Simon and Norwich Partners Breaks Ground on AC Hotel by Marriott at South Florida’s Sawgrass Mills

USA, Sunrise, Florida. July 03, 2019

Simon®, a global leader in premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations today announced it has commenced construction to bring the AC Hotel by Marriott brand to Sawgrass Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States. The 174-room hotel is expected to open in late 2020 - a timeframe that would coincide with the shopping center's 30th anniversary.

Plans for the eight-story hotel, which is being developed with Norwich Partners, call for modern guest rooms and public spaces designed with sleek furnishings, an open closet system, and elegant art and hardwood floors. There will be an AC Lounge, a communal creative space that features a full bar serving local beers and hand-crafted cocktails, including the brand's signature Gintonic, along with tapas plates. The property will provide a European-style breakfast and a 24-hour fitness center.

"The combination of a stylish, European-inspired AC Hotel by Marriott and incredible energy of Sawgrass Mills will appeal to a broad audience, including locals and international visitors who often stay for multi-day shopping trips," said Patrick Peterman, Simon's Senior Vice President of Development and Asset Intensification. "The project underscores our strategy of adding mixed-use components to our shopping centers that enhance their reputation as an exciting destination to shop, live, work, play, and stay."

The hotel is rising within steps of The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills near its most recent expansion next to the new Seasons 52 restaurant.

"The iconic Sawgrass Mills is a perfect location for one of our European-infused AC hotels, especially since people flock to this shopping center from all over the world," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International, Chief Development Officer, North America, Marriott Select Brands. "The location will also be a hit with members of the Marriott Bonvoy travel program since travelers today tend to seek hotels located within walking distance to entertainment and shopping."

"We are pleased to team up with Simon on this great project at Sawgrass Mills," said David Leatherwood, CEO and Managing Member of Norwich Partners. "This is a phenomenal location and an AC Hotel is the perfect fit for the Sawgrass customer."

Sawgrass Mills is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar renovation to create a modern feel throughout the shopping center that will include updates to the two existing food halls. Entrances will also be embellished with visually-inspiring art elements.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.