• Meet Ryan Schmied, general manager, AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown

     
    POSTED November 15, 2019
     

As general manager of the new 130-room AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown, Ryan Schmied enjoys a fast-track life by making sure everything at the stunning boutique-style property is running smoothly.

Formerly a refrigerator production factory, warehouse and most recently a TGI Fridays near the Van Andel Arena, the 19th-century space in which the chic AC is located has quite a history.

With the energetic 32-year-old Schmied at the helm, its new incarnation is in good hands not only because he has a stellar background in hospitality and was raised in an international household with family in the hospitality industry, but he also adores Grand Rapids. 

Starting as a doorman after high school, Schmied held various operational roles at the JW Marriott Hotel Miami before transitioning to operations manager on the opening team at Hotel Beaux Arts Miami. Most recently beverage director at Miami-based Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering, he’s spent most of his career in Florida. But it’s the Midwest that he’s now savoring and favoring, and that’s not likely to change. 

“I love Grand Rapids. You get everything you want in a city, and I’ve discovered my local spots,” he says. One of those favorite spots, of course, is the AC and its stunning lounge/lobby area. 

“We have Herman Miller furniture throughout the lounge—iconic items that make you feel at home,” he says. 

The lounge is a focal point come evening. “We serve cool cocktails and a signature beer made just for us.” 

It’s not unusual for Schmied to be passing through the lounge, ensuring guests are comfortable and working with any of his staff of 45. 

When not working, Schmied can often be found at his condominium, across the street from the hotel, reading about wine. “I’m studying for my advanced sommelier exam coming up in October,” he says, adding that he’ll often play golden-era jazz tunes while studying or relaxing. A record collector, he also spends his free time “crate digging,” in other words, shopping for vinyl records. And that passion has transcended into his job. “We’re doing Vinyl & Vino nights at the hotel lounge, so guests and patrons can bring in their own vinyl. We’ll play our favorites, too, and pair them with an appropriate wine suggestion.”   

It’s those types of small creative offerings that make this hotel a standout, in a standout city. “Grand Rapids is really coming on, with new developments and people who think,” Schmied says. “It’s going to happen … we’re going to hit the national stage.” And Schmied will be right at the center. 

Get Connected

AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown
marriott.com | 616.776.3270

Texas is bursting with history.  Ever  wonder how the authenticity and legacy of those landmarks are maintained and upheld for everyone to enjoy? It’s thanks to individuals like Pamela Jary Rosser, Alamo conservator. A ninth generation Texan, Rosser was born in San Antonio and has a degree in fine arts and art history. She studied conservation in Italy with a team that worked on the Sistine Chapel, as well as Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose. Rosser was kind enough to share her passion for history with us.

 

For Chicago-based event planner and stylist Rachel De Marte, her bright, dynamic personality isn’t just one of her many amiable characteristics. It’s her calling card.

“I’m a big personality and a maximalist through and through. There’s definitely an energy and excitement level I bring to each event that you’ll start to grasp as we sit down together to brainstorm,” says De Marte. “‘Where does she get all of this energy?’ and ‘force of nature’ are things I hear all the time,” she laughs.

 

CAM+E: What’s a typical working day like for you?