Salamander Collection Appoints Christopher Walling as VP of Operations and Innisbrook Managing Director
TAMPA BAY, FL – The Salamander Collection, the hospitality company founded by Sheila Johnson, has appointed Christopher Walling as Vice President of Operations and Managing Director of Innisbrook in Tampa Bay, Florida.
A highly experienced hospitality leader, Walling has worked with the Salamander Collection since 2022, previously directly overseeing Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club in the British West Indies. His new Vice President role will involve developing further synergies between Salamander’s golf properties, which include Innisbrook, Aurora Anguilla and the storied Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
In his new role, Walling will also oversee all areas of Innisbrook’s day-to-day operations. One of the most iconic golf resorts in the United States, Innisbrook is renowned for its famed Copperhead Course which annually hosts the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship. This year, the resort will undergo a series of enhancements, including to its meeting space and Packard’s Steakhouse.
“I am delighted to continue my journey within the Salamander brand,” said Walling. “I look forward to working closely with the entire Innisbrook team, continuing to distinguish this property with its warm and friendly service, and work on the exciting projects we are undertaking.”
Walling began his career in food and beverage with senior leadership positions at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, FL; Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort & Club in Amelia Island, FL; and Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He has also served as General Manager with Howard Hughes Hospitality properties in Texas and Gurney’s Resorts in Montauk, NY, as well as Senior Vice President at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“Christopher’s leadership and embrace of Salamander’s core values has already led to welcome success” said John Speers, Executive Vice President of Operations at the Salamander Collection. “His arrival at Innisbrook will further elevate the resort’s reputation as one of the finest golf properties in the country.”
Innisbrook is located on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills in the Tampa Bay area. The resort features four acclaimed golf courses, over 300 recently renovated guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, 11 tennis courts, a Salamander Spa with 12 treatment rooms, six heated swimming pool complexes, and extensive indoor and outdoor meeting space.
Salamander’s inclusive style of luxury has become a defining approach to hospitality in recent years. The company’s unique collection of iconic properties in storied destinations includes Middleburg, VA; Washington D.C.; Charleston, SC; Aspen, CO; Tampa Bay, Jamaica and Anguilla.
About the Salamander Collection
The Salamander Collection is privately owned and operated, and based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson, Salamander has a unique hospitality approach that is welcoming, personal, and treats guests as if they are returning home. The collection features the Forbes Five-Star Salamander Middleburg, an equestrian-inspired property in the Virginia countryside; Salamander Washington DC, an elegant hotel located along the capital’s vibrant Southwest waterfront; Half Moon, the storied resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, featuring three distinct experiences including the acclaimed Eclipse; the newly renovated and reimagined Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club, located along two miles of pristine beach on Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla; Aspen Meadows Resort, which features newly renovated Herbert Bayer-inspired accommodations and sweeping views on 40 beautiful acres in Aspen, CO.; Hotel Bennett, a spectacular grand hotel in Charleston, SC, overlooking the city’s historic Marion Square; and Innisbrook Resort in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, which hosts the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each year on its famed Copperhead Course. www.SalamanderHotels.com.