Distribution Partners are Critical to a Successful Renovation

By Bob Cerrone Director of National Accounts - Hospitality, Ferguson | September 20, 2015

According to the U.S. Travel Association, spending by U.S. residents on domestic travel has rebounded to around $928 billion from a recession-low of $700 billion in 2009. Furthermore, hotel occupancy rates have steadily trended up since the recession, going from 54.6 percent in 2009 to 64.4 percent in 2014. Price Waterhouse Coopers projects hotel occupancy rates to be 65.8 percent by 2016 as consumer confidence continues to grow.

The resurgence of the economy has prompted hotel groups to move forward with planned renovations that were previously stalled. Some of these renovations are necessary to comply with brand property improvement plans (PIPs), and some are to keep up with the demands of savvy travelers looking for clean, updated accommodations.

There’s a reason hotels delay hard renovations to just every 10 or more years; rooms under construction are rooms that are unavailable. Every day a room is unavailable is a chance that a potential guest will choose to stay at a competing property. When the time comes to update plumbing, fixtures, lighting and HVAC units, hotel owners turn to their designers, procurement firms and contractors to make renovations seamless and within budget.

Hard renovations can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to complete. Within this timeframe, several crucial steps involving many different players must take place: purchasing, demolition, delivery, installation and clean-up. Any missteps or hang-ups during the process can cost the hotel time and money – both of which are required to come within budget or else the property begins to experience unplanned revenue loss.

While some complications are unforeseeable and unpreventable, there are steps hotel owners and procurement firms can take to greatly reduce costly errors. Those steps involve an important partner in the renovation process: the distributor. Take advantage of the distributor’s knowledge and capabilities to avoid some common, yet avoidable, costly complications:

Complication #1: The Products Specified in the Design Plans are Impractical.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.