In May of 2015, I wrote about always keeping your eyes open for “windows of opportunity” that might pop up and offer the opportunity to do something totally profound or unexpected. At the time, I was starting down a path toward my MBA, reigniting my academic side, after a four-decade hiatus. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to reenter academia after such a long time away, but I had the time and the resources, and it was clearly at the top of my “bucket list”, so I jumped into the abyss. Now, just over two years later, I can tell you that it was one of the best decisions of my life. I loved it! It stretched my mind and put pressure on me to look at things differently, often through the eyes of the millennials that comprised the majority of my classmates. I am very proud to tell you that I graduated this past month at the top of my class at Johnson & Wales with a Masters in Business Administration, with Hospitality emphasis. Check that one off the “bucket list”, done!
Now, I am off to the next chapter, the next “window of opportunity”. My wife Ruth and I, along with some truly wonderful partners, are going to build a hotel in downtown Ellensburg, Washington, a great little town that we call home. This hotel will be an independently operated, 59-room boutique hotel, attached to an award-winning, recently restored Elks Lodge building. The hotel will make use of the former Elks magnificent 3,600 sf ballroom as its primary meeting space, connected by a signature sweeping staircase from its Main Street facing lobby. The hotel will have all of the modern conveniences and amenities of a 21st century hotel, with the charm and design to complement the adjacent historic Elks building. If all goes as planned, the hotel should start construction in early 2018 and open by the end of the year.
Life is full of windows. Always keep your eyes open as you never know when the perfect “window of opportunity” will come along. When one opens, and you know it is right for you, jump on it, make it happen. I have, and I am very glad that I did.