Throughout his life, Scott has been involved with the Travel Business. He has also always been involved in the communities his company serves. Scott has sat on the boards of many hospitals and charitable organizations in New York. He was the president of the local Chamber of Commerce, and president of the 5 town United Jewish Appeal. He has received Village, County and Congressional commendations for his work in the New York communities. Socially, he was the Commodore at the Lawrence Yacht Club. In his earlier years Scott sat on the board of the CTA (Caribbean Tourism Association), a private sector organization that engaged with government members of Caribbean nations to interact and help guide them in Tourism Development for their respective nations. Scott was also involved with many of the world’s major airlines and helped to create packaged tours that the airlines advertised nationally. Today Scott is involved with many of South Palm Beach County’s charities and donates cruises as auction prizes at their various fundraising events. In the last 5 years alone, Scott has helped to raise well over $100,000 in charitable funds through his cruise donations.
You won’t meet a more well-traveled and charismatic man than Scott Grody. Everything is interesting about him: his background and upward climb in business, the artifacts and design that decorate his home collected and inspired from his many world travels, and the desk top computer set up in his office that boasts so many screens it looks similar to the multiple TVs watched by genius alien (David Bowie) in the film “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” Scott has even managed to orchestrate a friendly coexistence between his two dogs and two cats.
Born in Brooklyn, Scott had early entry into his family’s travel business. Started in 1938, “Reliable Bus Company” was the only bus company that could transport travelers from Brooklyn to the Catskills with no need to go into Manhattan to get a Grayline. In 1946, the year Scott was born, Reliable evolved into a full-blown travel agency named Reliable Travel Bureau. In 1955, when Scott was nine years old, he experienced his first cruise at which time he remembers that in preparation, he and his six-year-old brother were taught (“drilled into their heads”), “Please,” “Thank You,” and “No Fighting.” By age 16, Scott said, “my father kept me o¢ the streets by having me work at the travel agency.” However, by age 21, he wanted to venture out on his own. Joining with three other travel colleagues, he created an ingenious tour operation called “Vacation Ventures” that sent chartered flights from New York to Las Vegas for 3- or 4-night stays at the Stardust Hotel. “It included air, hotel transfers and breakfast for $179 per person,” Scott said. “Isn’t that incredible?”
When Scott was 29, his father became ill, and had asked Scott to return to the family business. When his father passed away in 1976, Scott took over the business and worked hard. Over a period of 20 years, Scott had grown their four retail travel offices in the New York area (that included Brooklyn, Cedarhurst, Franklin Square and LeFrak City) into a national powerhouse. They had over 200 employees and 47 offices coast to coast with sales of about $100 million. His company specialized in Corporate Travel Management, Luxury Vacation Travel, and Group Tours and Incentives.
In 1997, Scott sold it all, moved to South Florida and after 34 years decided to try something different yet still involved in travel. He advanced the idea of a lease with option-to-purchase in two South Beach Hotels, The Tudor and The Palmer House that were in the most chic area behind the mansion owned by fashion designer Gianni Versace. Though the hotel business seemed like a natural career move, Scott realized that he preferred travel and a year later was back in Boca. He decided to create and produce successful travel television shows that focused on different states, cities and towns across the U.S. His “Portrait of America” shows aired on The Discovery and Travel Channel and were hosted by Shantell Smith, a former Miss America.
Not much later, Scott decided he wanted to be back in the retail side of travel that he enjoyed so much and “Scott Grody Travel” was born. He describes it as an “Exclusive Client-Driven Business” because, it is an extraordinarily personalized business rather than being a massmarket, impersonal Internet or chain type of operation. Every client’s need is attended to in great detail. Many of his clients from New York, and LA “go back for generations” and now include grandchildren of original clients. “95% of my clients are repeat customers,” Scott said, “with 5% being referrals.” Hard working is an understatement when describing Scott Grody. He works 10 to 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. “Sometimes I can take a 15- minute ‘power nap’ and then it’s back to the action,” he commented. Though the core of his clients are from New York and LA, he handles many others nationwide and worldwide, with a loyal client base in England and Australia as well.
After a half of century of acquired travel industry contacts many of whom who are now also friends, Scott has a global reach when it comes to getting things done. “Men and women who entered the business when I did (and stayed) are now presidents or top executives at some of the world’s largest airlines, cruise lines, tour operations and hotels.” Despite the 70 to 80-hour work week, Scott explained, “When you love what you do it’s not work. I treat clients the way I would want to be treated AND my level of being well treated and getting satisfied is very high.” Scott described a key feature of his services as “unrivaled responsiveness.” He strives for immediate and detailed responses to clients’ requests. “Knowledgeable and accurate travel guidance on a personalized level is rare today and perhaps that’s why my business has, from the start, enjoyed substantial year over year growth that far exceeded my expectation,” he remarked.
It is easy to see how and why Scott Grody is so well known in the travel business and community. He summed it up simply: “I love my life, I love what I do and I love living my life to the fullest.”
Scott lives in Delray Beach with his significant-other Nancy. He has a son in Texas, a daughter in Los Angeles and five grandchildren.