Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Neal

Bob Neal

Principal, Cooper Carry

As a principal in Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio, Bob Neal has directed the design of hospitality-related projects in the United States, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Neal is particularly focused on the design of upper upscale and luxury properties and specializes in conference and convention hotels, boutique properties and resorts. He has practiced architecture for 39 years, specializing in hotel design since joining Cooper Carry in 1988. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the National Register of Historic Places as well as various other national and local associations for design excellence and urban responsibility.

In additional to the development of Columbia Place in Washington, D.C., Mr. Neal is responsible for leading recent projects including the 1,175-key Washington, D.C. Marriott Marquis Hotel & Convention Center; the 600-key Hilton Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio; the 217-key Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina; the 325-key Hotel at Avalon and Alpharetta Conference Center in Alpharetta, Georgia; the forthcoming 800-key Kansas City Loews Hotel designed for maximum connectivity to the new Kansas City Convention Center; and the historic renovation of the 88-year-old, art-deco style El Paso Plaza Hotel into a 131-room, upscale boutique travel destination in El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Neal received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and worked as a designer at Harry Weese & Associations and Clark Tribble Harris and Li prior to joining Cooper Carry. He is licensed in 21 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration.

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

Mr. Neal can be contacted at +1 404-240-9532 or bobneal@coopercarry.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.