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Interview with Georg Imlauer


With the Crowne Plaza, Georg Imlauer has realized a new premium product. Below is an interview with the versatile active hotelier and restaurateur.

Congratulations on the opening of the “Crowne Plaza – The Pitter” in Salzburg! What is so special about this premium property?

With the Pitter, we combine tradition and modernity with a demand for the highest quality. The building has now been around for 150 years. When I took over, in my opinion it did not have feeling and soul so I have tried to breathe life back into the building. Somehow we could tell, however, that the hotel could not meet the expected standard and so in 2013 we started to plan what to do to make it marketable again.

No doubt the roof terrace with views of the city is one of the highlights?

We thought a great deal about how to best use the new 6th floor. We had a choice of hotel suites, a spa or a restaurant offering, as has now been implemented.

But is there even enough room for such an offering in Salzburg?

The competition is enormous; nowhere is there such a high density of very good and excellent restaurants as in Salzburg. The already mentioned quality is our hobby; through personality and friendliness we try to keep our guests satisfied over the long-term.

Salzburg or Vienna? In both cities, you operate very successful but in some ways very different business concepts.

The concepts really are not that different: in both cities we have positioned 4-star hotels that are high quality, traditional and have timeless elegance; particularly important to me is the feel-good aspect of the hotels. The only difference between Salzburg and Vienna is in our gastronomic offerings, which is limited to breakfast in Vienna.

You have worked from the ground up in all areas of the restaurant and hotel industry. Is that the basis of your success?

Yes, on the one hand it is important to be professionally well trained in order to give proper instructions to employees, which contributes significantly to a good working environment. Just as important is to never lose touch with the guest so it is necessary to be familiar with every possible area in order to provide the best offerings. I think this is also necessary so I can better understand my employees who are “on the frontlines”.

There is currently a lot of discussion going on. How do you personally see Austrian tourism in 2030?

Austria has the best conditions for tourism, with hardworking staff, great entrepreneurs, an unspoiled natural environment, a large degree of culture at every level, security, but above all a first-class price-performance ratio. If we preserve all this, then I am not worried about the future of Austria as a tourism destination.

A final word of advice from a true professional on the world of hospitality?

I have found my dream job and enjoy it every day. The best is when the guests express praise for the services we provide, so I can only say: you have to do what you truly enjoy and then you will do well and be successful.

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