This month’s Meet the GM column features Richard Newman. Rich is the General Manager at Sonesta Suites Scottsdale Gainey Ranch, and he has been an integral part of this hotel’s success. Check out our Q&A with Rich below to learn about what makes him unique!

Q: What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel?  
Hotels are such amazing and unique environments that create their own very special experiential world that we immerse ourselves in every day…I love being part of creating the magical moments for our guests and sharing the joy of seeing our collective efforts as a hotel family making that happen.

Q: During your brief time with Sonesta – what role/opportunity have you enjoyed or do you look forward to most? 
I have immensely enjoyed the process of joining our hospitality families together, merging our shared cultures of caring…seeing our team members grow as individuals and professionals…guiding the continued evolution and elevation of the property and the guest experience.

Q: What has been your hotel’s most successful Amazing Moment? 
A beautiful young girl with Down’s Syndrome “adopted” us as her most special family during her stay with us. She created a drawing and a note for our staff that we would always be her favorite place. Sounds so simple but it was really sweet and touched our hearts. A life being lived and many moments to be cherished.

Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be?
I really can’t imagine now doing anything else, so if I could, I would have been a vintner and a chef, with a small winery and an amazing farm table restaurant. Add the Country Inn and I am full circle back where I already am, doing what I’ve always loved.

Q: As a native, what do you enjoy most about living in Scottsdale?
Actually, I grew up in Northern New Jersey, visited Florida, stumbled into the hotel business, drove across country and along the way stopped in Arizona. I was smitten by the magic and unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert. I love the brilliantly bright mornings, the endless vistas, and spectacular sunsets. Great outdoor adventures abound, and golf of course. It is also a world-class destination that offers all the top-notch culinary, sports, entertainment and cultural experiences you could ever ask for.

Q: Name your favorite place to visit — any destination in the world. 
San Sebastian, Spain. Basque country, on the Bay of Biscay.

Q: Name three items you absolutely do not travel without. 
My phone, my laptop, a pair of jeans and my running gear. And on vacation, my golf clubs.

Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?
That I hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in 11 hours. The most amazing thing I ever did.

Be sure to stop by and say “hello” to Rich the next time you find yourself at Sonesta Suites Scottsdale Gainey Ranch!