When Stacy Fischer-Rosenthal graced our five-year anniversary issue in April 2010, she had just been named president of Fischer Travel Enterprises, the business her iconic father, Bill Fischer had founded nearly 40 years ago (see here). She’s continued to deliver beyond-belief luxury to a very elite clientele while also shaping the business in her own way. An expert at arranging amazing experiences for large groups of A-listers, Fischer-Rosenthal and her team recently completed the planning and logistics for a VIP wedding in Florence with 300 guests. “We took over The Four Seasons Hotel Firenze and many suites and rooms at Rocco Forte’s Hotel Savoy, and several other hotels, to house an organizational staff of 70,” she tells us. “Fischer veterans Anne Ackerman and Amy Zwerdling accompanied me and we handled all the dining, nightlife, transportation and every last-minute request. Short of marrying them myself, I actioned everything from finding the engagement ring to seeing to the very last guest getting home.”
Here's the feedback from that very happy client: “I’m an admirer of perfection and what you have done and what Fischer stands for is how I believe professionals at the highest level should operate. You’re the LeBron James of hospitality and logistics!”
Talking the latest trends, new clients these days “tend to be more demanding; their requests are much more time sensitive. Last month, a client wanted to take a private tour of the new Whitney Museum of Art on a day when it’s usually closed. We convinced the museum to open up on one day’s notice,” says Fischer-Rosenthal.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that the company’s business is steadily growing and “very healthy.”
“We supply the highest ADR in the business by booking the premium suite inventory,” she notes.
The agency does not belong to any network, but does spend quality time with the vendors who visit its Manhattan offices. “What we sell is based on our relationships and that’s with a capital ‘R,’” says Fischer-Rosenthal. “We meet them face to face, listen to their presentations and share our feedback. We respect and honor professionalism with our partners and they in turn deliver exceptional service to our clients.”
Fischer Travel's advisors are vital to its success and the agency has evolved its hiring practices. “We have more diversity on our staff now in terms of age and range of expertise. In the past year, we hired several multi-lingual young staffers who became standout stars in dining, nightlife, research, and CRM management ... they complement the experience of more seasoned staffers by keeping the ideas flowing,” says Fischer-Rosenthal.
New clients come via mutual referrals; the agency’s membership fee remains at $100,000 and its annual renewal is $25,000 with higher annual fees that were implemented this year. This ensures serious clients who can trust that the agency understands the level of service they demand, she says.
A new favorite destination for this incredible luxury travel advisor is Rwanda, where she experienced trekking with the gorillas on a safari. “It was extraordinary to see wildlife and tourism flourish in a place that was war-torn 20 years ago,” she notes.
Each year, Fischer Travel takes the whole staff on a trip. Last fall they visited the Salamander Resort & Spa, “a beautiful property in Virginia horse country. It was wonderful to spend time with our employees outdoors. So much of the joy of travel is whom you’re with and it’s one way to show gratitude to our staff,” she notes.
Fischer-Rosenthal has also been in the public eye of late. Known for generously sharing the story of her successful battle against breast cancer, she was the Survivor Honoree and Keynote Speaker at the American Cancer Society’s 10th Annual Taste of Hope Dinner held on April 30 in New York. And last fall, she was invited to lecture as part of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration (she's shown here, on the right), where her son, Max, was a junior. She and her family met with several roundtables and discussed the family business, work/ life balance and instilled lessons on finding your passion. For this huge honor, Stacy brought along her father, Bill; husband, Richard; and mother-in-law, Ruth.