Harris Rosen

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Harris Rosen
Born Harris Rosen
(1939-09-09) September 9, 1939 (age 77)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Residence Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Cornell University
University of Virginia
Occupation President and
Chief Operating Officer
Rosen Hotels & Resorts
Years active 1974–present
Website Rosen Hotels & Resorts

Harris Rosen (born September 9, 1939 in Manhattan, New York) is an American businessman and investor. He founded Rosen Hotels & Resorts in 1974, and serves as the company's President and Chief Operating Officer.[1]

Rosen is widely known in the Central Florida area due to his philanthropy, and was named the Orlando Sentinel's Central Floridian of the Year in 2011.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Rosen was born in 1939 in Manhattan. He attended Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from their School of Hotel Administration. He then served in the United States Army for three years in Germany and South Korea.[3]


Rosen started his career at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City as a convention salesman, and worked at other hotels including various Hilton Hotels, and the New Yorker Hotel. Rosen eventually joined the Walt Disney Company as Director of Hotel Planning.

During the height of the 1973 oil crisis, Rosen left Disney and purchased his first hotel, a Quality Inn on International Drive in Southwest Orlando (Orange County; now Rosen Inn International).[1] To market his hotel during those tough times, Rosen hitchhiked to New England and met with several motor coach companies in order to gain their Central Florida business (at the end of one trip, one company offered him a return trip ride with a couple traveling to Florida, if he would provide them accommodations there).[1]

That purchase marked the beginning of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, which now administers seven hotels, resorts and retreats in the Orlando metropolitan area.[4]

Today, Rosen Hotels & Resorts administers 6,300 rooms, has 3,500 employees, and is valued at over $500 million.[2][5]


In 2002, Rosen donated a 20-acre (0.081 km2) site and $10 million to the University of Central Florida to develop the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.[6]

His efforts extend far beyond UCF, including large involvement in Tangelo Park.[2] These efforts include scholarships (including room, board, books, tuition and travel) for members of the community who are accepted to vocational school, college or university in the state of Florida, and an alternative spring break for Cornell students who wish to spend their vacation mentoring students from Tangelo Park.[7] The program also includes a parent resource center and ten neighborhood preschools. As of 2016, more than 200 college degrees have been awarded through this program.

In the spring of 2016, Rosen announced a program similar to the Tangelo Park Program, albeit five times as large, to benefit the Parramore District near downtown Orlando. 14 Parramore residents who graduated high school in 2016 were awarded the scholarships. In addition, Rosen is funding the building and maintenance of a 24-room preschool as part of the PS8 (preschool to eighth grade) school that will open in Parramore in August 2017. Rosen is funding 48 teachers' and aides' salaries, as well as the salary for a director.

In 2016, Rosen was awarded the Bob Graham Center "Citizen of the Year" award for his work with Tangelo Park. And was also named the most influential person in tourism in Orlando by Orlando magazine.

Rosen currently serves as a charter member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Harris Rosen Biography". Rosen Hotels & Resorts. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  2. ^ a b c "2011 Central Floridian of the Year: I-Drive hotel magnate experiences joy in giving". Orlando Sentinel. 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  3. ^ "Harris Rosen Profile". Rosen Hotels & Resorts. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  4. ^ "The Rosen Hotels & Resorts Collection". Rosen Hotels & Resorts. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  5. ^ "International Drive: How it grew". Orange County Convention Center. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Harris Rosen’s Storied Life". Orlando Magazine. July 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  7. ^ "Harris Rosen's - Biography". Premier Event Management. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  8. ^ "UCF BOT - The Board". University of Central Florida. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 

External links[edit]