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Fast Talk: Hyatt's Vertical Jump

Grahame Carder

VP, Marketing, Hyatt International Asia Pacific
Hong Kong, China

Grahame Carder, 50 (pictured in front of the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong), heads Hyatt's Asia operations. In anticipation of the Olympics, the new 66-story Park Hyatt Beijing should be completed by the end of the year. Hyatt plans to open at least 11 more hotels in China during the next three years.

"The Olympics are dancing all across China. The equestrian event is going to be in Hong Kong. Qingdao is hosting sailing. Shanghai's got some soccer. It's as if an Olympics in Los Angeles had some events in New York and others in Atlanta.

That's good news for the hotel industry. We expect to have eight or nine hotels around the country finished in time for the Games.We haven't made this kind of commitment in any other part of the world.

The biggest challenge is staff. Every company, not just Hyatt, is struggling with finding and retaining a proper labor force. Filling key middle-management positions is very difficult. We hope one of the new hotels we are planning to build will be a mix of a hotel and a training school. The acid test for us is sustaining all this momentum after the Olympics, because the Games will move on and the hotels won't."

A version of this article appeared in the September 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.