Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spitzer

Craig Spitzer

General Manager, Durham Hotel

Craig Spitzer is currently the General Manager for The Durham Hotel in Durham, North Carolina. There, Mr. Spitzer oversees all aspects of property management that make The Durham Hotel a dynamic destination. He played a vital role in opening the hotel in July 2015, collaborating in the design of the overall guest experience, selection of technology systems and team recruitment.

Mr. Spitzer's hospitality career began in 1998 in New York City at the Hotel Elysee where he managed the front desk and bell staff at the 99-room historic hotel. In 2000, he was installed as the opening general manager at The Library Hotel, a 60-room luxury boutique hotel in Midtown Manhattan. He spent six years guiding the Library to success and helped earn it a place on Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List in 2001.

In 2006, Mr. Spitzer moved south joining Empire Properties in Raleigh, North Carolina as Director of Hospitality, overseeing both operations and development of its restaurant portfolio as well as exploring the development of boutique hotels throughout North Carolina. During his tenure he created Empire Eats, the restaurant brand under the Empire Properties umbrella. He was also instrumental in the conceptualization and development of The Pit, a nationally recognized upscale barbecue restaurant that replaced an underperforming restaurant previously in the Empire portfolio.

In 2007, Mr. Spitzer received the Horizon Award from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau “In Recognition of Exemplary Top Leadership within the Wake County Hospitality Industry.” Subsequently, Mr. Spitzer joined Summit Hospitality Group as the Regional Operations Manager and later become General Manager of one of its properties - The Dunhill Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 2013 Mr. Spitzer founded his own hospitality company called Transcendent Hospitality. Transcendent Hospitality, LLC is a premier provider of third party hotel management services, focusing on independent, upscale, full-service and luxury boutique properties throughout the southeastern United States. Leveraging the significant experience of its principals, the firm focuses on providing value-added services to its clients.

Mr. Spitzer received his Bachelor of Arts from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Please visit www.thedurham.com for more information.

Mr. Spitzer can be contacted at 919-768-8830 or cspitzer@thedurham.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.