WEST ORANGE, NJ — When severe storms hit West Orange, the Wilshire Grand Hotel opens its doors and its rooms to local officials and law enforcement. When the township needs a place to hold a meeting, the event space is made available. When neighbors need a place to safely park their vehicles to catch the jitney, the hotel donated part of its parking lot for use.
Locals know that The Wilshire Grand is a welcoming venue and a community contributor, and now it will officially be known as the 2018 Business of the Year, a community award given by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC). The business and its manager, Edward Reagoso, will be honored on Wednesday, May 9, at the annual community awards dinner to be held at the hotel on Pleasant Valley Road.
“It means everything," said Reagoso, who has been managing the West Orange hotel since August 2006. "My career of 30-plus years has been managing hotels all over the east coast and Midwest and I have only been awarded this distinguished honor once before in my career. It signals that our ‘locally owned and managed’ approach to our guests and clients is exactly what they want.”
The hotel is considered small, as it only has 89 rooms, but it has more than 30,000 square feet of event space. According to Reagoso, it has served approximately 165,000 guests since 2006.
Many times the hotel has offered its services at low or no cost to those in need. It once hosted the family of a Buffalo, NY police officer after he was shot and needed many months of rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
It has also offered complimentary meeting space for police training, special events for township officials and provides rooms for local officials and police during bad weather events, Reagoso said.
The Wilshire Grand actively donates to West Orange PAL and PBA, West Orange and Newark, and contributes to local raffles for West Orange charities and organizations. The business also treats its local neighbors to friends-and-family rates.
“This is a team effort; I would be nothing without the terrific and caring staff of managers, associates, and owners who have given me the ability to rally our business into a viable and continually growing business,” Reagoso said of his staff. “That has resulted in winning multiple awards over the years by simply doing what we do best. Taking care of our customers.”
Reagoso and his business will be honored on Wednesday alongside the 2018 educator, police officer and firefighter of the year. See all of the honorees HERE.