Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Prifti

Michael Prifti

Managing Principal, BLT Architects

Michael Prifti is an architect of significant diversity with architectural experience in new construction and adaptive re-use projects for institutional and development clients, with single-purpose and mixed-use programs. Mr. Prifti is proficient in complex project management and taking plans from concept to completion. Mr. Prifti and BLTa recently completed the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. He led the team responsible for ensuring that all 65 architecture, design, and construction partners worked together to deliver Revel on time and within budget. Additionally, he was crucial in the design of the back-of-house facilities, making it one of the most impressive and efficient in the industry. Additionally, Mr. Prifti has extensive mixed-use experience which includes the design of DC USA, a transit-oriented retail complex in Washington, DC and the in-progress One-2-FiveLIVE a 28,000 square foot retail and entertainment complex in Harlem, NY. DC USA has revitalized an area that had seen a troubled economic environment and One-2-Five LIVE anticipates to do the same. Mr. Prifti has received a number of honors and awards, including the Thomas Ustick Walter Award in 2010, the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2005, Architect of the Year from the Coalition of Commercial Real Estate Association in 2004 and 1999, and the Richard Upjohn Fellowship from the American Institute of Architects in 2002. He earned both his Master of Architecture and BA degrees from The University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Prifti can be contacted at 215-563-3900 or hmt@blta.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.