Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Miller

Dean Miller

Director of Agronomy, La Quinta Resort & Club / PGA West

Dean Miller is the director of agronomy for La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST, a world-renowned golf destination with nine championship-caliber courses designed by golf greats Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Pete Dye and Greg Norman. As the resort's director of agronomy, Mr. Miller manages a staff of over 230 employees, including six superintendents, and is responsible for all aspects of golf course maintenance and landscaping for five public courses, four private courses and five clubhouses. He has helped implement all golf course sustainability methods, overseen all golf course renovations and construction projects, as well as developed maintenance practices that create standardization and consistency throughout all the courses. Known as the “Western Home of Golf in America,” La Quinta Resort & Club and nearby PGA WEST - a spectacular master-planned country club community on 2,200 acres and the site of numerous important tournaments - offer resort guests full access to five challenging golf courses - the dramatic Pete Dye-designed La Quinta Resort Mountain™ and Dunes™ Courses, and the highly rated TPC® Stadium Golf Course, Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and Greg Norman Course at PGA WEST. Mr. Miller joined La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST as an assistant superintendent in 1998, and has held several positions during his tenure with the resort, including superintendent of both the Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman Courses. He holds a turf grass management degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, as well as a Bachelor of Science with a minor in plant science from Nicholls State University in Louisiana. A Class A member of the California Hi-Lo Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Mr. Miller holds a California State Pesticide, Right-of-Way and Aquatic License.

Mr. Miller can be contacted at 760-564-7674 or drmiller@pgawest.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.