President of Premier Palace opened up about his life and business

Mr. Marian Dumitru, President of the Premier Palace Group of Companies, which includes Garden Club – Terasa Berarilor, Odeon Restaurant & Events and Premier Palace Hotel & Spa – the last won the Special Award for the Location of the Year during the 5th edition of the ‘Casino Life & Business Magazine’ Awards Gala – was truly kind to give us an exclusive interview.

– Hello, Mr. Marian Dumitru.  The first question is, when did you start your business?

– I started in 1992, when I opened a company with a friend of mine.  A company dealing with trading household gadgets and electronic equipment.

– How did you do it?

– It was a huge opportunity for the household gadgets and electronic equipment, which were scarce in the Romanian stores in the 90’s.  I went to various manufacturers and signed contracts with them.  Thanks to being a reliable person, I managed to carry out everything I had been planning to.

– Why did you go into business?

– I went into business as I had been working in a collateral field until the 90’s – culinary and public tourism, when I had multiple contacts with business people.

– How big is your business and what are the fields of your involvement?

– Of course my business is quite big at the present time….but it took us years to reach this stage.   We are involved in constructions, and for the last 3-4 years we have been investing into a tourism company that we hope to be successful with in the near future.

– What part of your business is closer to your heart – constructions or tourism?

– It is tourism, obviously.  As I said, I have been around this sector since 1980 – in the tourism and public food service.  Slowly, but surely, life brought me back to where I used to be.

– Where does the name of PREMIER PALACE come?

– This is a question I am asking myself, too.  I must have liked the word ‘premier’ a lot – to be the first – and the fact that I created a 5-star thing made me think to find another word to have the same ring to it – important and resonant- and PALACE came first to my mind…I mean THE FIRST PALACE…to be the first…the first location.

– Why did you get involved in the hotel industry?

– Because of my previous experience – in the 80’s I was working in the public food service – tourism, I owned restaurants, ran night clubs and, of course, life made me to…

– How big is the investment/business in this sector?

– At first, we started with a small investment, we were just telling ourselves that we would only do a restaurant with a hotel; but, as time went by, we realized that we would not be successful unless we added a spa resort, other buildings, conference rooms and other services, to attract our clientele.  Today, our business is worth around €10 millions.

– What was your route to this beautiful hotel and why did you add such a big and modern spa resort?  Did you have a model in mind?

– I did not have any model, but I travelled a lot.  I saw very many hotels and I knew right away what I wanted: to build a hotel to match my desires, my needs and not necessarily in terms of the purchasing power.  I built this hotel thinking to provide some luxury to the clients …. if you have a look at our prices, they fall into the 4-star category.  In other words, we have 5-star services at 4-star prices.

– What about the spa resort?

– The idea of a spa… I spent quite a great deal of time in the spas in Romania and abroad and I realized that Bucharest did not have anything like that. I made the decision to do something.  Due to the position rather unfavorable for a 5-star hotel to be located in the district 6 in the capital – namely the southern part – and we considered that this spa could be the magnet to attract them to us.  Of course this spa targets the Bucharest people.  Let’s say that the hotel delivers more to the foreign and local tourists, but this resort will seduce a numerous clientele in Bucharest.

– Who would this hotel target to? Who would be the typical clients for it?

– As I said, the hotel aims the foreign tourists as we had planned to extend the range of the services to be delivered to them. We even thought of a dental office and other medical services;  along with the business tourism, we will have medical tourism.  In terms of the spa resort, we focus on the Bucharesters.

– Your location is right opposite from Steaua sports field. Do you expect that the teams visiting Steaua team to come and book rooms at this hotel and use the spa here?

– Of course.  I was born a Steaua fan and this is the reason why I made an investment right opposite this soccer field.  I am even in the talks right now with the Steaua officials – and I am sure that we will have over our hotel the teams playing against Steaua and also all the teams in Bucharest.

– With this businesssSchedule, can you still fit your family in it?

– Of course, but only during the weekend.

– Does your family support you or reproach you some all the time?

– At first, while my business was growing, my wife was always unhappy with the hours of my coming home, did not have any time for my family.  Lately, she has used to it, but my children have grown up and now, we have to deal with them.

– How do you see the business environment in Romania?

– It is definitely challenging.  Crisis seems to be more and more present.  My opinion is that legislation is not a helper, either.  And I am talking about the public food service and tourism.  The fiscal system should be different, other taxes and more facilities, to attract the foreign clientele.  Other countries are already doing it and promote it a lot.  In the near future, I hope to see Romania where it belongs, in terms of tourism.

–  If you were to settle down in another country, which one would that be and why?

– I could have done in the 90’s, or even before.   My material resources were not a problem but the truth is that I have never thought moving to the other part of the world.

– Do you consider yourself a player?

– Yes.  I used to be one.  I did sports in my youth but I played, too.  I enjoyed much rummy, chess, backgammon.  I was at a casino and I played only how much I had initially wanted to.  I was not a casino player, in the strictest sense, but a tourist playing in a casino – at least, I have some memories related to that.

– Any hobbies?

–  I love taking trips, want to see as many places as posible, countries, sights that have a meaning for the world history.  I just came back from Mexico, visited the temple of the Mayans, the ones who predicted the Apocalypse.  While there, I noticed – I don’t know whether I should say it – that not all of them believed in this prophecy.  On the contrary, they would even tell us it is not true.

– Do you have enough time for your hobbies?

– As I as saying earlier, it is only on Saturday and Sunday for my games.  The other ones, taking trips, I mix business with pleasure, thanks to our tourism activities.  Many times, I travelled to other countries for business, but I took my family along, so that they would understand what my job is and accept it.

– What does a normal working day look like for you?

– I wake up at 7:30 in the morning, already driving to work at 8.  I come back and put my foot in the house at 8 or 9 p.m, sometimes 10, 12 or even 2 o’clock in the morning.

– What are your plans for 2013, which is only starting?

– Peace and quiet.  We will open all the Premier Palace locations, including the one downtown in Centrul Istoric – this is our intention  -we want to provide to the tourists coming to Premier Palace with the opportunity to spend their time only at our locations –   – Centrul Istoric, Odeon, Terasa Berarilor, with everything Romanian, jazz music, etc.   So, I would like the year of 203 bring me that calm and tranquility I really need.

– Do you have a message for the readers of our publication, ‘Casino Life & Business Magazine’?

–  I myself have been reading this publication for six months now.  I wish them a new year full with pleasant surprises, satisfaction and many achievements.  And… Happy New Year!

– Thank you and good luck.

– Thank you, too.






Articolul precedentThe Romanian Conference on Gambling, long-awaited
Articolul următorStandards held high in 2013


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