Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suggs

Jim Suggs

Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL

Jim Suggs began his architectural career in 1978. He has amassed extensive experience in architectural design, interior design, historic preservation and master planning for private and public, commercial and institutional clients. His experience includes substantial work in the design and planning of courtrooms and courthouses including federal and county facilities, both newly built and historical properties. Highlights include the restoration of the 120 year old Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas incorporating cutting-edge courtroom technology while preserving the historical integrity of the interior, the design of courtroom facilities dedicated to child and family law as well as the St. Mary's University Moot Court Facility. Another area of expertise is in the planning and design of video, television and audio production facilities. Highlights include the design of Maverick Video Production Company headquarters including a full sound stage and two television studios as well as various university Radio/Television & Film facilities. But, Mr. Suggs' true passion, the planning and design of hotels has developed over the last 15 years. His work has included everything from roll-out programs for limited-service hotels, renovations, historic adaptive use, full service and upscale boutique properties. Highlights include full-service, independent high-rise boutique hotels in San Antonio, Texas and San Jose, California as well as Westin and Sheraton resorts in Maryland and the Bahamas respectively. Since joining RTKL in 2007 Mr. Suggs' experience has been focused on large scale hospitality and mixed-use projects expanding his expertise in the planning of hotels and hotel-driven environments. Recent projects include expansion of the Omaha Hilton Convention Center hotel, Lone Star Court (a boutique property) in Austin, TX and the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner in Tysons Corner, VA.

Please visit www.rtkl.com for more information.

Mr. Suggs can be contacted at 214-468-7698 or jsuggs@RTKL.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.