The Westin Long Beach Launches $23 Million Renovation Set for Completion Summer 2019

USA, Long Beach, California. May 09, 2019

The Westin Long Beach, 333 E Ocean Blvd, has officially kicked off a $23 million renovation, which will introduce one of Long Beach's hottest new dining concepts, Navy Proof Food & Spirits, the much-anticipated coffee culture hub, Bluestone Lane, as well as a refreshed lobby and revitalized guest rooms to the community. Set to be unveiled in summer 2019, all of the designated spaces reflect a modern, sophisticated style reflecting the property's vibrant California coastline setting.

"This is such an exciting time to be in Long Beach. There is an abundance of growth as well as an overall elevation of our city, and we are thrilled to be able to contribute by offering Long Beach a chic and welcoming revamped destination in the heart of downtown," said John Thompson, Westin Long Beach Managing Director. "Transformations like the one we are currently going through bring a new, fresh dynamic to the overall cityscape of Long Beach but also instill a sense of pride for our loyal team members who have been with us from the beginning. For the community and guests alike, the Westin's new spaces will set the tone for an innovative way to gather, interact and connect."

The Long Beach hotel's modern lobby and lively gathering space is set to transform into a sophisticated and flexible hotspot. A tribute to the beauty of California's scenic coastline, the energized spaces will create a welcoming retreat in the community featuring white marble floors, custom tree canopy rugs, extensive use of white oak, rich tan leather, neutral paint tones, custom art, and dramatic modern brass lighting elements. Art and sculpture throughout the hotel, including a contemporary study of the sea floor topography connecting the coast of Long Beach to nearby Santa Catalina Island, draw from a neutral color palette and organic forms.

Guests will be able to unwind in the reinvigorated restaurant adjacent to the lobby, Navy Proof Food & Spirits, a concept created by Howe & Brown Hospitality, which will showcase the most notable renovations to the property. Featuring an altered floor plan, new furniture, white marble flooring and color scheme, a three-story sculptural chandelier and a 32 x 20 ft., larger-than-life living green wall, Navy Proof Food & Spirits will offer locals and travelers alike new-American fare and craft cocktails with bold flavors. The cuisine will emphasize technique and texture to highlight the versatility of seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced seafood and meat. In addition to lunch & dinner service, the restaurant will also offer a robust happy hour and bottomless brunch on weekends.

Bluestone Lane, an Australian-inspired coffee culture hub, cafe and lifestyle brand, is also coming to the ground floor of the Westin. The coffee-fueled hotspot will serve premium coffee and healthy food options.

Architect Houston Tyner and designer Vanrooy Creative Group have designed the transformation of this iconic property, originally built in 1988. In addition to the lobby and new dining options, guests may enjoy relaxing in one of the Westin's 469 guest rooms and suites, all of which have been revamped with layers of subtle texture featuring geometric accents over a calming palette of gray and gold with hints of sunset inspired pastel hues.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.