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Daniel Moon

Sam Moon Group's latest hotel development is the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District hotel in downtown Dallas, which will be the first JW Marriott hotel in Dallas. The 267-key hotel will be located at 2000 Ross Avenue and will join the Dallas Arts District, the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation. The hotel's resort-style amenities, food and beverage options and luxurious rooms with sweeping views will draw visitors and residents to the new destination. The JW Marriott Dallas Arts District hotel is projected to open February 2022. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

Many factors go into selecting a new market for a hotel acquisition or ground up development. While development and transaction activity remains robust in the Top 25 markets in the United States, hotel entities are also vigorously exploring secondary and tertiary markets for acquisitions and new builds. Among the attractions are communities with strong employment prospects, a growing economy, outstanding quality of life, access to needed labor, and reasonable living and business costs. Existing and prospective demand drivers, site selection, brand distribution and organizational resources are also part of the decision equation, which will be considered in this article. Read on...

Scott Acton

"What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" may help save relationships, jobs and reputations by hiding mistakes made by visitors to Sin City. It does little to protect the global hospitality industry from repeating the same mistakes made by hotel properties. Las Vegas-based Forte Specialty Contractors CEO Scott Acton takes a look at the design successes and failures in a city where hospitality properties are punished by high-energy, high-occupancy conditions that accelerate wear and tear and provide quicker assessment of design decisions. This article shares what Forte has learned in this hospitality-design laboratory and shares best practices with the industry. Read on...

James Downey

For many years, lodging developers were told that there are three conditions that ensures a level of success when it comes to lodging site development: 1. Location, 2. Location, 3. Location. Today the emphasis for lodging development is based on the following three conditions: 1. Market Position, 2. Market Position, 3. Market Position. Having the right product placed at the right site at the right time in the right market are what lodging developers are facing. This article will explore several site conditions that will try to measure up to those pressing criteria. Read on...

Randy Brown

For hotels, motels, and resorts, insufficiently insulated windows can be a serious problem that literally sends profits "out the window" in the form of excessive heating and cooling bills. Additionally, hotels located near noisy streets, highways, train tracks, airports or urban city walks, keeping external noise from penetrating into what should be the quiet, peaceful sanctuary of the guest room might seem an impossible task. Whether hotel owners seek to reduce heating / cooling energy costs or protect their customers from invasive external noise or both, soundproofing existing windows rather than replacing them, is now an option. Read on...

Curtis Bashaw

Historic buildings are a window into the past. Unfortunately, few of them operate today as they were originally intended to, and, of those that do, only a handful have been successful at it. Today, urban and resort hotels are thriving again. Some are renovations of long dormant properties. Others are down-sized urban grande dames whose owners sold off parts of the hotel as residences and reduced guestroom counts. My mission as a developer and hotelier is to preserve these touchstones from the past in ways that connect them to present-day users. If they are not kept relevant through use, they run the risk of becoming relics or museums. Read on...

Susan Furbay

Though historically associated with residential and low-rise commercial buildings, modular construction has gone more upscale in recent years. What are the benefits, and what should hotel developers consider before going modular? The term "modular construction" once conjured images of small construction trailers or antiquated mobile home clusters just off the highway-not the most alluring draw for high-end developers and top-tier hotel companies, nor for their gentrified clientele. Today, however, the concept of modular construction has evolved, with developers across the U.S. adopting a modular approach to building 2- to 4-star select-service, full-service, and even boutique hotels. Read on...

Jan Kalanda

To insure a sale at a good price, hospitality property owners should approach the market carefully and methodically. In this article, the authors review eight areas and recommend actions owners can take to improve the value of their property prior to sale. Selling your hotel or other hospitality property is a big step. You've invested time and resources in the property, so of course you hope for a good price when you go to market. To make a sale of you hotel happen at a good price you need to be sure you've optimized the property's value before putting it on the market. Read on...

Sam Cicero

There are various project delivery systems commonly used in today's construction renovation projects, Design-Bid-Build, Construction Management and Design-Build. It's important that an owner examines the pros and cons of each in order to determine which system works best for certain considerations such as project goals, costs to perform, timeline and risk management. In the Design-Bid-Build method, the owner engages entities such as the architect/engineer, designer and construction company separately. Since there is little if any connection between the different entities, this process requires a savvy owner who will be responsible for controlling all aspects of the design and construction process. One of the downfalls of this process, however, occurs if there are design errors for which the owner becomes at risk to the contractor. Read on...

Scott Acton

In the hospitality and tourism industries, guests' happiness reigns supreme. With ever-changing consumer demands and evolving technologies, new developments and renovations alike often cause disruptions to the normal function of businesses, impairing the public's accessibility to the venue, or adjacent venues. Hence, construction timelines become a crucial issue with projects situated in high-density tourism areas. Improved time-efficiency minimizes the disturbances in local businesses' operation and profitability. Yet, shorter timelines might come at a price of higher expenses on labor, machinery and materials. Read on...

Jeff Green

In biology, symbiotic mutualism describes a dynamic where two species living in close proximity to one another engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. Iconic examples include the oxpecker-small birds that feed on ticks and other parasites found on large mammals-and the clownfish, which live in and around sea anemones, enjoying the protection afforded by their stinging tentacles while providing the anemone with nutrients, and predator and parasite defense. The commercial real estate market is filled with a number of similarly structured relationships: mutually beneficial connections that serve to raise interest, drive traffic, provide resources and conveniences for shoppers and guests, and ultimately create a positive feedback loop that has a meaningful and sustained impact on the bottom line-for all parties. Read on...

Sam Cicero

When selecting renovation contractors, many hotel owners' and property managers' decisions are based solely on the bottom line. In short, the lowest price bidder wins. Other hotel owners and managers, however, carefully consider the intricacies of their project's scope and can assess the confidence they have in their selected contractor that the renovation can be finished on-time and on-budget. What these hotel owners appreciate that others don't are the many value-added, non-financial advantages that a talented contractor brings to the project. Read on...

Bob Cerrone

The beginning of a hotel renovation marks the start of a ticking clock. When the clock runs out, renovation projects must be complete or the hotel faces consequences that range from losing reservations to unnecessary customer disruptions from a building still under construction during a major meeting or convention. These consequences are far greater than just inconveniencing guests; they mean poor reviews, lost revenue, and visitors who may never stay at the property again. Read on...

Kyle Rogg

Designing a hotel for operational efficiency can save owners money and increase a bottom line, while still offering guests aesthetically pleasing and comfortable rooms with competitive guests. In this article, Value Place's Chief Operating Officer and President Kyle Rogg will discuss how hotel owners can improve a hotel's efficiency through design changes in lighting, flooring, fixtures, geographic building designs, and energy management systems, as well as the monetary savings that can be achieved. Read on...

Julia Watson

For hoteliers, there are many variables to consider when trying to decide which is better - acquisition and renovation of an existing hotel or development of a new one? With so much to consider, it can be challenging to decipher which makes more financial sense. Objectively the end goal is to determine which will lead to profitability faster, but how is that determined? With the right plan of action to navigate the decision making process, the difficulty in reaching an educated decision can be greatly reduced. Regardless of your proposed project, there are a series of steps that can simplify the process when deciding to renovate or build. Read on...

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Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.