The Rosen Centre Hotel located at 9840 International Drive in Orlando, Florida was the site of the August 19, 2014 ribbon cutting ceremony for Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill. As are all Rosen Hotel events, the ribbon cutting was top notch. The atmosphere was festive and the food and drinks were superb. But what was even better than the opening of the bar and grill was learning more about the founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts.
Mr. Harris Rosen is one of the gentlest spirits one could ever meet. He's a soft spoken, unassuming teetotaler. He treats everyone that he encounters with kindness and respect. He is also fond of story telling. During the grand opening of Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill he shared a small bit of his family's immigration story.
Harris Rosen was named after his paternal grandfather, at least that was the intent. Prior to his arrival at Ellis Island, Harris Rosen's Russian grandfather had a polysyllabic surname - Rosenofsky. But like many new Americans, Mr. Rosen's grandfather's name was "Americanized" and shortened to "Rosen". Several years later, due to his grandparents' heavy accent and their pronunciation of "Harry", the founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts was named "Harris". That was what it sounded like when his grandfather announced to an attending nurse that baby "Harris" would share his name.
Growing up on the lower east side of New York, in an area dubbed "Hell's Kitchen", Harris Rosen spent lots of time not only with his parents, but also with his grandparents. The barrel and tub in the logo of Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill are a tribute to Mr. Rosen's paternal grandfather (owner of a barrel making business) and his grandmother (who made potato vodka in the family bathtub during the Great Depression to make ends meet). Like the newly opened bar and grill, several of the other eateries located inside Rosen hotels and resorts are named for members of the founder's family. Sam & Bubbe's, a Rosen Centre Hotel lobby bar, is named for Sam and Rose Rosenhaus, the maternal grandparents of Harris Rosen. Bubbe is Yiddish for grandma. The Bubbe of Sam & Bubbe's was a native of Austria/Hungary. Red's Deli is named after Mr. Rosen's mother because of her love of deli foods. Jack's Place bears the name of Jack Rosen, Harris Rosen's father. The steakhouse features a collection of celebrity caricatures on display. The caricatures were drawn by Jack Rosen himself.
The elegance and magnificence of Rosen Hotels & Resorts are a testament to U.S. immigration at its best. Harris Rosen's grandparents entered the United States through Ellis Island with nothing except a desire to have a better life. With a solid work ethic and family pride as his driving forces, Harris Rosen has gone on to own several hotels in the Orlando, Florida area. He employs hundreds of people. He has been especially generous to immigrant communities. Many of his employees are also from families that immigrated to the United States. Mr. Rosen's philanthropy has benefitted numerous people. He has used his success to help those that need it the most. When asked if he had a secret for his success, he simply responded, "Hard work."