Rusty Middleton is general manager of Andaz San Diego.
Q: What amenities does Andaz offer to the businesspeople of San Diego?
A: We offer unique meeting space opportunities, an excellent rooftop restaurant for breakfast or lunch, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and valet service.
Q: Are you seeing any business-meeting trends in 2013?
A: We are definitely seeing the demand for meeting space increase with more companies spending money, and groups booking up to a year out. Groups that come to the Andaz San Diego really expect the full red carpet treatment and we give that to them with uncompromised personal service, and included complimentary amenities like Internet, Escalade transportation and minibar items.
Q: Your hotel is a destination for both business travelers and trendy tourists seeking the nightlife scene. How do you cater to these two demographics?
A: We definitely cater to business travelers Sunday through Wednesday by providing unique and modern meeting space, complimentary Wi-Fi and Escalade service. For guests planning a Thursday-through-Saturday-night stay, we are very upfront in disclosing in advance that we do host a nightclub on these nights so they are well aware when checking in of the nightlife ambiance that often carries from the nightclub into the hotel. Guests arriving to partake of our nightlife experience are given complimentary VIP entrance passes to our nightclub for each night they are staying with us.
Q: What differentiates you all from other San Diego hotels?
A: The Andaz experience is a fresh and modern take on travel. It is the perfect blend of personal style, local favors and warm hospitality. We pride ourselves on providing uncomplicated, personal and friendly service to all our guests. As you walk into our hotel you won't see a front desk. This open environment allows our hosts to provide one-on-one interactive experiences. All of our room rates feature complimentary amenities such as wireless, local calls, Escalade transportation service and selected minibar items.
Our hotel has a clean, modern design element that reflects our neighborhood vibe. We are very tapped in to the local cultural scene, showcasing and supporting local artists, musicians and designers.
Q: With San Diego playing host to countless events throughout the year and being a hotspot for tourists, what is your favorite time of year at Andaz?
A: The summer months are really my favorite time of the year at Andaz. It is one of our busiest times with our great rooftop weather, Comic-Con related events, weddings and it's when we really shine as the hottest nightlife destination in the Gaslamp.
Markstein will now handle all distribution for Rough Draft in San Diego's North County. The brewery will continue to self-distribute to retailers, bars and restaurants throughout the rest of the county. This is the first distribution deal for the brewer, which has been expanding since opening its 4,500-square-foot brewhouse and tasting lounge last March.