Tucsonan Sam Fox is a 12-time James Beard Award nominee who has taken his Fox Restaurant Concepts nationwide.

Now hes about to take his brand global. It’s not bad for a Sabino High kid who dropped out of the U of A to pursue his passion.

But as I found out this week, Sam Fox hasnt forgotten his Tucson roots, which began at his family restaurant on Broadway and Swan, The Hungry Fox.

Helping run The Hungry Fox while he grew up, it’s a trade that’s in his blood.

“Its the foundation for how I live my life, how I manage my business, how I interact with my guests, my employees,” Fox tells me. “Its amazing to have those experiences. I wish my parents were both alive to see this but its been a great run.”

That run now includes more than 150 restaurants nationwide, including a half dozen located in Tucson.

But its his latest project that has the hospitality industry talking.

Fox is about to go global, with his Global Ambassador hotel near the base of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix.

A project a decade in the making, Fox says hes been able to draw on his experiences traveling around the world to create this luxury hotel.

I draw on all the experiences Ive had throughout my career and I put my own twist on them. Its a lot of fun, its challenging, its exciting and thats what drives me every single day, is the climb up the hill.

When it opens December 6, the Global Ambassador will feature 141 guest rooms and five Sam Fox original restaurants.

Theres plenty of star power on the project.

Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker, legendary Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald and country super star Dierks Bentley are partners.

They were really excited to be part of our journey and theyve been amazing partners, says Fox.

While construction crews work feverishly to finish the Global Ambassador on time, Fox gave me an exclusive tour. I asked him what his inspiration was for the grand-looking entrance:

So the inspiration for the building is a building I saw in Europe,” Fox answered. “What I love about all the European buildings is the history and the age of all of those buildings. Having this local, or more modernized store front, and a building which is new but will patina over time, and will hopefully stand like its been in the neighborhood for a long time.

The tour quickly moves inside to the remarkable lobby, which includes a bar and a French cafe.

When our guests walk in theyre going to feel the energy. Theyre going to feel like theyre in London, theyre going to feel like theyre in Paris, theyre going to feel like theyre in New York,” says Fox. “That was really the goal. Thats the Global Ambassador.

You feel that energy just trying to keep up with Fox as he moves into Le Ame, one of his five restaurants.

During the day, breakfast and lunch, its a bistro. At night its Parisian steakhouse. Le Ame means the soul and the kitchen here is really the soul of the whole building.

Theres also a poolside restaurant called the Pink Dolphin. Then its on to the upper floors with guest rooms.

Next, Fox shows me one of the very well-appointed rooms.

Great linens, incredible mattress that we worked hard on. And then great views of Camelback Mountain. The whole hotel is oriented around Camelback Mountain.

There will be a huge fitness area and a wellness spa with all of the amenities.

Theyre building out the cryotherapy. We have IV, we have infrared sauna. Then in the locker rooms we have cold plunge, steam, jacuzzi and dry sauna, says Fox.

While thats impressive, thats nothing compared to the rooftop of the Global Ambassador.

This is Thea,” This is our Mediterranean rooftop. All share plates Mediterranean food. Itll be fun, has a party vibe.

As we step outside onto the rooftop patio, Fox gestures at the view.

Imagine having dinner out here on a beautiful evening taking in the sunset on Camelback. We think anyone that comes to Arizona is going to bring friends and family here.

Its the largest rooftop in Arizona with a stunning view, fitting for such a stunning hotel.

Pat Parris: Is this, for the kid from Tucson, kind of the crowning jewel, the crme de la crme, of all of your achievements? Sam Fox: Yeah, I would here say that Ive done a legacy project. I would say this is my legacy project. Pat Parris: And youre pretty happy with it? Sam Fox: Im very happy with it, yeah, excited. Pat Parris: Its beautiful, its just gorgeous. Congratulations Sam Fox: Thank you.

The Global Ambassador opens December 6th. The rooftop will be open in time for New Years Eve.