Kenneth Chouinard Gives Us A Sneak Peak Into What Makes the Spot So Intriguing
Written By: Nicole Hakim
Photographed By: Chad Mellon
Expert: Kenneth Chouinard
Credentials: Director of Sales and Marketing at Avenue of the Arts Hotel
Q: What inspired you to work in the hotel industry?
Kenneth Chouinard: I’m an avid traveler. I spend most of my disposable income on travel. That’s what drew me into the industry. You get perks, and it’s good to be involved in something you like to do. There are hotels everywhere, so it doesn’t really matter where you live there is opportunity.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of your job?
KC: My favorite thing about my job is that working at a boutique hotel we are not very restricted by guidelines. I get to really express myself. I’m in charge of the brand of our hotel, so it feels like my personal hotel. We get to work with community leaders, and to be able to have the flexibility to do whatever we want to help the guests is really awesome.
Q: What sort of challenges have you come across, and how did you power through them?
KC: We’re not a giant brand, so that’s a challenge in itself. It’s a challenge to show people why they should stay at our property—as opposed to a better-known brand—and why they should want to come back. We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s always room to grow. It’s tough being something unique in a world full of corporate giants.
Q: What has been the most interesting moment during your time at Avenue of the Arts?
KC: Everyday is interesting. One of the things about the hospitality business is that it is always evolving and things are always different. We get rock bands to cast and crews of Broadway shows to royalty from the Middle East to giant parties to small private wine dinners. There’s always something happening. Since we’re in such a unique location in a city that’s a center for cool, it’s really good to be a go-to place for those kinds of things.
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
KC: I spend most of my time traveling. I’m a big DIY-er as well, like building furniture or shaping surfboards. I spend most of my time at the beach, walking my dog. I also like going to concerts and listening to music.
Q: Are there any other professions you would have liked to have if you weren’t in the hotel industry?
KC: I’m a marketing person by trade, that’s what my degree is in. As long as I am doing that it really didn’t matter what industry. I grew up surfing and skating, so the action/sports community is always been of interest to me. Jobs in tech also have good employee perks as well.
Walk the Walk: Costa Mesa being “the center for cool” as Chouinard says, the Avenue of the Arts Hotel is only about a five-minute walk to the Segerstrom Center of the Arts.
Worthy Contender: Chouinard says the biggest challenge is standing out amongst big names, and with a Marriott and a Westin only a five-minute walk away, the challenge is even more pronounced.
Avenue of the Arts Hotel
3350 Avenue of the Arts
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
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