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Scott Acton

According to IBISWorld, the theme park industry has grown strongly over the past five years to more than $18 billion at a 5.4% annual growth rate, largely driven by the operators securing intellectual property rights to major film franchises and entertainment, bringing films and characters into exciting new features and experiential rides that have been driving revenue and increasing profit margins. These theme parks have long known what intrigues customers and keeps them coming back, and smart hoteliers are now catching on to this trend. Let's take a look at how theme park attractions are impacting the hospitality industry's growth by infusing the elements of the big screen into the guest experience. Read on...

Raul Jose Gutierrez

There is no doubt that the bar is constantly being raised; the global explosion of new businesses, innovative new ideas and the strive for domination from heavy players such as Marriott have created a cycle of competition that pushes all businesses to get extra creative if they wish to have any kind of relevance in the market. Regardless of the industry, a strategic alliance will give a company competitive advantage and the opportunity to enter a broader range of expertise and resources. Partnerships should come about not only for the obvious benefits of expansion but to offer distinctive product lines and skill sets that differentiate them from the competition. Read on...

Deborah Forrest

Hotel lobbies are undergoing an exciting evolution. Architects, designers, hotel owners, and operators are re-thinking hotel lobbies and transforming them into active social hubs that are becoming the heart of hotels. With flexible designs, professionals are creating spaces that support work and play, dining venues and bars that morph throughout the day, communal tables with computers, library settings for quiet reflections, and game rooms for pure play. Read on...

David Ashen

The shift in calling a public area an art gallery first and a function space (pre-function) second was interesting to note. That's because, particularly during the last 10 years, art has become a necessary part of the story for all upper-end, boutique hotels. This is especially true in the United States, where there is scant opportunity for the display of notable, public art. Thankfully, hotels have been filling that niche, bringing excellent art to the general public and making it accessible. Now, quality art is not a nicety; it's an expectation. Read on...

David Ashen

There was a time in America, before the proliferation of national chains, when every town had an independent, family-run hotel. With the rise of soft-branded properties and increasing demand for guest stays in properties reflective of local culture, David Ashen, partner and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, takes a look at the rising popularity of independently, locally branded properties and their how they—and the hospitality industry—are meeting the desire for venues with local color. Read on...

James Coleman

You have probably read the reasons why you should update your hotel's bathrooms. And you're now certain that your bathrooms should be upgraded to save space, please your customers, and give more aesthetic appeal to your hotel. However, choosing to upgrade your bathroom isn't as simple as calling your interior designer and telling them to overhaul everything in your bathroom and hoping for the best. After all, a complete upgrade for the sake of aesthetic might only waste your money when done improperly. You might also end up changing something and displeasing your customers, especially if you don't know what they want Read on...

David Ashen

In the U.S. more than one-third of the workforce has worked remotely. No surprise there. If you haven't or don't sometimes telecommute, chances are that someone you know has or does, at least occasionally. Gallup, which shared the 2015 statistic that 37 percent of workers in the nation have worked off-site—that up markedly from the 9 percent that did so in 1995—also found that the average worker telecommutes twice a month, with 46 percent of remote workers doing so during regular work hours. It's no wonder. Mobile technology has opened the way for on-the-go business owners, executives and others to work remotely while keeping connected with colleagues and clients. Yet, working solo has its limits. Read on...

Deborah Forrest

Transforming historic buildings for hotel use, particularly luxury hotels and boutiques, presents certain challenges and rewards. Buildings that meet the requirements for historic tax credits can be attractive to developers. In addition, retaining an existing building and repurposing it for renewed use is more sustainable than demolishing and rebuilding and the case for adaptive use becomes even more compelling. Creating the identity for a new hotel in an older building repurposed as a hotel brings challenges, especially when the desire is to establish a sense of authenticity. One approach is to develop a curated art collection tied to the location. Read on...

David Ashen

When designing today's hospitality venues, whether they're fully outfitted resorts, boutique hotels, or beach side bungalows, hoteliers are finding ways to streamline design and simplify the guest experience. Muted colors and minimal furnishings in combination with earthy textures, expansive views of the outdoors, fresh scents and liberal doses of natural light not only foster a sense of peace but also help today's travelers set aside everyday distractions for the serenity that simplified living provides. In this article, David Ashen, partner and founder of dash design, explores how today's hoteliers are making the most of the trend to simplify. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

As the Architects and the Interior Designers, ForrestPerkins transformed an iconic downtown office building into a vibrant mixed-use property featuring a 326-key Westin hotel in Downtown Dallas. The adaptive reuse of One Main Place to hotel use required paying strict attention to the historic elements of the building in order to satisfy the requirements of the National Park Service and the Texas Historic Commission for achieving federal and state Historic Tax Credits for the owners. Repurposing this important downtown building has given it new life and has contributed to the burgeoning renaissance of Downtown Dallas. Read on...

Scott Acton

Millennials have become the fastest growing consumer segment in the hospitality industry. Therefore, changes in quality and experiences provided in hotels across the nation are essential in ensuring greater competitiveness and overall success. Millennials, who are heavily reliant on technology and seek non-traditional features in services provided, are looking for a different approach to hospitality; with immersive lifestyle experiences their main priority, resulting in a rising demand for special visual imagery and more comprehensive sensual engagement. Accordingly, it is necessary for the hospitality industry to adjust to this new trend in consumer preferences, demanding that hotels put substantial effort into creating a new environment, appealing to consumers' five senses. Read on...

Paula J. Azevedo

Think of a hotel brand, and it's a sure bet that far more than its logo will come to mind. From the initial booking of a room, to interactions with the valet, bellhop and reception desk staff, to the overnight room's comfort plus amenities, and right through to the check-out process, hotel brands are banking on providing an enhanced guest experience, overall. Certainly, the design of a hotel matters to its brand, but design alone cannot sustain a brand. It can, however, elevate the experience from start to finish. Read on...

Beth Brett

Looking ahead to 2016 travel, there's a new player on Palm Springs ever-growing hospitality scene. Uniquely positioned to further revitalize South Palm Springs, the desert's newest hotel offering, V Palm Springs Hotel opens its doors this March, just in time for some of the nation's top festivals, including Coachella and Stagecoach. Managed by Filament Hospitality a full-service management company and owned by celebrity lawyers, Mark Geragos and Brian Kabateck, V Palm Springs promises to redefine the desert experience. Thanks to Len Cotsovolos, Director of Interior Design for WESTAR Architectural Group, their vision will be fully realized when 140-room hotel opens its doors this March. Read on...

Larry Mogelonsky

Once a hotel is build, it is especially difficult to modify the exterior structure in order to improve a guest's first impression of the property. However, by borrowing curb appeal tactics used by realtors, there are smaller, incremental upgrades that a hotelier can undertake to heighten one's appreciation of the hotel before they even set foot inside. These range from small material changes to the structure and lighting to the inclusion of outdoor art, plants and water. As well, the demand for exterior third places is also a viable option. Read on...

Paula J. Azevedo

The Miami of today - the "It" city of art, tourism, fashion, culture and business - was really born over a decade ago, when Samuel Keller, the former director and leader of Art Basel, an internationally renowned Switzerland-based art show, had the vision to use Miami Beach as a host city for a temporary traveling Art Basel exhibition in 2002. The show did more than bring a good deal of attention to South Florida. Art Basel partnered with the city and its local institutions to create parallel programming, bringing Miami alive with galleries, street fairs and events at its convention center as attendees poured in. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.