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Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort celebrates its 40th anniversary plus Interview With Four Flamingo’s David Osborn

The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort celebrated its 40th anniversary recently during an evening event that included Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, and Central Florida Lodging Association (CFHLA) President and CEO Robert Argusa and the guests of honor, 14 employees who have worked at the hotel for 40 years.

The employees were honored during a ceremony in which General Manager Paul Joseph announced the dedication of an island at the resort to the group, naming it Ruby Island after the 40th “ruby” anniversary and announcing plans for a special bench to be installed in their honor.

During the ceremony, Mayor Demings proclaimed Feb. 1, 2024 as Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Day. In 1984, the hotel opened as one of Orlando’s first major resort properties and helped pave the way for the area’s tourism boom.

Through the decades, the resort has continued to maintain its prominence as one of the area’s signature accommodations, earning recognition in 2023 as a top Orlando resort by readers of Conde Nast Traveler and earning the Orlando Sentinel’s Top Places to Work award.

“Forty years is a special achievement and everything we’ve accomplished over that time is thanks to our incredible team,” said Joseph. “What better way to celebrate this milestone than by honoring these talented and dedicated staff.”

The 14 employees honored for their 40 years of service were:

  • Annette Dennard, Security
  • Binh Nguyen, Culinary
  • Chau Nguyen, Cafeteria
  • David Osborn, Four Flamingos
  • Jean Weliver, Four Flamingos
  • Kip Conway, Event Services
  • Linda Reed, Security
  • Mike Wainwright, Four Flamingos
  • Million Ketema, Event Services
  • Robert Platz, Culinary
  • Robert Torres, Guest Services
  • Sherman Smith, Event Set up
  • Steve Click, Guest Services
  • Thac Pham, Stewarding

We spoke with Mr. David Osborn, a server at Four Flamingos restaurant about his time at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress below:

Name: David Osborn

Role when started at HRGC: Server assistant

Role now: Server

Tasty Chomps: First of all – congratulations on 40 years!! That is a lifetime of service!!  

David Osborn: Thank you very much! Little did I know I’d stay for 40 years!

What was Orlando’s tourist scene like 40 years ago when HRGC? 

Back then it was mostly families. Disney was the main draw. We did not have all the big groups like we do today.

What was it like in those first few years? 

Everything was very new and exciting. Orlando did not have a resort like the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, so if you wanted an upscale hotel, you stayed with us.

What was living in Orlando like then? What were some favorite places to eat back then? 

It was always very fun. There was definitely less traffic! We had no Restaurant Row, you would go to Winter Park for dining. Park Plaza Gardens had the best steak tartare.

What are some special memories over the years that you recall the most at HRGC? 

During Christmastime, we had a big, beautiful star with lights hanging in the atrium. You could see it while driving on I-4! New Years Eve was so elegant, too. They would have snow on the drive and bring guests up in a horse-drawn sled.

What do you value most about working at HRGC? 

I’ve made lifelong friends here that I will always have. That cannot be replaced.

To learn more about the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, visit HyattRegencyGrandCypress.com.


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