Hospitality Design - May 2016 - (Page 168)

perspectives interview brad wilson By Stacy Shoemaker Rauen 1 KEEPING IT REAL Growing Ace Hotel Group's handcrafted vision one collaboration at a time One can probably count on a single hand the industry game changers of the last decade. One of those moments was the opening of the Ace Hotel New York in 2009, in which its community-driven, locally inspired, always-buzzing lobby forever changed the way people think about hotel public spaces, becoming a benchmark for all others almost overnight. As president of the Ace Hotel Group for the last five years, hotel ace Brad Wilson has been in charge of expanding the Seattle-born, Portland, Oregon- and New York-based company (the brainchild of the late Alex Calderwood) to the likes of London and LA-helping to revitalize neighborhoods in those cities much like the property did New York-and most recently, Pittsburgh and New Orleans, for a total of nine properties. With a proven track record of launching lifestyle brands successfully-he was on the founding team of W Hotels and helped build James Hotels from the ground up (staying on 168 May 2016 with Denihan Hospitality Group when it took over)-Wilson explains how the Ace effect is part instinct, part care, and a collaborative effort among friends. What's your first memory of hospitality? My mother was a baker and a chef-she ran a catering firm and later a chain of bakeries-so I grew up in the kitchen with a knife in my hand and always thought I wanted to run my own restaurant. A lot of what my mom did was about events-I loved the idea of how to entertain. It's interesting because at Ace a lot of what we do is event-driven: how you make an environment- from design to operations-an interesting place to be in. After attending the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, you worked at a long list of hotel companies-Park Hyatt, Hilton, Westin. What did you learn from them? From very early on I wanted to go to Cornell, and it exposed me to the hotel side as well as the restaurant-kitchen side, so I broadened my expectations. I worked for pretty traditional hotel companies, and I was a little impatient for

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - May 2016

Hospitality Design - May 2016
Online TOC
From the Editor
People: HD Summit
People: CitySCENE Atlanta
Business Sense: Mergers
Sustainable Studio: Toscana Resort Castelfalfi
Inspiration: Zaha Hadid Superyachts
Trends: Airport Lounges
Trends: Extended Stays
Places: Austin
Places: London
Interview: Brad Wilson
Interview: Chip Conley
Interview: Alan Faena
Interview: Neil Jacobs
Interview: Pacifica Hotels
5 Questions for Dan Flannery
Profile: Thom Filicia
Trends Custom Art
ICFF Preview
HD Expo Preview
From the Show Director
Conference Highlights
Show Highlights
Places: Las Vegas
Special Feature: Los Angeles
The Camby Hotel + Axiom Hotel
Seamarq Hotel
The Charmant Hotel
Soho Farmhouse
Generator Amsterdam
Ovolo Woolloomooloo
Rivertown Lodge
Casa Bonay
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge
Les Bains
Talde Miami Beach
Ad Index
Back Space

Hospitality Design - May 2016