Most people don’t know this, but Rancho Mirage’s Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa has been under the helm of a true veteran since April of this year. Canadian Randy Zupanski—who lives in nearby Indio with his wife of 27 years, Mary Ellen—has been in the hospitality industry for more than 35 years!
Every time I frequent the Westin, I manage to bump into Randy. Or rather, Randy makes it a point to bump into me. A gracious and gregarious man who takes his professional responsibilities very seriously, Randy has a knack for recognizing regulars and making them feel especially welcome. We like that. A lot.
I chatted Randy up recently when he was making the rounds, greeting customers at the Westin’s cozy Fireside Lounge. Immediately prior to coming to the Palm Springs Valley, he was stationed for two years at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort in Borneo. “Prior to that,” he says, “I was with Fairmont and Raffles Hotels for 14 years, which included posts in Manila, Vancouver, Newport Beach, and Calgary.” But that’s not all. Randy has also spent time toiling in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Ottawa. Clearly, this guy is a world-traveler whose undeniably global experiences has enabled him to see what other hospitality leaders are doing wrong—and right. What better way to ensure that his home property stays on the cutting edge?
Ask Randy what he loves about his job, and the answer you’ll get is pretty much everything. “The hospitality business in general provides a great deal of versatility that few jobs offer,” he says. “As a general manager I am involved in the daily operations and long-term vision of numerous businesses under one roof—the hotel itself, banquets and catering, restaurants and bars, golf, spa, retail… I have the ability to interface with guests, vendors, and more than 350 colleagues to make this happen. The business creates fulfillment through enhanced colleague engagement and guest satisfaction.”
Above all, family man Randy loves that his present post permits him to be close to his 24-year-old twin daughters, who live in Los Angeles and San Diego. “My wife and I are very excited to be back in the U.S. and close to Courtney and Morgan.”