Eric 0. Long

Since his 1994 arrival at The Waldorf Astoria, Eric 0. Long has held one of the most prestigious positions in the hospitality industry, that of general manager of a century-long international icon and landmark hotel.  During his tenure, Long has orchestrated a far-reaching $160-million restoration and enhancement program to assure that The Waldorf= Astoria retains its stature as one of the world’s most prestigious and widely recognized properties. His is a plan that is paradoxical by design, both forward and backward looking. He has installed the 21st-century technology and amenities now requisite for a globally important establishment, while continuing restoration of the Art Deco splendor that made The Waldorf Astoria the grandest hotel on earth in 1931. Since 2000, The Waldorf Astoria has been enhanced by a satellite link system for live audio and video broadcasts, direct high-speed Internet connection in meeting and banquet facilities, copier/ printer/fax machines in guest accommodations, and in-room office capabilities. A new state-of-the-art business center with sophisticated electronic publishing and document management capabilities was also installed.  On the restoration front, Long continued to direct the master-planned renovation of the hotel’s public spaces in 2001, with the completion of the most significant alteration to them in its history. A $15-million refurbishment of The Waldorf= Astoria’s entire 18th floor is transforming it into New York’s most luxurious and technologically advanced collection of meeting suites. The legendary Starlight Roof has been re-created to reflect its original Art Deco glamour, and The Executive Meeting Center, 13 deluxe, contiguous meeting suites completed in the last quarter 2001, adds a distinct new meetings and events environment to The Waldorf-Astoria and The Waldorf Towers.  Another focus has been fostering the ongoing success of The Waldorf Towers, the prestigious boutique hotel within The Waldorf Astoria, which occupies the 28th to 42nd floors. Long takes an active role in the luxurious aerie, recently named one of the Top 100 World’s Best Hotels by Travel + Leisure magazine (Readers’ Poll, August 2001) as well as placing among the Top 100 Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada category.  Keenly aware of the importance of cuisine to travelers and New Yorkers alike, Long has also distinguished The Waldorf Astoria as New York’s most diverse dining destination, with four very different restaurants. Under his leadership, Peacock Alley has become one of the city’s finest French restaurants, and he remade Oscar’s, formerly a coffee shop, into a stylish American brasserie.  A 30-year Hilton veteran, Long has played major roles at several other flagship properties. For seven years prior to his appointment to The Waldorf=Astoria, he was general manager of the luxurious Hilton at Short Hills. Posted there in 1987 to orchestrate its grand opening, Short Hills earned a reputation as one of the finest hotels in the country.  It earned the Five-Diamond Award for lodging and dining under Long’s stewardship, at the time the only double-diamond recipient in the New York metropolitan area and one of only six hotels in the country to be so honored. The property also received Hilton’s top honor, the Chairman’s Quality Award, two years running, while its restaurant was anointed with The New York Times’ top “four star” rating.  Before Short Hills, Long was resident manager at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, where he was instrumental in a 10-month, $185-million restoration of the world-class property. Previously, he held a similar position at the Hilton at Walt Disney World in preparation for its 1983 opening. Long also held key management posts at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort and Spa in Miami, Palmer House Hilton in Chicago and other Hilton properties throughout the Midwest.  Since moving to New York to take charge of The Waldorf= Astoria, Long has become active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of both the Hotel Association of New York City and NYC & Co. Long also sits on the Executive Committee of New York University.