Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Nielsen

Andrew Nielsen

General Manager, The Current Hotel, Autograph Collection

Andrew Nielsen brings more than 25 years of hospitality experience to Current Hotel, where he holds the role of General Manager. Originally from Napa Valley, California, he attended San Diego St. University. Growing up in an area famous for wine production, celebrity restaurateurs and world-class cuisine, Mr. Nielsen developed a passion for the industry and graduated with a degree in business.

Following graduation, Mr. Nielsen began his career as general manager and director of operations for multiple four-star restaurants in Napa Valley and San Francisco, including Mustards Grill, Tra Vigne, Betelnut and Fog City. His roots in the hospitality industry begin with his family's involvement in the wine business in Napa, where he achieved the Advanced Sommelier certification.

This certification involves passing a series of course-specific exams such as blind tasting tests and global wine knowledge assessments. Acquired through the Guild of the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Advanced Sommelier certification is just one level from Master Sommelier, the most prestigious and highest level of wine certification in the world.

In 2002, Mr. Nielsen moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to work for Loews Hotels at the historic Don Cesar Beach Resort, before moving to the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, where he served as the director of food & beverage for seven years. He returned to Florida in 2013 to be the general manager at The Club Treasure Island and Pasadena Golf and Country Club, where he worked for six years.

Following his stint at the country club, Mr. Nielsen was the general manager at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach.

Please visit http://www.thecurrenthotel.com for more information.

Mr. Nielsen can be contacted at +1 813-281-2545 or andrew.nielsen@thecurrenthotel.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.