György Krausz, leader of the accommodation division of the 2019 European Maccabi Games, believes that agreements have been made with all parties, so the accommodation of the athletes, coaches and the other attendants has been arranged.
This task could not have gone to a better person as György Krausz has worked in the field for over 48 years. He has climbed the ladder and gone from server to concierge all the way to the director position.
– How did you begin working on this project? Surely, arranging the accommodation for 2-3 thousand people must be a daunting task.
– It is important for me to mention what a great honour it is to me to be able to do this job. I was not talented enough to play for MTK, but at least I can conduct a task which is connected to the club in many ways – opens the professional, who retired last May. I have been supporting the club since I was 6 years old and now that I am retired, I can work together with the club in a field which is my expertise – he continues humbly with a mischievous grin on his face. Péter Stern general director of the EMG 2019 ltd. and Ádám Jusztin, chairman of Maccabi VAC contacted me before offering me the position. At the time, I showed them the hotels that I was responsible for, and then, I introduced them to one of the leaders of our chain. After I retired, dr. Deutsch Tamás offered me this position.
– What was your first task?
– I had to assemble a mix of hotels that would comply with the expectations set by the organizing committee. One of the important aspects was to accommodate all the participants in as few hotels as possible. Choosing places that were easily approachable was also of vital importance, so these hotels had to be close to the home of the cultural, educational and religious activities that will take place during the games. With this in mind, we had to choose the suitable places.
Were there any special needs?
– There were many. For instance, most guests spend about two or three days at a hotel in Budapest and they will arrive with a maximum of two small, or medium-sized luggage. In our case however, people will stay for more than a week and they will arrive with large luggage along with sporting equipment, so we had to choose hotels that have enough space in its rooms.
– Did you have to exclude any hotels due to economic reasons?
– Yes, in some cases we could not match their asking prices due to budgetary restrictions.
– How important was it to come to terms with larger companies?
– It was essential since you can never know with smaller hotels – in case of a change in ownership, the new people in charge may not honour one and half or two year agreements. This is why we had come to an understanding with Danubius and Accor.
– Where are you now in terms of progress?
– We have agreements with the mentioned companies, all we are missing are the signatures at the bottom of the pages, so hopefully, by February, all the necessary paperwork will have been signed.
– How did they receive you as a former hotel director?
– People within the profession knew that I retired, since one of the papers mentioned that I will be undertaking this task in retirement. The reception was very friendly – which felt great –, but people who come up with a business offer worth approximately one million Euros rarely get shown the door.
– Did you understand each other easily?
– Yes, since everyone I negotiated with understood that I knew what they knew, so they recognized that I am not an outsider which made the negotiations smoother. We did have to bargain some, but that is natural at these stages. It is important to note that nobody had any reservations regarding kosher food or any of our other special requests and everybody will try to do their best accommodate our needs.
– So that means you are progressing very well.
– If it was up to me, the games could start in March.
György Krausz started working as a server at the Hotel Gellért in 1969, then continued at Hotel Szabadság as a concierge student. From 1972 to 1976, he worked at Hotel Budapest, then Hotel Royal from 1976 to 1984 as concierge.
In 1984, he acquired a degree in the commercial and catering industry.
Since 1985, he worked as chief concierge at Béke Radisson SAS. In 1994 he became hotel director at Centrum Hotels. In 2001, he joined Danubius ltd as director, in Pécs. In 2008, he returned to the capital as the director of Best Western Hotel Hungaria. From 2011, he also oversaw operations of Hotel Arena. He is the founder of the Hungarian Golden key and the Hungarian Tourist Association.
He retired in May, 2017.