Gordon came to Barnsley Gardens after a six-month stint at The Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah.
“When the opportunity came up, I reached out to Mr. Julian Saul (Barnsley’s owner) and spoke with him quickly after that,” Gordon said. “My wife and I are obviously thrilled to be in this community.”
The quietness of the world class Barnsley Gardens resort located between Rome, Adairsville and Kingston is something that Gordon feels makes it unique.
“We can be sold out and it almost looks like there’s no one here,” Gordon said. “When you’re here and you pull in those gates, honestly, you just decompress.”
One of the first things Gordon has tried to do to enhance the amenities at Barnsley was to develop a special feel for the holiday season.
“When somebody asks have you been to Barnsley and they say yes, the next question is, but have you been there at Christmas?” Gordon said. “I think it’s very important to make it feel different at the holiday season.”
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, nearly 1,700 people visited for the lighting of the historic ruins.
The world class golf course, acclaimed spa and fine dining options aside, the ruins of the home that Godfrey Barnsley built for his wife Julia remain at the heart of all that is Barnsley.
“The history is what weaves throughout all experiences,” Gordon said. “I think the guests like a story, and as soon as you start talking about history they perk up. When you tell this story, its not just history, but there’s drama involved in the Barnsley story.”
From Gordon’s management standpoint, what separates Barnsley from other world-class resorts like The Greenbrier, owned by the CSX Corp. or The Kapalua Resort owned by Ritz Carlton, is the fact that Barnsley is owned independently.
“It’s easier to get things done. I can pick up the phone and speak to Mr. Saul and have conversations a lot more quickly,” Gordon said. “They (Saul and his wife Anita) also have a great love for the resort and they want it to be very successful and are definitely engaged in the operation.”
Gordon is also quick to point out that the staff at Barnsley helps distinguish the resort from others he has served throughout his long career.
“When you read our guest comments, they do love the place, they do love how beautiful it is and how it feels. But they talk about our staff, they talk about the great people from this area that animate this resort,” Gordon said.
Gordon said he is looking at every aspect of the resort in an effort to make improvements.
“Food and beverage offerings continue to focus on new things, what guests are asking for,” Gordon said.
The new manager with experience around the world said he also looks to other world-class facilities to identify new trends and get ideas for ways to enhance the Barnsley experience.