I often find myself curious about how a business venture started and who is behind the scenes making decisions, building a successful business, and continuing a legacy. This got me thinking that it would be a wonderful time to share a piece of “our” story with you. I specifically say “our” story because although I am not the owner or person who started this legacy, I am part of the Ramada Maingate – At The Park family and find that our culture is that every person on our team is a part of the family.
The family legacy started when Mr. Earl Garr purchased the Saga Hyatt Lodge (now known as Ramada Maingate – At The Park) in November 1973. Shortly after in January 1974 the name changed to Saga Motor Hotel. I remember going to Disneyland as a child, seeing the well-known Saga Motel horse sign on Harbor Blvd. Whenever I saw this sign I knew I was at Disneyland. It would be almost 15 years later that I would find myself working at that hotel with the Saga Inn horse sign that started my Disney magic as a little girl.
Mr. Earl Garr had many business ventures during this time, owning several hotels in the Anaheim Resort, as well as other businesses in Southern California. There was always something special about the Saga Motor Hotel, after all the location was ideal for Disneyland Resort visitors’. Earl had a special passion to make this hotel his families’ legacy. Earl had 4 children, one of which I have been told enjoyed driving a laundry cart around the hotel at a very young age. It must have been then that Earl decided that his son Brandon would one day be operating the hotel. Brandon started working for the hotel at a very young age, learning the ins and outs of the hotel business, specific to the Anaheim Resort. Brandon eventually became the President of the Ramada Maingate – At The Park in 2004 and his passion for the business grew immensely during this time. I myself joined the Ramada Maingate – At The Park team for the first time in 2004. I have personally witnessed Brandon take on his families’ legacy and grow it over the years, and luckily for me, I have been able to be a part of it throughout this time.
As years passed, improvements continued and the Ramada Maingate – At The Park started to bloom into what it is today. In 2010 our first major renovation started including a full rehab of the interior of all guest rooms. This was the first of many projects with more to come. While this venture was exciting, not only for us, our guests really appreciated the new look and feel of the accommodations we were offering. This was followed by a full pool renovation in 2011, in which we added an amazing kid’s splash zone area and enlarged the hot tub for those relaxing moments away from the Disney Parks. This project was followed by our first redevelopment Phase, known as Phase 1. Our Phase 1 project started in 2012 and consisted of demolishing a small section of the existing hotel and building a new 4 story building in its place. The start of Phase 1 was definitely a moment to remember and a true reminder that a legacy will live on. Every employee in the Ramada Maingate – At The Park family was given the opportunity to swing a hammer to kick off this very memorable demolition day. While it was an emotional time to demolish part of the original hotel, it was beyond exciting to be a part of what was being built in its place. This new 4 story building now houses our Superior Rooms and Suites. As if this wasn’t enough, we have continued redevelopment of the hotel and are now underway with a “facelift” project. This facelift consists of updating the exterior of all existing buildings with new walkways, railings, paint, lighting, roof, and an entirely new look and feel to match our Phase 1 building. While this project is still underway we are seeing the astonishing results the facelift has created. The future of our redevelopment project is Phase 2, which will consist of a brand new 4 story building in the front of the hotel. This new building will include a new lobby, breakfast room, guest rooms, and a roof top deck, and will start in the next few months.
We cannot express our excitement for how far we have come. While being a part of a business can be fun and exciting, being a part of the Ramada Maingate – At The Park family is rewarding. Our Ramada Maingate – At The Park family extends to each and every guest who visits us. Some of my favorite moments are talking to our guests, learning about their families and becoming one family with so many visitors. As we have moved from venture to venture I can only dream of the next part of this journey. I myself look forward to many more milestones to come and the next milestone I dream of is standing on our brand new roof top deck watching the Disneyland fireworks show.
Enjoy the photo slideshow below showing our past, present, and future!