The Best Jobs on Earth: I'm a Hotel Running Concierge
People often dream of leaving it all behind and finding a job in the travel industry. At Yahoo Travel we are profiling people who work in all fields of the industry — small jobs, big jobs, any jobs. This week we talked to Chris Heuisler, better known as Westin’s Running Concierge, the man who helps you prep for races around the country.
Chris Heuisler has his dream job — he’s a running concierge. (Photo: Westin)
Chris Heuisler always knew he loved running, but when he responded to an online ad for a “Running Concierge” with Westin Hotels, he never thought he’d be chosen out of 1,100 people and get the chance to live out his dream job. As a runner for more than 15 years and a running coach with Equinox fitness clubs, he had the experience that made his resumé very appealing to the hotel chain. But it was his audition video, which showcased his passion for meeting and helping people, that set him apart from the crowd and on his path to the ultimate “occupation,” as he refers to it, since he refuses to consider it a job.
Today, Chris has been working with Westin for almost a year and shaping a position that didn’t even exist before the chain hired him. We got the chance to catch up with him before he headed to Napa, Calif., where he was helping to guide a running retreat weekend with famed female runner Kara Goucher. Not a bad way to spend a summer weekend.
It’s the job of the running concierge to optimize your running experience while you are on the road. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Yahoo Travel: We have to ask you, what the heck does a running concierge do?
Chris Heuisler: I am going to be doing this for almost a year now, and I don’t think Westin even knew what it was going to entail. It was this blank slate. Originally the idea came from the hotel’s partnership with the Rock ‘n Roll [Marathon] running series, and my job was going to be to travel to the races where there’s a Westin hotel and, for about four days, be the onsite running consultant/expert both for our guests as well as the hotel. For instance, we have the Rock ‘n Roll half marathon in Philadelphia in September. I’ll fly in on a Thursday. Friday morning, I’ll run the course, so if a runner asks me for advice I can actually tell them what it feels like rather than just looking at a map. Friday and Saturday, I will be there when the guests check in. I’ll be in the lobby to help them with logistical questions from how do they get to the start to where they should go for dinner. On Sunday, race day, I am there to hold their hand a little bit more to make sure they’re getting to the start on time, that the hotel is opening up the breakfast early enough and that they have everything they need for the race.