Hotelier of the Year: Chip Conley
Chip Conley of Joie De Vivre Hospitality wins this award for 2007 not only because was he the first hotelier to kick-off our new feature, Pitch Your Hotel (although that helped) but also because in 2007 Chip pushed on in expanding JDV to new locations (nothing outside of California though) while at the same time, remaining very true to the philosophy of JDV--the joy of life.
When we asked Chip why there were no JDV hotels outside of California he told us this:
I think that's because we are conscious of what JDV is all about. We describe our hotels as hand-crafted and soulful and we want to make sure they are still close to home.
This past year, Chip opened Hotel Tomo in San Francisco's Japantown (even holding a "Name that Hotel" contest before it opened), weathered two complaints of racial profiling at his hotel by publicly apologizing in a newspaper column for the treatment of a guest by his hotel staff and continued to scope out new locations for JDV Hotels. Coming up next? Sacramento and Santa Cruz.
Not only do we love him but so do his employees. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about how Chip's management techniques have kept his staffers happy by offering sponsoring parties and awards, arranging paid annual retreats for employees, and offering free classes from computer courses to English as a Second Language.
Another example of how Chip tries to keep things fun? For JDV's 20th anniversary party, nearly 10,000 California residents named Joy were invited to the party.