Oak Brook lodge manager keeps busy with community
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:29AM
OAK BROOK — Norm Canfield is a busy man. As general manager of Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus, Canfield, 59, is in-charge of operations for a 218-room hotel that is owned by McDonald’s and hosts employees from that company that come to Oak Brook from around the world. He is also chairman of Oak Brook’s Hotel Marketing Committee and a member of a general manager’s hospitality committee for the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce, and of the DuPage Convention and Visitors Board.
Q. How long have you worked for Hyatt?
A. I have made 16 moves within the company over 36 years, including fiver different properties in the Chicago area. I’ve been here for three years.
Q. It’s unusual to be running a hotel owned by a company like McDonald’s, isn’t it?
A. Yes. This is different. McDonald’s built the lodge in 1983 so their employees had a place to stay here. They decided a year later that they would stay in the hamburger business, and that’s when they decided to have Hyatt manage the lodge for them.
Q. When did the lodge begin allowing the public to stay there?
A. That happened about 13 years ago. About 40 to 45 percent of our business is with McDonald’s. While we have 218 guest rooms, this place runs more like a 500-room hotel. We have 50,000 square feet of meeting space, so it runs like a much bigger hotel.
Q. What do you enjoy most about working in the hotel industry?
A. My dad was in the hotel business, and I lived in a hotel, not a house, for the first 11 years of my life. This really is a people business. It’s about the people who are customers and about the people you work with.
Q. Why did you get involved with three different groups and committees that are associated with the village and the county?
A. With Hyatt, we get involved in civic organizations. It’s important to be involved with the community and with other hotels in the area. While we are in competition, we also work together. It’s not like there are 100 hotels here in Oak Brook. We do work to help each other out.
Q. What is the biggest challenge to running a successful hotel in Oak Brook?
A. There is a lot of competition. We host a lot of groups and associations that have meetings in this area, and there are a lot of other hotels in nearby communities that also are trying to get that business.
Q. Being on the McDonald’s campus, do you serve Big Macs or other McDonald’s food items at the lodge?
A. We have our own restaurants and prepare our own food here. But we have a lot of weddings here, and we do serve Big Macs and cheeseburgers from one of the local restaurants at midnight. A lot of people who have come here for weddings really seem to like that.~.