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Christopher appears in the Top 100 

Innovators & Entrepreneurs Magazine

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Christopher Schroeder

In the fast-paced realm of hospitality and leisure, where competition is fierce and innovation is paramount, one name shines brightly as a beacon of distinction: Christopher Schroeder. As the chairman and CEO of Sports Illustrated Resorts, Chris stands at the helm of a venture that is redefining experiential hospitality and entertainment.  With a career spanning over three decades, Chris’ journey is a testament to the transformative power of visionary leadership, strategic thinking, creative exploration and unwavering dedication to excellence.

From his pioneering efforts in creating valuable brand extensions, to repositioning and launching brands for global titans like MGM Grand and Universal Music Group, to his instrumental role in shaping the landscape of experience driven hospitality, Chris' influence reverberates across industries. His expertise in brand expansion, resort development, and strategic partnerships has not only propelled Sports Illustrated Resorts to the forefront of the market, but has also set a new standard for immersive guest experiences.

At the core of Sports Illustrated Resorts' ethos lies a deep-seated commitment to celebrating the history and heritage of the iconic people and events that were chronicled in the 70 years of Sports Illustrated and the goal to bring them to life in physical spaces through authentic, innovative, and engaging experiences. With projects spanning leading destinations such as the Caribbean, Orlando, and major university towns, each resort bears the unmistakable imprint of Chris’ visionary leadership. From state-of-the-art facilities to exclusive events featuring legendary athletes, every aspect of the Sports Illustrated Resorts experience is being meticulously curated to captivate and inspire guests.

In this interview, Chris offers insights into his journey, his vision for the future of Sports Illustrated Resorts, and the principles that drive him to push the boundaries of what's possible in experiential hospitality, entertainment, and leisure. As we delve into the mind of a visionary leader, we uncover the passion, the innovation, and the relentless pursuit of excellence that define the essence of Sports Illustrated Resorts.

Given your vast resume of accomplishments, what were some of the most defining moments in your career?

Way before there was the term “disrupter,” I was a pioneer disrupter. I always looked for ways to take emerging technology or innovative ideas and creative applications that could change things for the better. One of the many examples was developing one of the first online reservations systems for the hospitality industry, which I did for MGM Grand and Hilton Gaming properties, which combined included 9 of the 10 largest hotels in the world. Another example is creating one of the first direct to consumer ecommerce sites for Samsonite, one of the most recognized brands in the world. The ability to transact online is now just a part of our life, but when I created these systems, it was new for people and made a significant contribution to where we are now.   

Can you tell us about your journey in creating and expanding Sports Illustrated Resorts?

Absolutely. People want experiences, and sports is one of the greatest experiential drivers. Sports Illustrated Resorts was born out of a vision to create immersive experiences that blend the iconic imagery from over 70 years of Sports Illustrated into a physical space that celebrates great food and beverage, health and wellness, plus unique, and even proprietary, immersive experiences that have a strong appeal to the vast audience of active lifestyle guests that will be visiting our properties.  Whether it's through our experiential parks, signature restaurants and fitness centers, to exciting events including watch parties, proprietary awards ceremonies and even concerts, our properties will offer something for everyone.

What sets Sports Illustrated Resorts apart from other hospitality brands?

What sets us apart are the experiences we create, the imagery we have to work with, the desire to celebrate human achievement, and the drive we have to be champions in everything we do. From the moment guests step foot in our resorts, we want them to be excited and energized, but feel very much at home where they can enjoy our events, culinary offerings and curated experiences.

How do you approach business development and partnerships for Sports Illustrated Resorts?

Opportunity is our greatest challenge. We are extremely collaborative and are looking for the right opportunities and partners that have real projects that make sense. This brand and what we have created with Sports Illustrated Resorts is receiving overwhelming response.  We believe in the power of collaboration and are seeking the right partnerships with great developers, investors, hotel owners and strategic partners. Our extensive network and track record of delivering results have enabled us to cultivate partnerships that elevate the Sports Illustrated Resorts brand on a global scale.

How does your leadership reflect the company's commitment to passion, innovation, and expertise?

At its core, my leadership philosophy lies an unwavering dedication to the customer experience, honoring the brand and aligning myself with champions who I like, trust, and respect. That is the basic criteria by which I enter into any venture, coupled with a lot of faith. 

What do you envision for the future of Sports Illustrated Resorts?

Looking ahead, our vision is to continue pushing the boundaries of what's possible in hospitality and leisure. We're constantly exploring new markets, innovating our offerings, and staying ahead of industry trends to ensure that Sports Illustrated Resorts remains synonymous with excellence. Whether it's expanding our footprint in key destinations or introducing groundbreaking experiences that captivate audiences, our focus remains on delivering unparalleled value to our guests and partners alike.



Christopher Schroeder
Chairman and CEO
Sports Illustrated Resorts

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