Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bergerson

Tom Bergerson

Principal, AO Architects

Tom Bergerson, AIA, is Principal at AO, an Orange County, Calif-based architectural services firm with 10 distinct design studios serving the entire commercial real estate spectrum.  Mr. Bergerson is responsible for managing hospitality, mixed-use and retail teams leveraging over 35 years of comprehensive architectural services and development management experience to oversee projects across AO's hospitality, commercial, retail, and mixed-use design studios.

Mr. Bergerson is a team builder that seeks innovative solutions to strategically ensure the client's development goals are fully addressed. He has a proven reputation leading project teams and acting as the client's advocate, successfully navigating complicated development hurdles.

Notably, Mr. Bergerson is currently overseeing the design and development of The Inns at Buena Vista Creek, a 426-room, three Hilton branded hotels on one campus in Oceanside. He is also overseeing two Hilton Garden Inn projects in Pomona & San Jose. The San Jose project includes a five-story, 150-room modular hospitality project. His firm, AO Architects is a pioneer in modular design and construction for hotel and residential projects.

In addition, he is designing BANC, a visionary mixed-use development in Irvine, featuring an 11-story branded luxury hotel with an adjoining 6-story office building and boasting amenities such as an expansive roman spa and rooftop beach club. Other projects currently under construction include a Springhill Suites in Downey and the rehabilitation of the historic Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach. He is coordinating the final permits for a dual branded Residence Inn & Courtyard by Marriott in Orange.

Prior to joining AO in 2014, Mr. Bergerson was President at DMB Architects, where he launched and spearheaded the Orange County architecture and planning office in 2009. He also has held various leadership positions with renowned Southern California architecture firms including as Principal, Retail & Mixed Use at Cubellis, and as Retail Studio Director at Carter & Burgess.

Mr. Bergerson is a California licensed architect. He attended the University of Southern California's School of Architecture from 1981 to 1987. He is also an active member of the International Council of Shopping Center.

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

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-bergerson-69306310/

Mr. Bergerson can be contacted at +1 714-639-9860 or tom@aoarchitects.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.