receiving from our guests for additional activities that can be enjoyed year round. We are already seeing the impact through positive customer feedback and robust bookings for the remainder of the year and into next spring.
What is your favorite thing about Hershey?
Hershey is such a great area to raise a family, I don’t think I can just name one favorite thing. We really enjoy the small-town feel and all with the amenities of a resort destination. Having the privilege to work for a company whose core purpose is to provide value to the Milton Hershey School gives me great pride. Interacting with students through Project Fellowship has been extremely rewarding for my family and me. And of course we love Hersheypark and the Hershey Bears.