Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Villalon

Joel Villalon

President, Brayton Hughes

As a child, Joel Villalon discovered beauty during each of the many summer vacations he took with his parents and siblings. Whether he was hiking in the painted Grand Canyon or driving through the magnificent Centro Historico of Mexico City, his fascination with travel and the differences he noticed in space, light and architecture in different parts of the world began to take form. He still retains this sense of wonder and observation and brings that focused eye and attention to detail in each of his projects. After receiving his degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Villalon honed his skills with Larry Speck in Austin, Rafael Vinoly Architects in New York City, and SOMA in San Francisco before he ultimately joined BraytonHughes in 1992. Since joining the firm, Mr. Villalon's hand is evident in his team's designs for the Alpine Club in Stowe, Vermont, the Fairmont in Nanjing, China, and the Overlake Golf and Country Clubhouse in Medina, Washington. He also designed several of Discovery Land's golf clubhouses: Kukio Golf Club on Hawaii's Big Island, Mirabel Golf Clubhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona, El Dorado Golf and Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the Madison Club in La Quinta, California. He is currently working on various projects for the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana, the renovation of Ventana Inn in Big Sur, California, the Grand Hyatt SFO in San Francisco, California, the Montage SilverRock in La Quinta, California, and the Montage Spanish Peaks Lodge in Big Sky, Montana. Mr. Villalon's projects have been recognized for design excellence by the AIA receiving local, regional, and national AIA Honor Awards for his work.

Please visit http://www.bhdstudios.com for more information.

Mr. Villalon can be contacted at 415-291-8100 or jvillalon@bhdstudios.com

Coming up in September 2019...

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.