I have been in the Hotel Industry for 30 years.
I have worked in 8 hotels in Canada + Internationally.
As a Hotelier, I have lived in 1 country (excluding Canada).
My first job/position in the hotel industry was I worked as a night cleaner in the Sheraton Caswell in Sudbury, I was 16 years old. I moved up to maintenance and was allowed to drive a truck on hotel property without a license. It was a blast and I learned a lot there.
The number of times I have…
opened a hotel: 0
renovated a hotel: 6
removed a dead body: 1
escorted a guest off the property: 100
seen a ghost in a hotel: 1
kept “it” confidential: 100
driven a guest to the hospital: 2
dealt with an “Act of God”: 4
performed Housekeeping Duties (made beds, scrubbed toilets): 40
taken a sick day: 10
What does it take to be a GM? What’s involved day to day? To be a great GM you need to be a motivator, a problem solver, a great listener, a service champion to your guests and a leader who surrounds himself with a successful team that gets the job done. On a daily basis you need to step away from your desk and walk the hotel, visit the various departments and connect with your associates, team leaders and most importantly your guests. Having your finger on the pulse is vital to knowing what is going on in your hotel and gives you direction on what is working and what needs to be fixed. And lastly empower your team leaders to be successful and you will be successful.
The three things I can’t live without are:
2-ice cold beer
3-double cheeseburger and fries.
My caffeine fix: Espressso
When I wake up, the first thing I think about is what new experiences are waiting for me at the hotel.
The Hotelier (or person) that has inspired me the most is my father, he is the most passionate, grounded individual that I know and when it comes to hospitality he gets it and lives it. If I can accomplish a third of what he has done in his lifetime I will have been very successful.
My most embarrassing encounter with a hotel guest was showing my QA inspector some rooms… we walked into one with a couple in a compromising position.
My most famous hotel guest was Ian Gillan, lead singer of Deep Purple, nicest guy you ever want to meet.
My most bizarre special request from a hotel guest was: I had a guest deposit his big pet turtle in my water fountain area and leave.
Best CANADIAN hotel for a entertaining/fun/dirty/wild weekend: The Fairmont Banff Springs, it was a wild place to work and party.
Best CANADIAN hotel for a shopping trip: Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Best CANADIAN hotel for business travel: Le Germain Toronto
Best CANADIAN convention hotel: Intercontental Toronto
Best CANADIAN airport hotel: Radisson Suite Hotel Toronto Airport
Best CANADIAN resort: JW Marriott The Rosseau
Best RESTAURANT in a CANADIAN hotel: Hemispheres Restaurant and Bistro in the Metropolitan Hotel Toronto
Best technology innovation in hotels: wireless internet
The best advice given to me: Donate your spare time to helping people who need it.
My biggest pet peeve when visiting “other” hotels is substandard shower heads with poor water pressure.
The Hotel amenity I can’t live without is high speed internet.
The worst feeling in the world is seeing a cop car in your rearview mirror make a u-turn after passing you.
If I could change one thing about the hotel industry, it would it be more mentoring programs.
If I could meet one person (alive or dead) it would it be Bon Scott, gone but not forgotten lead singer for AC/DC.
If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing except for buying Apple stock at 5 bucks a share.
Night over Day
Summer over Winter
East Coast over West Coast
Sunset over Sunrise
Quiet over Loud
Rock Music over Classical
The “best hotel story” of my career.
During the Northeast Blackout of August 2003 when all of Ontario was in the dark, a guest came to me at the front desk and said that there was a lady that knocked on their door, came in and would not leave. So I went to investigate and after searching the room we could not find her, it was super dark, just then my DOS noticed two feet sticking out below the mattress. We both tugged on her legs and pulled her out. We kindly walked downstairs and she disappeared in the dark, the guest was super happy.