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HOME > Welcome to the Parker

Bravo to debut new 'Welcome to the Parker' reality series on July 26


By Christopher Rocchio, 07/02/2007 

Bravo has announced the premiere and cast of Welcome to the Parker, a new docu-reality series that will follow the staff of the Parker Palm Springs hotel as they serve the five-star resort's wealthy clientele.

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Welcome to the Parker is scheduled to premiere Thursday, July 26 at 11PM ET/PT before moving to its regular Thursdays at 10PM ET/PT time slot -- the time period that's currently occupied by Paula Abdul's Hey Paula reaity series -- the following week on August 2.

Each one-hour episode of Welcome to the Parker will chronicle the daily happenings at the Parker Palm Springs hotel, which sits on 13 acres of landscaped property with the natural backdrop of Southern California' deserts and mountains.  In addition to following the personal and professional relationships of the hotel's staff, the series will also give viewers a glimpse into what it's like to work for some of the most demanding guests who stay at the hot spot.

"Bravo continues to create the kind of docu-drama series that our viewers crave," said Frances Berwick, Bravo's executive vice president of programming and production. "This time we're pulling the curtain back on the culture of high class hotels and taking a look at the unique personalities that work and play at the Parker."

Welcome to the Parker is a production of snackaholic in association with Bravo. Belisa Balaban and Ted Skillman are executive producers for snackaholic, with Berwick, Amy Introcaso Davis and Shari Levine serving as executive producers for Bravo. 

The nine members of the Parker Palm Springs hotel staff documented in Welcome to the Parker -- as well as their positions at the hotel and Bravo-supplied bios -- are:

- Samir Chraibi and Thomas Meding, Parker Palm Springs' "men in charge"

Thomas, the General Manager and German hotelier who knows what he wants and gets it and Samir, a 6'6" Moroccan former pro basketball player turned hotel manager, run the Parker. Together they preside over the estate with a combination of military precision and European suave, while scrutinizing every detail. "I have no problem being the bad guy as long as it brings the hotel to the next level," said Samir.

- Michael Crawford, host of mister parker's Restaurant

Michael runs the ultra-chic hotel restaurant mister parker's. Dashing and looking like a young George Hamilton, he's the consummate host and ensures the right mood and tone for the restaurant. But don't expect to get a table there if you don't have a reservation weeks ahead, unless he takes a shine to you.

- John Federbush, chief concierge

John prides himself on the fact that he can get anything for anyone in the desert, and he does it with a smile. His unconventional familiarity with guests is both tolerated and encouraged at the Parker. His reputation as a "hugger" is just part of the package, even if it makes Samir squirm.

- Lynne Dibley, human resources director

Lynne, an outspoken, brash, former stand-up comic, trains new employees and is their best ally and sometimes worst nightmare.

- Rocio Varela, executive chef

With just one kitchen at the Parker to service Norma's restaurant; mister parker's; all room service; poolside dining; as well as every banquet, meeting and wedding the Parker hosts, it's no surprise that a woman like Rocio presides over the organized chaos. At the center of this hurricane, Rocio -- a no nonsense woman with standards higher than Thomas and Samir's and a passion for perfection -- holds court and commands attention.

- Michael Twomey, catering sales manager

Michael is new to the Parker and the hotel business, but has both people skills and flair for presentation which make him a natural at the job. Michael's wit has quickly made his presence felt, but he has a lot to learn, and learning on the job is never easy.

- Andrea Higgins, sales

Andrea is an unflappable veteran of the hotel business, but that doesn't mean it's her whole life. A self-professed "social butterfly," she works to support her social life and takes each new crisis and complaint with a grain of salt. Her tricks of the hospitality trade are constantly being put to use to bail out newbie Michael Twomey, her closest friend at the Parker.

- Nathan Lourn, room service waiter

Nathan's just trying to make a living in Palm Springs, but working in room service places unusual and unexpected demands. Guest requests come at all hours, and they want everything imaginable and then some. Not an easy job, but Nathan gets a kick out of the unique insight he gets into the private doings of the Parker's well-heeled guests.

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