Tim Ellis is going back to school. But this time he’s leading rather than learning. The general manager of Palm Mountain Resort and Spa—and 25-year hotel industry veteran—is helping to launch a hospitality certification program this year and a degree program in 2018 at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus.
“Tourism is the number-one industry in Greater Palm Springs,” he says. “I got involved with CSUSB Palm Desert Campus because I saw tremendous need for our homegrown to have a path to management in our industry. [We have to] look after our young families and students and give them a good education. We have a great opportunity here for young people to get fantastic internships and learn the trade of tourism firsthand.”
The program is part of the university’s business school, which already enjoys the participation of the local business community. “We have a strong [tourism] industry in the desert,” Ellis says. “The fact that we’re going to have educated, qualified, young students coming in and getting jobs is going to be hugely beneficial.”
Ellis, born and raised in England and the son of hotelier parents, proclaims he made his first bed when he was 8 years old and worked his way up the ranks in the hotel business. He chose Palm Springs because “there’s no real separation between work and play,” he says. “You look out your office window and you see the mountains and the blue skies and it’s just, wow.”
VIDEO: Tim Ellis describes his involvement with Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus.