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Fitzgerald, Booker and Dierks Bentley some of the AZ ‘ambassadors’ behind Sam Fox’s new Phoenix hotel

The Global Ambassador Hotel is set to open in late 2023 and will feature five unique restaurants.

PHOENIX — Sam Fox manages his team of more than 4,000 employees from an office above The Henry with a window view of Camelback Mountain.

Arizona has been home since his family moved to Tucson from Chicago at the age of 3.

“I’m a third-generation restaurateur and I grew up in a lot of these cool, little restaurants that my parents had along the way,” Fox said.

Fox has come a long way from peeling potatoes, busing tables, or doing his homework at the counter of one of his parents' restaurants. He is now the man and also the name behind Fox Restaurant Concepts (FRC). The company has nearly 80 restaurants across 14 states and in the District of Columbia.

If you’ve dined at places like The Henry, Zinburger, Flower Child or Doughbird, you’ve experienced one of Fox’s visions.

Fox no doubt got the restaurant bug in part through early exposure at some of his parents’ spots, but he also was a young entrepreneur. He shared that in high school he used to sell gum to his classmates, for the price of what he’d pay for the whole pack.

“I had a pretty good profit margin, so I was the gum guy and the janitor at the school hated me,” Fox said.

So what do you do once you've launched dozens of successful restaurant concepts and even sold some? In fact, in 2019 The Cheesecake Factory acquired FRC in a deal worth more than $300 million.

He's still hoping you'll be checking in as a guest, with an even more literal definition of the word, as he's launching his first-ever luxury hotel.

The Global Ambassador Hotel is being built on a Valley block he's had plenty of success on before.

Fox can see the construction site from his office window on the upper level of The Henry, which is where FRC is headquartered. The hotel is located at the corner of East Camelback Road and North 44th Street, which is about a seven-minute walk from The Henry.

The Global Ambassador Hotel is set to open in late 2023 and will feature five unique restaurants.

“People are going to spend the night with us instead of having dinner with us, or lunch or breakfast with us,” said Fox.

Fox said this hotel is just as much, if not more, for the local as it is the traveler. They hope people will visit even if it’s in their backyard.

Some of the investors of the hotel include country music star Dierks Bentley, Arizona Cardinals' legend Larry Fitzgerald and Suns' star Devin Booker. Fox shared he wanted to make sure they had some great Arizona ambassadors on their business team.

“You read about all these global ambassadors. They’re great representatives of who they represent. Maybe it’s a fashion house, maybe it’s a car company, I think we’re global ambassadors of Arizona so that’s where that name came from,” Fox said.

A Mediterranean restaurant will be located on the top of The Global Ambassador Hotel and he said it is going to hold the title of the largest rooftop in Arizona. The restaurant named 'théa' will offer a variety of shared plates and it will also feature one epic view.

“We have an occupancy up there, we’ll seat over 400 people up there, so big energy, overlooking Camelback Mountain,” said Fox.

Fox shared he’s had to opportunity many times over the years to be involved with a hotel but being in charge of the entire concept is the only way he wanted to do it.

“It’s going to be our own brand,” he said.

Fox said he’s choosing everything from the design concept to the restaurants, to the tiny details like every towel, sheet and plate. He’s also trying out everything featured in the spa and all the gym equipment, which he shares will not be tucked away like other gyms, but instead will be situated to take advantage of its Camelback scenery.

Fox has had enough success he could take his business anywhere, but he continues to call Phoenix home. The Valley is the spot he keeps choosing to launch this next big leap in hospitality.

“This community has really supported us. We’re really successful because of the people that come into our restaurants,” Fox said.

>> More on Global Ambassador Hotel here

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