Renovation 101: Tips for Minimizing the Impact on Your Budget & Guests

By Kalen Willis Senior Interior Designer, Hatchett Hospitality | March 20, 2011

Hotel renovation is on the rise. There are many reasons, but chief among them are:

  • brands are issuing Property Improvement Plans (PIPs) for properties that have recently been neglected.
  • banks are acting to enhance the value of assets they have foreclosed on.
  • owners of older hotels are trying to stay competitive with newer properties. And
  • that in today's economic climate, financing is easier for a new look than for new construction.

While the end result of a renovation is almost always satisfying, getting the project done can be hard on a hotel – fiscally and physically. So how can you manage the challenge in a way that minimizes the strain on your budget, your staff, and your guests? Consider these suggestions:

The Required vs. The Recommended

Most brands have some version of a Property Improvement Plan (PIP) or "Refresh Program" that is activated every few years for each property. Typically, there is a list of items that the property is required to revamp and another list of items that are recommended.

Evaluate the recommended items carefully, because doing some of them now is often more economical than doing them later. For example, let's say you're required to replace casegoods, draperies, bedding, and wall covering in guest rooms now but not the carpeting.

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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.