Bill Rosado has become quite a controversial figure in Milford, not only because of his purchase of such iconic properties as the Milford Theater, the Tom Quick Inn, Laurel Villa, the Hotel Fauchère, Bar Louis, and 403 Broad, among others, but also for his support for Republican mayoral candidate Lisa Emery in the November election.
Many things have been said about him, but he has not responded in depth before. In this exclusive interview with the Courier, Rosado is very forthright about his feelings and his goals for Milford.
Q. The big question people want to ask is, why are you buying all these properties at the same time?
A. The timing could be explained by the fact that many of the other projects I have had along the way as far as my career is concerned are pretty well done at this point. So then this project, the properties in Milford, became financially feasible, and so did the time I now have to dedicate to this very big and delicate project — delicate because it involves a community.
Q. What’s the purpose of all these properties?
A. I believe the creation of Milford Hospitality (Rosado’s management company, Milford Hospitality Group) is almost like forming a chain within a small area. All the businesses that we are absorbing in Milford Hospitality have something in common with each other and I believe that in order to support one, you need the other.
Q. Did you plan it that way or did it just happen?
A. I planned for a long time to buy the majority of buildings that I ended up with. However, I would say that the speed was dictated by the financial change of the country as a whole, and the concern that a lot of people have about the financial uncertainty of the country.
Q. Some say that you don’t care about Milford – that all you want to do is make it more of a resort destination for others from New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere.
A. I can see why people say that, but it’s actually the opposite. I don’t think, as a community, this beautiful town would have the ability to control the future as seen by investors outside the area. I have seen small towns like Milford where outside investors come to a town and exploit its assets – which is its beauty. I am very protective of that. Being a long-time resident of this town, I put the preservation and integrity of this town in front of my ambitions. It’s my effort to keep the beauty and quaintness and leave intact, as much as possible, the lifestyle of this town while creating an economy that will be favorable to residents of all ages.
Q. Why do you think people are so nasty about you?
A. I wouldn’t go as far as saying “nasty.” I think some of the unfavorable aggressive comments are (from) people who don’t really know me as a person as well as they claim in the comments they make about me.
Q. There was a lot of bitterness during the campaign. What can you do to bring both sides together?
A. Let bygones be bygones. Whatever some people may have taken to be offensive, I do not take offense to opinions that were given during the campaign. Opinions often change, and I hope the view of me in terms of everything I’m trying to do for the community is welcome by both sides. Business is booming.
Q. Why do you think that is?
A. People want to be back to normality and having all these choices accounts for it.
Q. What about staff of the Fauchère? Some of those people are not happy with you.
A. Well, Like in any transition, not everyone is happy with new ownership. Being in business for 35 years, and over the years purchasing so many different kinds of businesses, this is not foreign to me, and I’m very tolerant and I always recommend that people give us a little time so they get to know us and we get to know them. I never take the approach of “cleaning house” – ever. That I believe is counter-productive.
Q. Have you had any sessions where you have listened to their problems, their suggestions?
A. Personally, I have done some. Most of the everyday communication has been done through my managers, and I actually have a consulting firm that runs this. I don’t personally run this. Extreme Hospitality (Extreme Hospitality Management, LLC) is a very experienced management company which we hired, knowing full well that my lack of experience in the hospitality business would be a train wreck without bringing in somebody with lots of experience.
Q. And they’ve had lots of experience?
A. Yes. Since day one, they have been responsible for payroll, hiring, menu changes, building repairs, events, and the future where we are going. They are totally in charge of that. They are an international company, but based in Scranton.
Q: How are they related to Milford Hospitality Group?
A. Milford Hospitality is my company. I own that. Milford Hospitality is the management company that manages and handles all of our assets. They will soon have a landing page which will link to everything we are doing.
Q. How do these two companies interact?
A. We get our guidance from Extreme HoQ. One thing that made the Fauchère successful in the minds of those who went there, was that Sean was hands on. Not every day, but he was there often on the weekends and would stop in and say hello to people at their tables.
I actually do some of that. I often bring some family. My nephew Victor Thomas Rosado — the only one who looks somewhat like me — is often there. He’s the general manager of the Fauchère. We’ve got some skin in the game. I, myself, make it a point to be there as often as I can. Yeah, I do realize there’s a change as far as that’s concerned because we have a much larger group. But I think some people forget that I’ve lived here for 48 years, and many people know me.
Q. What is your goal for this area?
A. Our goal is to bring weddings and conferences, and create jobs – from landscaping to security to maintenance. We have our own people.
I’m so impressed with some of the educated people that are moving to the area, and a lot of what I’m doing matches some of the hopes they have that there will be more places to experience, but keeping, again, the integrity and quaintness of this town.
Q. When will the new Laurel Villa be opening, and is it going to be a Mexican restaurant?
A. Yes, opening day is Cinco de Mayo. It will be called “La Posada” which means “The Inn.” It will be a very upscale Mexican restaurant, but very approachable. We are bringing it back with all these amazing family recipes.
Q. What are your plans for 403 Broad?
A. We hope to reopen it soon as a bakery and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the bar in the back.
Q. Are you going to buy any more properties?
A. Yes, I have some things in the works now, but I can’t say yet. What I can say at this time is that I just signed the contract for buying the buildings in the Upper Mill Complex, surrounding the Waterwheel. However, Nanci Simonet and Darren Fouse will still own their restaurant and run it just as they always have. We will simply be their new landlord.
Q. How do you do it all?
A. With patience. I’m very focused on each thing. I just want people to identify me like this: I’m a Mexican by birth, an American by choice, but above it all, a human being by an act of God and I’m here to serve the community as best I can.
“I’m so impressed with some of the educated people that are moving to the area, and a lot of what I’m doing matches some of the hopes they have that there will be more places to experience, but keeping, again, the integrity and quaintness of this town.” Bill Rosado