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Thomas B. Ruff
As Senior Vice President of The Biltmore Company, Thomas B. Ruff oversees the estate's guest operations areas including Biltmore House and Gardens, Food, Beverage and Retail Operations and the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Since joining The Biltmore Company in 1996, Ruff has overseen the growth of the estate's food and beverage operations, including the property's four restaurants, catering and banquet services and the design, development and opening of the Inn on Biltmore Estates.
A National Historic Landmark, Biltmore Estate is the private home of the late George W. Vanderbilt now owned by his grandson, William A. V. Cecil. The estate, which is completely self-sufficient and receives no outside funding, is open to the public and welcomes over 900,000 guests annually. Biltmore Estate includes America's largest private residence, Biltmore House, designed by renowned 19th century architect Richard Morris Hunt and the surrounding gardens and forests, landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted. The estate also features the most visited winery in the United States. Housed in the restored dairy complex, this state-of-the-art winery produces approximately 80,000 cases of award-winning wines each year.
The Inn on Biltmore Estate, which overlooks Biltmore Estate Winery and the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the only accommodation located on the property. The 213-room property offers a variety of guest rooms and suites, as well as banquet, board and meeting rooms. The Inn on Biltmore Estate will also incorporate a full-service, 150-seat fine-dining restaurant, a library, a lobby bar, an exterior swimming pool and a fitness room.
Prior to joining Biltmore Estate, Ruff worked as an independent hospitality consultant. He has also held key food and beverage management positions with Marriott Hotels and Resorts and Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Ruff is a Certified Food and Beverage Executive and Certified Hotel Administrator with the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He serves on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer of the North Carolina Restaurant Association, the Boards of the North Carolina Tourism and Travel Coalition and the North Carolina State Tourism and Travel Board and is also a member of Southern Innkeepers, "Americas Oldest Lodging Association." Ruff is also a member of the Hospitality Education Advisory Committee at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and is an HRIM Advisory Board Member at the University of Delaware. He is also Bailli d'Asheville, La Chaine des Rotisseurs. Ruff holds a degree in Food Service and Housing Administration from Pennsylvania State University.
Ruff is also Immediate Past Chair of The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association and NC Travel and Tourism Board and an AH&LA Board Member and member of the AH&LA Resort Committee.