What Becomes a Legend Most?

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In an age of corporate caution and management by committee, Harris Rosen is a breath of fresh air, not to mention a throwback to the iconic legends of the hospitality industry. In his long career as an independent hotel owner and developer, heâ€â„¢s carved out his own empire of sorts in the cutthroat Orlando market, and, surprisingly perhaps, made more friends than enemies along the way.

With seven properties, including the soon to open 1500-room Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Rosen has done it his way, and succeeded. Not only has he acquired incredible wealth and success, heâ€â„¢s established a legacy as a philanthropist and paternalistic employer. Heâ€â„¢s built a solid and intensely loyal team, with long-time partner Garritt Toohey by his side, and employees who directly benefit from his companyâ€â„¢s profits. For example, Shares of Success is a Rosen program which has distributed no less than $1.5 million per year to his full-time employees, including housekeepers and waitstaff who might not have otherwise participated in an incentive program. And, with an eye toward nurturing future generations of hoteliers, Rosen donated $10 million and 20 acres to help establish the University of Central Florida School of Hospitality Management, which is located on the site of the Shingle Creek Resort.

You can read more about the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in a series of stories in the print edition of Lodging Hospitality weâ€â„¢re running throughout this year documenting the design, construction and opening of a major resort property. Check out the upcoming January issue for the first installment.

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