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Q&A with Dean Griffin, General Manager of the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek

By Kassidy Tarala

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to

Dean Griffin was recently hired as the general manager of the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek.

1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?

I’m excited to be a part of the dynamic sales and event team currently in place at the JW Marriott Denver. I am also looking forward to becoming an integral part of the Cherry Creek North neighborhood – the JW Marriott is the anchor of this district,` and to be a part of that legacy is very exciting.

2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?

I’ve had the real fortune of traveling a lot – this is my fifth major move in 20 years. I’ve worked for all different types of hotels in Hawaii, Arizona and California – I’ve opened new resorts, managed a historic property, learned about the amazing culture of service at the Ritz-Carlton brand. All of that experience collectively has groomed me to take on this new opportunity and to bring everything that I’ve learned here to Denver.

3. How did you get into the industry?

I went to college in Arizona originally to become a mechanical engineer. I needed a job, and the first job that I got was cleaning the guest rooms at a hotel near school. I eventually moved up to work as a bellman and at the front desk – I loved talking with people and meeting guests from all around the world. That excited me and I fell in love with the industry. I changed my major to hotel management and I never looked back. After I graduated, I got hired at a luxury resort in Maui, Hawaii – which is in my family’s hometown – so I moved back home and lived with my grandparents. That’s how I got my start in luxury hospitality.

4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?

My goal is to continue to position the JW Marriott Denver as one of Denver’s top luxury destinations for both overnight visits and meetings and events. I’m excited that I get to lead the hotel through a major refresh of its guest rooms, lobby, restaurant and more than 9,500 square feet of event space.

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?

No two days are ever the same, it is an ever-changing environment. I love meeting people and hearing their stories. I have become friends with people from all around the world just from my few days of interaction with them. I feel like I have a brief moment in time to create a memorable experience for each guest, hopefully they will come back time and time again. It’s just a fun and exciting industry.