Lifsey and Pinnacle Plan June 2019 Opening of Current, a New-Build Boutique Hotel as Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection

USA, Tampa, Florida. May 13, 2019

Development company, Lifsey Real Estate & Holdings, and Pinnacle Hotel Management announced today the opening of their joint venture - the new-build Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel - Current. The contemporary boutique hotel, specifically designed to offer guests sweeping views of the Bay from every room, is projected to start taking reservations this summer.

Current is a ten-story, 4-star hotel with 180 luxuriously appointed guest rooms. Amenities include but are not limited to a water-facing 9th-story fitness center, infinity-style pool, a full-service restaurant, Tampa Bay's tallest rooftop bar, and a 2,300 square-foot ballroom. Guests also have access to a private beach with complimentary water sports equipment and firepits.

The restaurant, Julian, is housed in the first-floor lobby area and named after the Lifsey family patriarch, Julian Lifsey. It will offer lunch and dinner, featuring internationally-inspired small plates with a focus on incorporating the freshest local ingredients available. The hotel is also home to Rox, a rooftop lounge on the 10th floor, overlooking Tampa Bay's skyline, with a floor-to-ceiling glass atrium, and open-air terrace.

Chef Andrew Basch, former executive chef of the Marriott Suites Sand Key and Watercolor Grill House, leads all culinary activity throughout the hotel. With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Basch challenges mainstream food and beverage concepts, serving innovative, carefully crafted dishes and creating memorable dining experiences for guests and visitors.

"Current has been a very personal, longstanding project for myself and my family, and we are proud to finally see our vision come to life," said President of Lifsey Real Estate & Holdings, Stan Lifsey. "It's rooted in history but also embraces the present by staying current, and that's what makes it a stand-out in the Tampa Bay area."

True to its name and design, Current is home to a rotating art gallery showcasing local artists' work. All art is curated by the Lifsey family, and seven pieces by the late Theo Wujcik are currently on display and throughout the hotel, as well as a sculpture by Mark Aeling with MGA Sculpture Studio. The first exhibit will feature work by abstract expressionist Alberto Murillo, whose art is also featured in a number of selected collections including the Givenchy Family Collection, among others.

Current embraces the Tampa Bay community every chance it can, incorporating local elements into the hotel itself. Oxford Exchange, a dining and retail establishment near Downtown Tampa, has curated the hotel's retail space, and local coffee roaster Buddy Brew will manage Current's lobby coffee bar.

Offering guests panoramic views of Tampa Bay, Current is ideally situated on the edge of Tampa's business district, approximately five minutes from the Tampa International Airport and ten minutes from Downtown Tampa. Its positioning allows easy access to the area's many idyllic beach destinations and corporate headquarters in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

"An urban oasis, Current is authentically unique, showcasing Tampa Bay's best assets." said Pinnacle's Vice President of Operations John Marks. "We are proud to be a part of a development that values and supports this community and its economy."

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Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.