The Benefits of Prefabricated Construction in High-Tourism Areas

By Scott Acton CEO & Founder, Forte Specialty Contractors | August 28, 2016

In the hospitality and tourism industries, guests’ happiness reigns supreme. With ever-changing consumer demands and evolving technologies, new developments and renovations alike often cause disruptions to the normal function of businesses, impairing the public’s accessibility to the venue, or adjacent venues. Hence, construction timelines become a crucial issue with projects situated in high-density tourism areas. Improved time-efficiency minimizes the disturbances in local businesses’ operation and profitability. Yet, shorter timelines might come at a price of higher expenses on labor, machinery and materials.

A solution, allowing for both time- and cost-efficiency in projects where construction impacts the sustainability of tourist inflow, is the use of prefabricated (prefab) construction methods.

Prefab is a construction method which features off-site assembly of either the entire structure or parts of its interior and exterior design at a manufacturing facility, with a subsequent transportation of the ready elements to the site. Typically, prefab steel and concrete structure elements, as well as elements of the interior and exterior design, feature fast-assembly compatibility and boost project efficiency compared to traditional ground-up construction. Therefore, projects in areas whose economies are heavily reliant on tourism are a perfect fit for the use of prefab methods.

Among the two most prominent metropolitan areas featuring tourism, hospitality and the entertainment industries as a significant part of their local economies are the greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas. Known as major tourist destinations, extracting substantial revenues from tourist inflow, these two local economies are particularly sensitive to the potential disruptions and hazards caused by traditional construction, rendering the use of prefab methods increasingly prominent.

The greater Los Angeles area is a large urban setting, accumulating wealth from a broad range of tourist activity, concentrated around Disneyland, Universal Studios, as well as the arts and entertainment of Hollywood and Santa Monica. Los Angeles attracted a historic high of 45.5 million tourists in 2015, a 2.8 percent increase compared to the previous year, and this figure is projected to grow further. According to a report by Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism), the leisure and hospitality industry created 25,300 jobs in LA in 2015, with one out of nine jobs in the city supported by tourism. Served by 464,600 industry employees, the sustainable influx of tourists brought some $223 million in tax revenues that year for the City of Los Angeles.

The average daily rate of LA’s hotels in 2015 stood at $158.35 per night, an annualized increase of 7.4 percent, suggesting the tourism-related industry is booming. As such, construction-related disruptions and closures are highly unfavorable for the industry and tourists alike. Aside from enhancing the overall profitability of the industry, prefab methods pass positive effects of the expansion in tourism on to the local manufacturing and transportation sectors, as off-site assembly and transit of the prefab elements to the construction site have the potential to generate many market-sustainable jobs.

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