HOTEL BUSINESS REVIEW

SEPTEMBER FOCUS: Hotel Group Meetings

 

Optimizing Outdoor Spaces for Maximum Usability, Enjoyment and Safety

By Jon Chase Vice President of Engineering at Trex Commercial , Trex Commercial | September 2022

Following years of being fundamentally confined to our homes, people everywhere are eager to gather, celebrate and enjoy face-to-face time with friends, family, peers and colleagues.

We are seeing – and celebrating – the return of weddings, class reunions, industry trade shows and corporate events.

However, safety and social distancing continue to be underlying concerns and considerations that will continue to impact event planning for both the near and long term.

With this in mind, outdoor spaces have become more important than ever to hotels, resorts and other hospitality venues. For many, in order to even survive during the pandemic, they had to make the most of their outdoor areas by finding creative al fresco solutions for everything from spa services and dining to entertaining guests and hosting special events in order to maintain viability and profitability.

Our design and engineering teams collaborated with countless hotels, resorts and convention centers throughout the pandemic and over the past 30+ years to optimize the function and comfort of outdoor spaces for maximum functionality, safety and enjoyment. Three solutions we have seen gain traction – and ones we predict will continue growing in popularity – are glass windscreens, platform pool covers and modular staging systems. Each of these represents a smart, versatile investment for venues looking to offer outdoor options that deliver enhanced comfort and a heightened experience for guests – both literally and figuratively.

Reach New Heights

In order to make full use of a facility's outdoor space, think vertically. If your hotel or resort has an unused rooftop or terrace, this space can be transformed into a breathtaking, open-air dining room, relaxing pool or patio setting or common area for hosting events. But, it's important to keep Mother Nature in mind. Nothing ruins an al fresco experience more than gusty winds and blowing debris. A glass windscreen system offers an ideal solution for protecting patrons and property while enhancing aesthetics and the overall comfort of an outdoor space.

At the AC Hotel by Marriott in Portsmouth, NH, guests can experience an "elevated" dining experience at the hotel's rooftop restaurant courtesy of a glass windscreen surround. Designed to handle wind loads of up to 80psf, the custom-engineered system features a 54" glass guardrail that delivers unparalleled wind protection, while also providing panoramic views of the beautiful Piscataqua River and bridges.

Ideal for use around balconies, pools and outdoor dining areas, glass windscreen systems divert wind to create a more pleasant environment and outdoor experience. Offered in post-supported and frameless designs, these systems enable architects and facility owners to create open, airy environments that celebrate surrounding views while protecting property and keeping patrons comfortable and sheltered from wind and debris.

When choosing a windscreen system, keep installation in mind. Look for options designed with snap-fit assemblies. Unlike traditional windscreens that require installers to lift large panes of glass and slide them in from the top, those with snap-fit systems allow panels to be positioned and held in place with VHB tape while the next panel is installed. The cover then snaps in from the front, safely securing the glass panels.

Glass railing is another great option for hotels and resorts looking to create protection around outdoor spaces without detracting from views. At the OMNI Louisville Hotel & Residence, glass guardrail surrounds the third-floor rooftop pool, providing an enjoyable environment where guests can relax and take in the spectacular views of "River City." Similarly, glass railing with clear, tempered, laminated panels and SPG interlayer keeps the rooftop terrace and outdoor spaces safe and stylish at the AC Hotel by Marriott Greenville.

Windscreen offers optimal versatility with its innovative post-free, clam-supported design.

Walk on Water

Another clever solution for optimizing outdoor space is with a custom pool cover. Using a series of specially designed platforms and supports, venues can easily transform their pools into additional flooring space to host meetings, receptions and other outdoor activities. Custom engineered for spaces that hold frequent special events, a platform pool cover is more heavy-duty than a typical cover and can be used as a flooring surface, stage or even a dance floor.

At the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, guests can swim by day and then dance the night away in the same area thanks to a custom pool cover system. The XS Nightclub pool cover was designed to perfectly install into/over the outdoor pool to provide a smooth surface for patrons and performers. The black polyvinyl platform sections with custom guardrails can be set-up or taken down within two hours by just four people – a great benefit for the hotel since it hosts a variety of events and entertainers year-round.

Pool cover platforms employ enhanced coatings and undergo extensive testing on submerged metal parts to ensure they can withstand the most intense pool chemical conditions. They are available in a wide variety of styles and finishes to complement virtually any setting. Surface options range from hardwood and polyvinyl to acrylic, a particularly popular choice for its translucence. Acrylic platforms create a glimmering effect, especially in the evening. They can also be frosted or opaque and allow accent lighting to illuminate through the flooring for added dramatic impact.

This custom platform was designed to be a pool cover runway.

The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California utilizes custom acrylic platforms to create a pool cover that serves as a focal point for outdoor events. Underwater lighting creates ambiance and illuminates the surroundings through the transparent platforms. Around the edge of the pool, custom glass railing ensures clear sightlines of the resort's world-class golf course.

At the Galaxy Resort in Macau, China, a pool cover constructed of clear acrylic platforms delivers the appearance and experience of "walking on water," which is particularly fitting since the cover was initially designed to serve as a fashion show runway. The Four Seasons Hotel in Macau also employs a transparent pool cover. The specialized system has been built to perfectly fit the pool space and seamlessly blend with the surrounding walkways. Over the years, the pool cover has been utilized for car shows, fashion shows, weddings and more.

For hoteliers looking to create a one-of-a-kind experience to entice guests and bring in new business, a custom-engineered platform pool cover is a no-brainer. This smart investment is the epitome of asset utilization, ensuring that no outdoor space goes underutilized.

The pool at the Wynn Las Vegas doubles as the Surrender Nightclub.

Own vs. Rent

Speaking of smart investments, venues that host multiple events each year – whether outdoors or in – can benefit tremendously from purchasing their own modular staging components rather than renting equipment for every occasion. With a quality set of essentials, a venue can accommodate virtually any staging need and, while the upfront investment may seem daunting, the return on that investment is quickly realized in terms of convenience, time and resource savings and peace of mind.

Owning a customized set of quality staging components gives hospitality venues a sense of comfort and control over at least one aspect of an arena filled with variables. Consider this… with a core set of basic components – including portable platforms, bridge supports, guardrails and stairs – staging concepts can be created for any of the following purposes:

Presentations

Whether you're hosting a single keynote speaker or a commencement ceremony for an entire graduating class, modular components provide flexibility to customize staging areas with ease. Versatile, durable and easy to transport, these core components can be reconfigured throughout the year to accommodate the ever-changing demands of hospitality environments. Not only does this save on rental costs, but storing equipment on-site means stages can be quickly and efficiently set up to save both time and worry.

Receptions

Just as platforms can be used to cover pools, they can also create a level surface over uneven ground or protruding outdoor structures. From staircases and sidewalks to operational equipment and other eyesores, virtually anything can be covered with the right set of platforms and supports, and integrated into an ideal setting for outdoor weddings, banquets, dances or other events.

Concerts/Live Performances

From happy hour bands to high-profile headliners, portable staging elements can convert unconventional spaces into showstopping settings for concerts and live entertainment. An option that is becoming increasingly popular with hospitality venues is a mobile or rolling stage. Consisting of a support structure on casters and topped with platforms, this type of system can be expanded with added platforms to create a larger stage area or made smaller for more intimate performances. A good example is the custom rolling stage system for The Mission Ballroom, a new state-of-the-art concert and entertainment destination in Denver.

Multiple rolling stages can be combined to create a larger performance area or expanded space for safe distancing. The system also features a 20' x 60' non-rolling thrust that can be added to the rolling system to create an expansive staging surface of 60' x 60'. When not in use, the support frames serve as a convenient deck storage adding convenience and value.

Platforms can be used to create a level surface to host wedding ceremonies.

When considering and selecting essential components, particularly for outdoor use, keep durability and resilience in mind. One timely innovation that really took off during the pandemic and has continued to experience tremendous demand is an all-weather platform. Designed specifically for outdoor use, these ultra-durable, demountable units feature impressive load ratings and are made with UV and water-resistant surfaces that will withstand virtually any type of weather conditions without rotting, swelling, warping or absorbing moisture. The composition of these platforms is also impervious to insects, such as ants, termites, moths, bugs and beetles, making them ideal for both temporary and long-term outdoor placement.

If there was ever a time to assess your hotel or resort for underutilized outdoor space, it's now. By utilizing innovative solutions such as glass windscreens and modular staging systems, hospitality designers and property managers can optimize their outdoor spaces and provide an elevated guest experience – both figuratively and literally.

Mr. Chase Jon Chase is vice president of engineering for Minneapolis-based companies Trex Commercial and Staging Concepts, subsidiaries of Trex Company. Mr. Chase has expansive experience leading project teams on multi-million dollar commercial and sports projects including project management, capacity planning, scheduling and overall execution. He is also responsible for product development initiatives to support business growth strategies with a history of innovative and successful product launches to meet company goals. Trex Commercial engineers and markets pre-engineered and custom railing systems and has supplied customized railing solutions for some of the largest projects in North America from major sports arenas to government buildings. Staging Concepts is the industry leader in portable, demountable solutions such as portable staging, field modifications, ramps, barricades, media risers and more. Extended Biography & Contact Information

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In the event that you have chosen to have your membership automatically rebilled, unless and until you notify HotelExecutive that you wish to cancel or terminate your membership to HotelExecutive, you hereby agree and authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to automatically renew your membership to HotelExecutive on a continuing basis and to charge your credit card (or other payment means you have selected) to pay for the ongoing cost of your membership. You hereby further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card (or other approved payment means you have selected) for any and all purchases of products, services and entertainment provided to in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive.

13. PRIVACY POLICY

The following is the Privacy Policy for HotelExecutive

We can be reached via telephone, email, or online at our contact page. When you visit our site we do not log any information regarding your domain or email address. Information Sharing: We do not share user information with any third parties other than via press release distribution as described below.

Hotel Newswire is a newswire service that distributes press releases on behalf of our users. If you decide to submit a press release for distribution through our system we will transmit your entire press release including any personal information therein contained to our media contacts and online distribution points including search engines. This is the only redistribution of your information that we engage in. Your submission of press releases through our system indicates consent with this policy. The information we collect during your registration process is used to notify users about updates to our service and inform users of any special events hosted by Hotel Newswire. This information is not shared with other organizations for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Cookies: Our system requires the use of cookies to enable the user to log back into our website to access information from the newswire, without having to log in each time using the required username and password.

If you do not want to receive email from us in the future, please let us know by following instructions included in our communication with you. Users who supply us with telephone numbers online may receive telephone contact from us regarding their account, or informing them of new products and services available on the HotelExecutive website. If you do not wish to receive such telephone calls, please edit your account and remove your phone number from your account profile. This can be done from your user account menu.

Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have any relationship with any ad server companies. From time to time, we may use customer information for new uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at any time, we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website periodically.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to all information (including proprietary information) that we maintain about them. Users can access this information by logging in to their account.

Security: We always use industry-standard encryption technologies while transferring and receiving user data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you on our site. We do not store credit card information in our systems.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us.

Jessie Burns
Steve Turk
Chris McAndrews
Po-Ju Chen
Mark Holzberg
Wendy Stevens
Lucille Yokell
David Gross
Jed Arrogante
Jeff Dover
Jorey Friedman
Brenda Fields
Allison Handy
  • Hotel Marketing 2.0
Coming up in October 2022...

Hotel Revenue Management: Every Square Foot Matters


Traditionally, hotels have employed a room-centric revenue model. The primary focus was on pricing strategies that could generate the most revenue from the sale of rooms. However, the pandemic has forced hoteliers to look beyond room revenue exclusively, and to maximize all available revenue streams. How is this accomplished? By re-imagining the use and function of every square foot of a hotel property, and how revenue is generated from it. For example, some hotels are rethinking their spaces for different uses - offering rooms for private day meetings, or offering suites for private dinners. Other hotels with meeting spaces are moving beyond daytime conferences and events, and figuring out how to book those spaces in the evenings, on holidays and weekends, for such things as exhibitions, workshops, rehearsals and pop-ups. Still other hotels are leasing work spaces or parking spaces to businesses in their local market. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on how some leading hotels are re-inventing their revenue management strategies.