Another Meet the GM column is upon us and this month we are pleased to be featuring Tony Goebel. Tony is the General Manager of the Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront. Check out our Q&A with Tony below to learn more about him!

Q: What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel? 

A: Seriously would have to say I love everything about the business. From working with the guests, associates, financials, owners, related associations and more. My number two pick would have to be developing people and watching them grow and advance their careers. Nothing excites me  more than a young manager who asks to learn more to be the best they can be. My number one pick would have to be the challenge and the pursuit of excellence. Tirelessly working to create new solutions to old problems, generating innovative ideas to provide the best guest service, generating higher revenues and profits and inspiring my team to be the best they can be and then watching them grow.

Q: Since joining the hospitality industry – what role/opportunity have you enjoyed or do you look forward to most? 

A: Most of my career has been in the Event Management capacity and I would say it has and is the most rewarding. The opportunity to take an idea, create unique experiences for guests, planning and working to have that idea come together and then to watch the faces of the guests as that experience comes to life is priceless. Through my career I have had the great privilege to work with groups like the NFL/Superbowl, 1996 Olympics, major corporations and associations and have put together many incredible events and met so many people.

Q: In your opinion, what has been your hotel’s most successful Amazing Moment? 

A: Watching my incredible team work tirelessly to transition the hotel to the Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront with minimal disruption to the business.

Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be? 

A: Bored!!! Started working in hotels when I was 14 years old. Studied Biology and Chemistry and wanted to get into Toxicology, and then realized my passion was running hotels.

Q: What do you enjoy most about living in Chicago?

A: Our kids/grandkids are nearby, and they are our passion. We love how alive the city is. My wife and I live downtown and love the energy, the food and all the attractions and events the city has to offer.

Q: Name your favorite place to visit — any destination in the world.

A: I have been a scuba diver for the past thirty-eight years and have dove most of the Caribbean and Central American coastlines. My favorite would have to be the island of Bonaire off the cost of Venezuela. Crystal clear waters on 300 foot protected underwater cliffs. WOW!

Q: Name three items you absolutely do not travel without. 

A: Passport, toothbrush and a cork screw.

Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?  

A: Love to make and age my own bourbon. Have met Tim Smith, moonshiners TV legend.

Don’t forget to say a friendly “hello” to General Manager Tony Goebel the next time you find yourself at the Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront!