Michelle Torguson, who helped open the Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis two years ago this month, continues building the hotel’s team and culture with her promotion to general manager.
Torguson joined Aimbridge Hospitality, the independent hotel investment and management firm that manages the 303-room property, as the hotel’s first manager in 2015, before construction began.
The Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis is Torguson’s fifth “new build” hotel. The Minnesota native previously helped open four casino hotels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“I like the challenge of starting with nothing, when there are so many details that go into getting to that opening day,” Torguson said.
The Hyatt Regency, a mile from the Mall of America in Bloomington’s South Loop District, served as the American Football Conference’s “friends and family” hotel for the Super Bowl, Torguson said.
The hotel, which has 150 employees, primarily serves corporate groups and guests during the week and leisure and family travelers going to the big mall on weekends, Torguson said.
Torguson previously was hotel manager at the Radisson Blu in downtown Minneapolis, while it underwent a renovation and rebranding.
Torguson said she and new director of sales and marketing Nanci Figueroa brainstorm daily to come up with ways to help the hotel stand out as it bids on business from different corporate groups.
Q: How have your responsibilities changed as general manager?
A: More lies on your shoulder. But from Day One, the team that we build, we all shared in those responsibilities. The previous general manager and I took it as a partnership. He was more mentoring me to take the role one day as general manager. You continue building the team and trying to put that passion and the culture and focus out there.
Q: How would you describe the workplace culture there?
A: It’s more about passion, what is the person’s passion and why are they here. Hyatt’s motto is we care for others so they can be their best. We hire more on the passion and the personality and we can train the logistics and the systems. It’s an upbeat positive personality going out of our way to make sure each guest is 100 percent comfortable.
Q: How does working in the hotel industry affect your work-life balance?
A: I am a wife and a mom of two. You put in the hours and it’s finding that balance and having that support from home too is what makes you successful. My kids definitely know hotels and enjoy coming in on the weekends and seeing where they can help.