A Limited-Service Hotel With Unlimited Connections

Critical Elements of Choosing an Environment That Complements Limited-Service Hotel Brands

By Jeff Green President and CEO, Jeff Green Partners | August 14, 2016

Co-authored by Jerry Hoffman, President and CEO of Nebraska based Hoffman Strategy Group

In biology, symbiotic mutualism describes a dynamic where two species living in close proximity to one another engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. Iconic examples include the oxpecker–small birds that feed on ticks and other parasites found on large mammals–and the clownfish, which live in and around sea anemones, enjoying the protection afforded by their stinging tentacles while providing the anemone with nutrients, and predator and parasite defense.

The commercial real estate market is filled with a number of similarly structured relationships: mutually beneficial connections that serve to raise interest, drive traffic, provide resources and conveniences for shoppers and guests, and ultimately create a positive feedback loop that has a meaningful and sustained impact on the bottom line–for all parties. Those interactions can exist between places and brands, between different retailers, and, most commonly, between different uses in the same commercial space. The dynamism and appeal of well-conceived and thoughtfully designed mixed-use environments is driving an experiential renaissance across the industry.

For limited service hotels, those relationships–and the dynamics that define them–are critically important. Choosing an environment that complements a limited-service hotel brand can literally make the difference between success and failure. From the contours of the marketplace, to the considerations of co-tenancy, hotel decision-makers should have a keen grasp of the mutually beneficial drivers that make or break limited-service hospitality.

Natural Selection

The first step in the process of understanding what limited-service hotels should be prioritizing in terms of market dynamics and co-tenancy is understanding how and why those symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationships are so important. And to do that, we need to get inside the head of the hotel guest.

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.