Gaylord's GM Builds Relationships To Help Fill 1,500 Jobs
During the three weeks he has been in his new position as general manager of the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Rick Medwedeff has been busy meeting his team and developing relationships with people who may be able to help him find workers to fill the 1,500 jobs that will be available when the hotel opens in December.
He has met with students and faculty at Johnson & Wales University-Denver, which is well-known for its hospitality and culinary programs. He has also met with Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn about creating an internship program for students.
“Our biggest opportunity is finding 1,500 people to work here,” said Medwedeff, who has already hired a director of human resources, a director of finance and several event planners.
He will be hiring a director of engineering in the next few months.
He also has been establishing relationships with third-party vendors, like valet services and laundry operators. Now, he is turning his attention to finding things like china, glass and silverware.
In two weeks, Medwedeff, who joins the Gaylord Rockies from the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida, will take a four-hour tour around the Denver metro area with Access Destination Services so he can learn what the area has to offer. It is important, so he can tell the hotel’s guests what there is to do in the region, he said.
Medwedeff has more than 35 years of resort and meetings industry experience with Marriott International Inc., the world’s largest hospitality corporation. During his time at Marco Island, Medwedeff took the resort from annual revenue of $87M to revenue of more than $160M.
The Gaylord Rockies is the largest hotel under construction in the United States. Upon completion, the resort will have more than 1,500 rooms, 48K SF of convention, meeting and event space, eight dining outlets, a full-service spa, salon and fitness center, year-round indoor/outdoor heated pools and a lazy river.
To date, the Gaylord Rockies has pre-booked more than 627,000 room nights, 85% of which come from groups that have never booked a meeting or conference in Colorado. About 40% of meetings across the brand were new bookings last year.
Gaylord Hotels is part of the Marriott portfolio. In addition to Colorado, its locations include Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee; Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida; Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas; Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Maryland; and The Innat Opryland in Nashville.