By Mark Burgess – Recently, we sat for a conversation with Bob Rauch, local hospitality expert, hotel owner, professor and one of the most active people in the local tourism scene. He has a bachelors degree in Hotel Administration from Western Inter
national University and a masters degree in Tourism Administration from Arizona State University.
Bob started his career as a banquet dishwasher in for a Ramada in Champagne, Illinois in 1974. Rising quickly through the ranks of Ramada to become General Manager in 1979. In 1981, he opened the Hilton Embassy Suites in Phoenix as the GM and then the Hilton Pavilion in Mesa, Arizona in 1985.
He took a position in Deloitte-Touche in their hospitality consulting practice, opening his own consulting firm in 1990, R.A. Rauch and Associates which he grew to a nationally known practice until 2005.
In 1997 as an investment, he purchased the Ocean Inn here in San Diego’s North County which he sold in 2000 going on to open and own two more hotels in the county, the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites Del Mar.
In addition to extensive work in the hospitality business, Bob began teaching Introduction to Tourism at Arizona State University in 1987. He taught at the University of California San Diego extension for 12 years. In addition to his GM duties at his two hotels, he is also now a professor at San Diego State University’s School of Hospitality where he teaches entrepreneurship. Bob is currently Chairman of the San Diego Hotel Motel Association, Chairman of the San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau and sits on the board of the newly formed Tourism Promotion Corporation(pdf) in San Diego.
Bob not only works hard to promote tourism in San Diego, he’s been a tourist here himself. On July 3rd of 1988 while visiting from Arizona and spending time on the beach in Mission Beach he met his wife Linda. They had dinner that night at Guilio’s in Pacific Beach (now known as Jack & Guilios in Old Town.)