Last Updated on December 26, 2023, 9:57 am
Harris Rosen, who is the founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, won many awards for his philanthropic works
Harris Rosen is an American Jewish businessman, investor, and revered philanthropist. He founded Rosen Hotels & Resorts in 1974.
About Harris Rosen
Harris Rosen is an American hospitality legend and a renowned philanthropist. He is known for his successful hotel businesses and his philanthropic works. Born on September 9, 1939, in Manhattan, New York, Rosen aspired to work in the hotel industry.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He was the first person in his family to go to college. After college, Rosen served in the U.S. Army in South Korea and Germany for three years. He left the U.S. Army and completed Advanced Management courses at the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Business on a Hilton Corporate Scholarship.
He began his career at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City as a convention salesman and worked in several hotels, including the New Yorker Hotel and various Hilton Hotels. He worked as the hotel director at Walt Disney but was soon fired.
In 1973, he purchased his first hotel, a Quality Inn on International Drive in South Orlando. The purchase began his renowned business chain, Rosen Hotels & Resorts. In 1995, Rosen Hotels 7 Resorts opened its second full-service convention hotel, Omni Rosen. In 2006, he opened the 1501-room Rosen Shingle Creek, an A.A.A. Four Diamond Hotel, his first resort. By 2019, Rosen had become the proud owner of eight hotels, all in Orlando.
Philanthropic Work and Accolades
In 1993, Rosen created the Tangelo Park Program to benefit an impoverished Orlando community. At the time of the creation of the program, the community’s high school dropout rate was 43% higher than the national average. With his program’s help, the community’s graduation rates rose 100 percent. To which he says he just ‘gave them hope.’
In 2002, he donated $18 million to the University of Central Florida to develop the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. In May 2005, Rosen was awarded the President’s Award for the Tangelo Park Pilot Program from the U.S. Dream Academy in Washington, DC.
The following year, he hosted the Water for Haiti gala at Rosen Plaza, which funded over 200 water filtration devices. In 2008, his hotel company received the Apex Award for healthcare accessibility. In 2009, he was inducted into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame.
He has garnered many accolades, including the Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award by the King Center, Atlanta (2015), and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service Citizen of the Year award for his work with Tangelo Park. In 2017, Orlando Business Journal named him the Philanthropist of the Year.
Rosen has amassed an impressive wealth with his successful hoteling business chain. Rosen Hotels & Resorts is valued at over $500 million, with more than 4,550 workers and about 6,700 guestrooms.
His company comprises eight hotels and resorts in Orlando, Florida, including The Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Rosen Inn International, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, Rosen Plaza, and Rosen Centre. The renowned American businessman and philanthropist has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
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