Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Merriman

Jerry Merriman

Founder & President, Merriman Anderson/Architects

Jerry Merriman is the founder and President of Merriman Anderson/Architects, Inc. (MAA) in downtown Dallas, Texas. Opening as a small family business over 32 years ago, MAA now comprises 100 employees between their Dallas, Austin, and Charlotte offices.

Mr. Merriman's passion for downtown Dallas developed as a student at The University of Oklahoma. After graduation, he went to work in Dallas with a focus on projects in Dallas' urban core and a goal of contributing to the resurgence of downtown Dallas. Staying true to his commitment, the MAA offices relocated to the corner of Field and Pacific in 2002, where they are still located today. Mr. Merriman's steadfast commitment to downtown Dallas runs deep at MAA and has become part of the firm's long-term planning and culture.

Mr. Merriman's involvement in the community includes serving on the board of Downtown Dallas Inc. for over 12 years, board member and past president of Preservation Dallas, and board member and chairman of The University of Oklahoma College of Architecture's Board of Visitors.

In 2018, MAA was honored to receive AIA Dallas' Firm of the Year Award, American Subcontractor Association's Architect of the Year Award, and a ranking of 43 on Interior Design Magazine's Hospitality Giants list. Mr. Merriman was personally included in D Magazine's 2018 and 2019 Dallas 500 Business Leaders list and MAA has been consistently ranked as a Top 10 firm by the Dallas Business Journal. He also received the OU College of Architecture's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.

MAA has been integral in the design of 30 Downtown Dallas projects over the past 17 years, including the renovation and restoration of more than 20 downtown historic buildings. The team can be credited with redesigning a large portion of downtown Dallas' skyline. Their work has helped developers create the resurgence in downtown living and retail growth. Among the firm's portfolio includes the two largest redevelopments in downtown Dallas' history - the $255 million renovation of The Statler and the $350 million renovation of the 52-story, 1.5 million square-foot former First National Bank tower, 1401 Elm. In 2018, MAA completed the oldest building renovation in downtown Dallas, the historic Dallas High School, originally built in 1907.

Additionally, MAA is currently working on the largest lifestyle retail center in the State of Texas, Grandscape at The Colony. This project comprises over three million square feet of lifestyle venues and two billion dollars in construction costs.

Please visit http://www.merriman-maa.com for more information.

Mr. Merriman can be contacted at +1 (214) 347-8096 or jerrym@merriman-maa.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.