Looking for someplace warm

Kohler Co. has hired a world-class hotel and resort executive to expand its global destination resort business. Scott Anderson, who most recently was the vice chairman of Quintess, one of the largest resort destination clubs in the industry, has operated a variety of resorts around the country and was the managing director of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

As the new president of the Kohler Co.’s Hospitality and Real Estate Group, Anderson plans to expand the group beyond its current resorts, the American Club and the Inn on Woodlake in Kohler and the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in St. Andrews, and its golf courses, Whistling Straits in Haven and Blackwolf Run in Kohler.

So far, the group has only narrowed down a future resort location to “someplace warm,” said Anderson. But, the expansion could come soon.

“The Kohler Co. can move very quickly when it finds the right thing,” he said. “It took 40 days from the time we heard about St. Andrews until the time we closed.”

The timing for an expansion is good in today’s real estate market, Anderson said.

“The best time to invest in real estate is in a down market,” he said. “The challenge with most real estate developers is that they don’t have the capital to do that. Certainly, we are blessed with Kohler Co. to have the capital necessary to make an investment in a real estate project when we think it’s appropriate to do so.”

Any development that the company would do would have the same components of Destination Kohler with a hotel, resort, golf, spa, and residential, Anderson said.

“The residential will not be on the golf course,” he said. “We have learned that the beauty of Whistling Straits is you don’t play looking at homes; you’re enjoying nature and you’re enjoying golf in its purest sense. So our residential in any future development would respect that.”

Anderson will be the general chairman of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and has recently begun preparations for that event. He is attending the PGA Championship this weekend at Oakland Hills Golf Course in Michigan to scout the layout of the tournament.

When he managed the Atlanta Olympics ticket sales surpassed expectations with 9.5 million sold – more than the combined total of tickets sold at the two previous Olympics in Los Angeles and Barcelona.

Anderson also wants to improve the championship tournaments hosted by Kohler Co.

“Every time we (host a major tournament) we should get better at it,” he said. “One of our four key principles is improvement, so we’ll focus on how we can make it better than the last tournament.”

Kohler will also host the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2015 PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Anderson took over as president of Kohler’s hospitality group on June 26 and it didn’t take him long to fall in love with the Village of Kohler.

“This is a place that combines business with community better than anywhere I’ve ever been,” he said. “It’s a very special company that you don’t see in a public company. Sometimes, I think, when companies go public somebody takes their heart out. This company has a heart. It cares about its staff, it cares bout its community, it cares about its associates. Show me another factory on the planet that has a five-diamond resort built directly across the street from it.”

Anderson also admires the values and work ethic of his Wisconsin staff.

“I can teach technique but I can’t teach values,” he said. “The values of this staff are a great work ethic, care and concern for their families and care and concern for one another. They learn that at home, they certainly don’t learn that from their employer, so I have a great base to grow from. With all due respect to Atlanta, L.A., Chicago, New York, you’re not going to find that same work ethic and base values in all your staff.”

Anderson, 57, says his Kohler position will be his final job.

“Anybody who comes to visit here wouldn’t have to ask why I want to be here until I retire,” he said.

Kohler completes Inn on Woodlake renovations

The Kohler Co. recently finished an extensive renovation to the Inn on Woodlake hotel in the Village of Kohler.

The newly renovated hotel has modernized each of its 121 guestrooms and added state-of-the-art meeting space and common areas.

The bathrooms are outfitted in the latest Kohler plumbing products. The shower features Kohler WaterTile bodysprays, a Kathryn Lavatory with Purist faucet, a Gabrielle Comfort Height toilet and Ann Sacks tile.

The high-tech amenities in each guestroom include an iPod docking station and a 42-inch plasma television with HDTV.

Each guestroom features Kohler-owned Baker furniture.

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