Scott Schaefer is the general manager of Hotel Indigo Brisbane, the first Indigo hotel in Australasia, due to open in August 2020. He spent his early years living on the Gold Coast, but has since lived in Sydney, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. "I don't think I've ever stopped growing up," Schaefer told Hotel Magazine. "Every day is an adventure!"
Born to medical parents - his father was an obstetrician gynaecologist and his mother a nurse - Schaefer bucked the trend and pursued a career in business. Deducing that he wanted to work with people, he entered the hospitality sector, and knew from day one that he had made the right choice.
"My first hotel role was with the banquets department at Royal Pines Resort, which was a great experience while I was studying," said Schaefer. "After graduating, Crowne Plaza Surfers gave me my start as a corporate management trainee, and I've been part of the IHG family ever since."
For the past twelve months, Schaefer's remit as Director of Operations Support and Franchise has covered Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and Japan. Working across countries and cultures, Schaefer was able to lead an international team towards a number of successes, including opening the first Hotel Indigo brand in Australasia.
Having worked in the hotel industry his entire career, Schaefer has witnessed a number of changes to the sector. "I think the hotel industry of the '90s and '00s had a rigid, almost stubborn view of what a guest wanted. This view was not necessarily born out of reality and was far from cutting edge. By taking cues from other industries such as the fashion, retail, and technology industries, the hotel sector has become more in tune with the needs of the contemporary traveller."
When he's not working, Schaefer can be found pursuing his passion for sport, most notably golf, rugby, and football. A skilled guitarist, he enjoys hunting down vintage vinyl records. But it's his passion for his job which most shines through in conversation, and his enthusiasm for the Indigo brand is infectious. "Hotel Indigo is such a great, boutique brand, and Aussies and Kiwis will love it," he said. "I sometimes have to pinch myself when I think how exciting it is."