Manfred Steuerwald is the new GM at the Hyatt Regency Calgary.
When I meet businesspeople who have been transferred to this city, I generally comment about their good fortune and am eager to share the good things about Calgary. Meeting with Manfred Steuerwald, who recently arrived to take up his new position as general manager of the Hyatt Regency Calgary, I was a little cautious as he was relocated from the Grand Hyatt San Diego — surely a nice place to live.No need to worry. He says as soon as he learned Amy Johnson was being transferred from Calgary to Miami, he quickly put his name down as wanting to replace her.Steuerwald was executive chef at the luxurious downtown property when it opened 19 years ago, and he is delighted to return to the hotel and this city. And happy to be able to spend a little overlap time with Johnson, who was also an opening-day employee who had moved to the Hyatt from the Fairmont Palliser to oversee banquet operations.Like most hotel managers, Steuerwald has had many moves and has a good understanding of all operations, but feels fortunate to have begun in food and beverage.He left his native Austria in his late teens and enjoyed a variety of positions in kitchens in South Africa, the U.K. and Hong Kong before accepting a chef role at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman. It was from there he first came to Calgary in the role of executive chef.Since then, Steuerwald has worked in many Grand Hyatt properties, including in San Diego, San Francisco and Denver, where he was offered his first management position as director of operations. Then it was back to San Diego in the position of director of food and beverage, which he has enjoyed for the past two years.The Hyatt Regency Calgary offers him his first position as general manager in the company, a hotel he says is revered as one of its highest quality properties.He arrives at a time when all of the renovations to rooms have been completed but the Thomson Restaurant is currently undergoing major changes. After undertaking customer advisory sessions, the current dining space is being converted into a 120-seat private dining room, and what was known as the Sandstone Bar is being renovated and refurnished into Thomson’s Bar.Upon its completion next month, he will have an almost brand-new hotel to look after, a classy property hiring a staff of 265 — 22 of them in the massive kitchen that can serve 2,000 guests at the same time.Steuerwald wants to quickly become part of the Calgary community, continuing the high profile that Johnson had for the past three and a half years. She has now left to take up her new post as general manager of The Confidante Hotel in Miami, an Unbound Collection by Hyatt.The downtown Hyatt has always enjoyed a special reputation and has been successful in attracting its fair share of guests, but Steuerwald is anxious to help attract many more business and tourism travellers to the city. He says Vancouver and Toronto are full, reflected in their high room rates, but Calgary hotels have gone through some budget pricing due to the nature of the market, helping make the city a very attractive destination.The new general manager has been white hatted by Gorge Brookman, elevating him as a big booster, and he’s keen to get on with the job.Notes:Canada Goose, one of the world’s leading makers of performance luxury apparel, founded in a small warehouse in Toronto in 1957, has announced plans to open six new stores. Two will be in Europe, one in the U.S., and three in Canada. Via della Spiga in Milan’s fashion district and Rue St. Honoré in Paris, two of Europe’s most sophisticated streets, have been chosen for stores, and another will be anchor tenant in Cascade Shops in Banff, recently acquired and being re-merchandised by Calgary-based Atlas Development. The new Canada Goose store will showcase the full assortment of the brand’s outerwear, knitwear and accessories, as well as seasonal collections and collaborations.David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at email@example.com.