by Terence Baker | February 01, 2007

Dan GiordanoMost of the time I am walking the hotel. It is where I get my most valuable feedback.

Dan Giordano is general manager at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, which opened across from the Orange County Convention Center last September with 1,500 rooms and 445,000 square feet of meeting space. Previously, Giordano helped open the 1,509-room Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort and served as director of conference management and then general manager at the 1,334-room Rosen Centre Hotel, also in Orlando.

How did you get into the hotel business?
I started in New Jersey, where I am from. My first position was in 1981 as a dishwasher at the Hilton Parsippany, but my first real experience on the business side of hotels was at two very large properties in New York City -- the Grand Hyatt New York and the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square.

Is there a secret to running a hotel?
Hard work and passion definitely help, but it is the fundamentals, such as “do the right thing,” “stay ahead of the curve” and “mind the store,” that are the most important. This might sound trite to some, but I am convinced that this is the way to grow and develop. We’re concentrating on national and state association and corporate business, but there will be a city component having events at the hotel, too.

Do you manage from behind a desk?
I do not spend much time there. Most of the time I am walking the hotel. It is where I get my most valuable feedback -- perhaps hearing someone say something nice in the lobby, or perhaps a concern in the meetings pavilion. The really important comments often come from the least likely places.