Alain Piallat - We Rocked...We Rolled...and We Opened (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 6:00pm

Told with expertise, grace and self-deprecating humor, We Rocked…We Rolled…and We Opened is one man’s tale from the events of October 17, 1989—the day of San Francisco’s now infamous Loma Prieta earthquake. Author Alain Piallat, then the general manager of San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis Hotel, was set to open the 1,500-room hotel on the very day that the city experienced its devastating 6.9 tremor. This compelling account combines personal anecdotes with historical facts for a story of extreme and unexpected crisis management.

As Piallat weaves his narrative, we learn about his journey up through the ranks of the hotel industry. From France to Canada, New York City to Boston and finally to San Francisco, this fascinating tale depicts the oft-times grueling hours associated with hotel life as well as that of a general manager—including residing in a hotel and all that comes with managing a large scale property. Juxtaposing actual events of the day with fictional situations, the story is at once strategic, serious, and lighthearted.

An interesting and fun read, especially for those either in the hospitality industry or people recalling where they were on that fateful day in 1989, We Rocked…We Rolled…and We Opened will keep you turning pages to see how it all turns out.

Alain Piallat is a retired executive of Marriott International where he spent 30 years climbing the corporate ladder. At the time of the Loma Prieta San Francisco earthquake he was the general manager of the then
named San Francisco Marriott, now renamed the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Prior to retiring from Marriott International in 2005, Piallat was President of Marriott Hotels of Canada and Senior Vice President of Marriott Lodging in the midwestern part of the US. In these capacities, he was responsible for the management of some 350 hotels under different brand names. He guided the development of Revenue, Sales & Marketing strategies required to maximize sales and profits in these various businesses. During his career Piallat served as Chairman of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau. He was on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement International, served as a member of a Advisory Board for the Hotel School of Management at Michigan State University and was member of the Advisory Board of the School of Hospitality at Guelph University in Ontario, Canada.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111