Member Spotlight: Hotel Congress and Maynards Keep It Local
Richard and Shana Oseran have built some of Tucson’s most iconic businesses. They own and operate the Hotel Congress, which houses award-winning Cup Café, the nationally-renowned Club Congress, and Tiger’s Tap Room, and Maynards Market & Kitchen. The couple purchased the historic Hotel Congress in 1985. “Although it was built in 1919, The Hotel Congress is still the cultural landmark that anchors Downtown Tucson,” comments Michelle Armstrong, Marketing Manager for Hotel Congress and Maynards. “Classically renovated and updated, every nook and cranny of the hotel reveals a window to years past. The Hotel Congress is also known as the hotel associated with the capture of the infamous John Dillinger and his gang in 1934.” Hotel Congress not only commemorates the capture of John Dillinger, but they have created a weekend long festival that highlights the capture as well as acquainting folks with some of the history of downtown Tucson. Hotel Congress continues to be the place for many of the city’s biggest and best celebrations. In September they host the HoCo Fest and Born and Brewed along with many other great festivals and events. Hoco Fest is their annual signature music festival taking place Labor Day Weekend. For this year’s 30th anniversary event, they booked over 40 musical acts, a dozen Tucson reunion shows, music from four decades, acts from London to Mexico City, three stages, taco and BBQ parties each day, Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila Cantina, and the first ever Tucson Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum. The Hotel Congress also hosts Born and Brewed, celebrating all things beer, bicycles, and BBQ from September 18th – 19th. “This is the year they’ve made this a three-day craft beer weekend with three diverse events that any hop head will love,” says Armstrong. “The 4th Annual Tucson’s Beer Cup has returned to kick-off the weekend, day two hosts their inaugural Bikes, Brew, and BBQ, and day three closes the weekend with casual Beer Brunches. There is definitely something for every brew enthusiast at Tucson’s Craft Beer Weekend.” Local First AZ will also be on hand at the event on September 19th to share the word about the brand new Downtown Tucson Gift Card!
Investing in a historic property wasn’t easy and it came with its own set of challenges, but for the Oserans the chance to restore the hotel was worth it. “Richard and Shana were very excited to purchase the hotel as it has been a local landmark since 1919,” says Armstrong. “They made the decision to invest in downtown and restore the hotel to its original glory. This one-stop-shop for fun has been nothing but busy, always keeping the Oserans on their toes.” Maynards was another leap of faith as the couple opened the restaurant and market in Tucson’s historic train depot in 2007. “This was a time when no one was investing in Downtown Tucson,” comments Armstrong, “and long before the revitalization of downtown. They would not only weather the storm, but come out on the other end with popular and successful businesses.”
Hotel Congress and Maynards are longstanding supporters of other local businesses. Armstrong recently presented on the importance of supporting local to a seminar of travel industry professionals for VisitTucson. Armstrong made the case that while businesses like Maynards support lots of local businesses on the front end by showcasing Arizona products in the menus and the market shelves - supporting local businesses on the back end of the business is just as critical. The list of local businesses they use runs the gamut from wine makers to signmakers and everything in-between. “Both Hotel Congress and Maynards have worked with over 1,000 local businesses throughout the years. Whether it’s for services, procurement, or partnerships we strive to have local at the top of our list.” Armstrong was quick to point out the importance of building “Brand Buddies – other local businesses that become advocates for your success because they do business with you. “Believe it or not Tucson’s a small town,” says Armstrong, “which makes it important to build those Brand Buddies. Local businesses are more likely to help you than a national chain. It’s very important to keep it local as that’s what we are. If we don’t invest in Arizona businesses we are not investing in our community. “
“Maynards is leading the charge in keeping it local by supporting their community including their membership as a Sustaining Member to Local First Arizona, the largest coalition of small businesses in the nation," comments Armstrong. It’s not just produce and products that Maynards keeps local, as they introduced their first private label wine in February – the popular AZ Red, a collaboration with Arizona winemaker Sand Reckoner. This year, Maynards hosts its inaugural Grapes To Glass event celebrating Arizona winemakers. Tickets include eight samples of wine, commemorative wine glass, a wine yoke, and snacks. Village Bakehouse Breads and Alfonso Olive Oil will host an Artisanal Bread Bar and Fiore di Capra completes the bar with their locally-crafted cheese. Join Local First AZ and Maynards at the inaugural Grapes To Glass event on September 12th.