The Biltmore Hotel Corporate Associate of the Month

August 09, 2019

By Rony Shir

The Biltmore Hotel wasn’t always a hotel. It was built in 1926 by a young developer name George Merrick, also known as the father of Coral Gables. The hotel became a place to host glamorous fashion shows, galas, golf tournaments, and water shows in what was then the largest pool in the world.

With World War II, the federal government transformed the Biltmore into a military hospital until after the war. In 1952, the University of Miami made the Biltmore its first home. When the hospital closed in 1968, it became an abandoned shell. It wasn’t until 1983 that Coral Gables put $55 million into renovating the Biltmore. The hotel reopened in 1987 and was restored to glory. Since then, the Biltmore has been added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

The Biltmore Hotel Logo

For the past two decades, Gene Prescott has been President of the Biltmore Hotel and principal shareholder of Seaway Hotels Corporation and affiliates. “I have established my roots in the Greater Miami community and I am proud to support the city and state to ensure tourism continues to grow in our region and within our global marketplace,” says Prescott. In his current role as President of the Biltmore Hotel, Prescott oversees the operations of the hotel and the company’s interests, while ensuring all hotel guests enjoy their visits.

Given its proximity to the University of Miami (less than two miles away), the hotel has a long history with the school. Prescott explains, “We were built around the same time and have collaborated throughout the years. It is wonderful to share this history and experience of growing together. We are the host hotel for the Miami Business School’s Global Executive MBA Program, which launched six years ago. The program is by invitation only for CEOs interested in attaining their MBA degree. It runs for a year and a half, students meet six times a year in the hotel for seminars, meetings, breakout sessions, etc.

Next year, the Miami Business School will also add its OneMBA program, similar in format for students from Latin America, Europe and China. The Biltmore Hotel offers preferred rates to the University’s students and families. We do our best to make them feel at home, while they stay away from home.” On August 13th, the hotel will also host a Freshman Parent Reception, for all parents of incoming freshman students at Miami Business School. The event will host over 150 parents from all over the US and world including a large concentration from the northeast United States.

Gene Prescott

When asked to describe the hotel and what makes it a prime landmark for both travelers and locals, Prescott explains: “The Biltmore recently completed a $30 million restoration and redesign of the resort, it has 271-rooms including 174 suites and features spectacular Mediterranean architecture with classic Italian, Moorish, and Spanish influences spread over 150 acres of tropical landscape. The hotel is a favorite of world leaders and celebrities since its opening in 1926. It offers a newly restored Donald Ross 18-hole, 71-par championship golf course; tennis courts; the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States with private cabanas; a European spa and a renowned fitness center.

The hotel’s dining destinations include the award winning Palme d’Or, one of the only AAA five Diamond restaurants in Florida; Fontana, a traditional Italian restaurant surrounding The Biltmore courtyard and fountain; the poolside Cascade and The19th Hole golf centric restaurant. The hotel also boasts a Culinary Academy offering an array of hands-on cooking classes for adults and children.”

In fact, being a historic landmark property with a long cultural history, is one of the biggest draws in attracting talent for the hotel. “South Florida is a striking area, with such an eclectic beautiful mix of people and cultures that people from all over the world want to come see and experience it. It’s truly ideal that all of the talented staff at our hotel come from all over the world and, in the hospitality industry, that is one of the most compelling attractions for our guests. To give a guest the gift of experience and to be able get to know people from their own hometown or even from a very foreign place is truly priceless. We like to hire smart, kind people that are diverse in culture, and are dedicated to people,” (Gene Prescott).

The Biltmore Hotel is a Gold Member of the Corporate Associates Program that includes over 60 global and local businesses that have built long-term strategic relationships with MBS. The vision of the Corporate Associates Program is to shape the corporate community and contribute to the prosperity of our corporate members by providing access to top-tier students, innovative programs, and thought leadership. Click here for more information.

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