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Thursday, September 3, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Garret Corcoran, Vice President of Operations, HKHotels

Hailing from Ireland, Garret Corcoran joins the HKHotels team with almost 20 years experience as one of the industry’s top hoteliers. Following his graduation from the Blackrock College in Ireland with honors in Business Organization, Garret completed a 5 year course at The Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, which was a training program that provided him with both theoretical and practical work experience in the hotel industry.

After arriving from Ireland in 1989, Garret joined the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston to work in the Front office. Then he was transferred to the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland where he was Front office Manager and Manager on Duty for the five Star luxury hotel.

Garret was then recruited by John Fitzpatrick to return to Fitzpatrick hotels, and managed the Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel in New York, where he remained until 1995. Garret worked for several years at the boutique hotel, establishing his business acumen and meticulous standards before moving on to become General Manager at Troutbeck Estate and Resort. Garret spent more than a decade being solely responsible for marketing and operating a high-end, diverse hospitality enterprise, which included 42 hotel guestrooms, 2 meeting rooms and a landscaped resort spread over 43 commercial acres. Garret led all activities, including human resources, wedding and conference sales, planning and orchestration, raising quality of all service, advertising, marketing, maintenance, expense control and budget preparation. While at Troutbeck, Garret also acted as caretaker for the Troutbeck Private Residential Community, planned and hosted numerous high profile conferences and retreats, positioned Troutbeck as one of the premier Destination Wedding locations in the Northeast and established a working relationship with the Association for International Practical Training, a source for foreign students. Shortly before joining HKHotels as the Vice President of Operations, Garret served as General Manager for Residence Inn by Marriott International, a 128 suite upscale extended stay property, where he took an active role in sales and heavily focused on service training, maintaining brand culture and customer satisfaction.

Garret is also the President of The Irish Business Organization of New York, as well as a board member of The Irish International Business Network New York, a member of The Luxury Marketing Council, New York Chapter. We are so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Garret Corcoran for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: When did you realize you wanted to be in the hotel industry?
Garret Corcoran: When I was 13.

How does the hotel industry differ in the US compared to Ireland?
It is much more advanced in terms of systems and controls and technology.

What makes you successful in a city with so much competition?
Spending time with your customers, building loyalty. Anticipating their needs. Added values to the rates.

Who have been some of your most famous guests?
Cannot disclose for privacy reasons but we’ve had many.

What aspect of the hotel business would surprise most Manhattanites?
Each hotel is like a family. We all stick together and genuinely enjoy each others company.

What percentage of the guests at the Fitzpatrick are of Irish descent?
50 – 60% when I was there.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
Horst Schulze of Ritz Carlton and Henry Kallan of HKHotels.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Central Park

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Colony Records

What is your favorite drink?

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Montenapo Restaurant

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Just jogging in Central Park in General

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Visit Central Park

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
U2 at Madison Square Garden

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated: the quality of life

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
New York Notes

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
That I work for the best hotel company in town.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
E mail is probably the best:

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