Jo Finnigan has been appointed the new general manager of Queenstown’s Hotel St Moritz as hospitality and accommodation stalwart Lynne McVicar departs after 18 years at the property.

Finnigan steps into the role having spent the last 16 years as the director of sales, distribution and marketing.

McVicar has resigned her two decades-long and distinguished career with AccorHotels following a year in 2015 dealing with and overcoming breast cancer.

In her absence, Finnigan assumed an acting general manager position.

Finnigan said she is “hugely looking forward” to driving the next chapter for St Moritz and to continue McVicar’s outstanding legacy for AccorHotels.

“Having kept Lynne’s seat warm last year during her leave of absence, I’m thrilled to remain at the helm of this very special property,” she said.

“I like to think that while I bring a fresh perspective to the table, I’ll be the natural custodian of our deep-rooted and special culture here at St Moritz – one that’s become integral to our guest experience.”

The successful duo have been behind the hotel’s numerous Tourism Award wins, including the prestigious Distinction Award. They also represent Women at Accor Generation, a network focused on career progression for women within the AccorHotels group.

McVicar said St Moritz is extremely fortunate to have someone of Finnigan’s calibre driving the next part of the hotel’s journey.

Her commercial acumen, attention to detail and passion for the business are second to none. She’s a respected professional with an incredible and supportive team behind her; they truly are a powerful combination.

“It’s been an incredibly emotional decision for me to resign. Handing the reins over to Jo is truly the most perfect closure,” she said.

St Moritz management director Graham Wilkinson said St Moritz was incredibly fortunate to have retained McVicar as general manager for nearly two decades.

“Lynne is an icon in New Zealand hospitality and her guidance and mentoring of talent is her real legacy. She’s nurtured and inspired countless employees who’ve spread throughout the world and many believe they owe their success to the values she’s imparted,” he said.

“Jo has been a key member of a highly-experienced hotel team and will ensure the hotel’s ‘spirit of generosity’ continues and is enhanced. With her sales and marketing background, she’s perfectly placed to maximise all opportunities.”