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Chris Aldieri: City’s accommodation strikes positive chord with Hyatt

SCV Voices

Posted: September 19, 2009 7:51 p.m.
Updated: September 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Last year the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation named the city of Santa Clarita the “most business friendly city in Los Angeles County.”

There are so many awards out there that I have to admit I didn’t give much thought to this title — aside from being happy to be in a business-friendly city.

However, I recently had the opportunity to experience our city’s business-friendly practices first hand, and I can honestly say Santa Clarita walks the talk when it comes to helping local businesses.

Many of us have been paying close attention to the city’s efforts to stimulate the local economy with its 21-point business plan for progress.

As the general manager of an established business here in town, I value this plan as a way to support existing businesses while fostering growth, which positively impacts my bottom line.

City staff has always been supportive of shopping locally, a key message of the 21-point plan.

I am happy to say our hotel has proudly hosted Santa Clarita’s annual State of the City luncheon for years, welcoming dignitaries, business leaders and residents to enjoy a review of the city’s efforts and accomplishments over the last year, as well as a preview of what’s on the horizon.

I am happy to share that Hyatt Regency was again selected to host the prestigious event in 2009.  

We began talks with city staff about the event months ago, putting the date and event details on the books.

Recently the city began promoting the event, including advertising and selling more than 75 advance tickets.

As luck would have it, the Hyatt was recently approached by a client looking to host a sell-out event at our property, including use of all meeting space.

Unfortunately the event dates coincided with the State of the City luncheon.

I found myself in a strange predicament. Hyatt Regency, like so many companies in the Santa Clarita Valley right now, is working hard to maintain business and grow whenever possible.

A big sell-out event is just what we need on the books for late September. We could not afford to lose this client.

However, the entire team at Hyatt greatly values our returning clientele and always does everything within our power to keep clients happy and exceed expectations.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, I decided to call City Hall to see what flexibility, if any, existed in moving the State of the City luncheon.

I have to say I was blown away by the response. Without hesitation the city managers office agreed to change the date of the event, understanding the situation.

While this particular situation is fresh in my mind, I am continually impressed with the city of Santa Clarita’s pro-active efforts to keep business strong in the community.

This summer our community hosted several events that positively impacted my property and so many others, including the Western States Police & Fire Games and the Southern California Junior Olympics.

These events bring thousands of visitors to our area, fill rooms, restaurants and retail and keep Santa Clarita’s economy strong.

At a time when local and state governments are consistently criticized for their unfriendly business practices, the city of Santa Clarita is a prime example of a government that gets it.

Santa Clarita is doing more than proudly touting an award; it is implementing business-friendly policies and programs every day.

I’ve heard Ken Pulskamp say it time and again, but it seems it really does ring true in Santa Clarita — “What’s good for business is good for Santa Clarita.”

I couldn’t agree more. I am happy to be a part of a community where business and government communicate and share common goals.

I believe this is the foundation of a strong, healthy community.

So with that, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the city of Santa Clarita — from the City Council to all levels of staff — for going above and beyond to help local businesses and for practicing what they preach.

Chris Aldieri is general manager of the Hyatt Regency in Valencia. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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