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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Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.