Development & Construction
Larry K.  Kimball
Sara Fedele
  • Development & Construction
  • 'No Frills Chic' vs. 'Extra Chic', Design vs. Affordability: New Trends in the Hospitality Industry
  • Running a hospitality business today is much more complicated and requires more resources than in the past. When talking about this topic, the feedback from senior managers of international hotel chains is always the same: "Everything changed... The clients changed, as did their satisfaction threshold." Due to the Internet, social media and the low cost phenomenon, the customer of today is more informed, travels more, and as a consequence, he is much more demanding. He looks for excellence, for sophistication, for unique emotions and experiences, but... he doesn't lose sight of his wallet. Read on...

Fred B. Roedel, III
  • Development & Construction
  • Streamlining Renovations: Six Important Best Practices
  • Renovation projects are successful only when a host of elements come together. The processes and systems that companies develop over time to improve their overall operating performance are often times referred to as Best Practices. Whether you think the term 'Best Practices' is a fad or not, successful companies are often that because they do certain things very well. We have been in the business of owning, operating and renovating hotels for over 40 years and the following is our list of best practices when it comes to successfully renovating hotel properties in an operating property. Read on...

Donald R. Boyken
  • Development & Construction
  • Hotel Development: Are You Ready For the Next Boom?
  • Over the last thirty-five years I have studied demographic and industry patterns. As a CEO, I understood that one of my key responsibilities was to look into the future, anticipate the markets and place my company clearly in the position to capitalize on the market trends. Demographic patterns have clearly been one of those tools I used to anticipate movement in the marketplace. The Hospitality industry has a repeatable pattern of recovery from economic downturns. Those CEOs who provide services to the Hospitality industry will do well to pay attention to these patterns and position their company's production capacity and marketing focus to provide products and services to the industry. Read on...

Fred B. Roedel, III
Fred B. Roedel, III
  • Development & Construction
  • Advancements in New Hotel Construction
  • Correctly integrating new construction techniques and processes into the development of a new hotel can improve the time, cost and or quality of property. In order to realize the value of new construction techniques and processes, it is critical to take the time to fully understand them, their potential value to the overall project and the time and effort their implementation requires. Learn about how your next new hotel development can benefit from new construction techniques and processes by reading this article. Read on...

Larry K.  Kimball
  • Development & Construction
  • Pitfalls of Private Versus Institutional Financing
  • This past tumultuous two year period has seen large and small banks come and go, regulations rise, consumer demand fall, hotels close, and the general public's acceptance of uncertainty about the future. While we are all reluctantly drinking the "new normal" kool-aid manufactured by Wall Street and politicians, commercial real estate developers need to consider the implications on financing. Financing from private sources is growing as new regulations affect institutional lenders so the landscape is changing. This article is a roadmap for successfully navigating the 2011 financing maze. Read on...

Jim  Holthouser
  • Development & Construction
  • Hotel Development in the 21st Century: Adapting to a New Real Estate Landscape
  • As hotel development in North America slowly regains impetus, Jim Holthouser, global head of Embassy Suites and full service brands, Hilton Worldwide, and William Fortier, senior vice president, development, Americas, Hilton Worldwide, examine how the Embassy Suites Design Option III prototype and the Kit of Parts approach have sustained brand viability through the economic downturn and continue to support developers as the industry rebuilds. While site selection is a key component to success in the hotel industry, in-depth understanding of the marketplace and a flexible approach to design are equally vital. Read on...

Fred B. Roedel, III
  • Development & Construction
  • Developers Should Know About Building with Operations in Mind
  • When developing a hotel, operations must be given priority standing. Operations are essential in order to get a hotel up, running, and producing revenue within a set timeline. Developers must spend the time required to integrate all aspects related to operating the hotel into the overall development plan at its inception. Failure to do so will inevitably result in costly delays. If you do not have an operations expert on staff, hire a consultant. Experienced operators are invaluable when it comes to establishing and meeting performance standards for the design, time, cost and quality of a hotel development. Read on...

Larry K.  Kimball
  • Development & Construction
  • The Impact of the California Environmental Quality Act on Hotel Development
  • If you are not developing a project in California and think this article is irrelevant, keep reading because the California Environmental Quality Act("CEQA") is the model for future regulations in your jurisdiction. We will highlight how CEQA shapes development projects but more importantly how politicians, organized labor, and environmentalists often leverage the CEQA approval process to further their self-interests at the expense of developers and communities. Read on...

Fred B. Roedel, III
  • Development & Construction
  • Hotel Expansion: Renovation vs. New Construction
  • There are three options to expanding your portfolio of hotels. You can purchase an existing property and leave it as is, build a new property or purchase an existing one and renovate it. Economics is what will drive your ultimate decision. In order to determine which expansion option best meets your objectives, it is important to properly and reliably evaluate each opportunity by breaking down its time, cost and quality elements in order to ensure success. Read on...

Steven Belmonte
  • Development & Construction
  • Renovation & Repositioning: Do your homework
  • How many extra room nights do you have to sell to make an additional $1.5 million in profit? No matter what size or type of hotel you own/operate or what market you compete in, your answer most likely is "a lot more than I might be able to in today's competitive climate." Ironically, few hotel owner/operators think in terms of extra roomnights needed to be sold when weighing the pros and cons of renovating a property and/or reflagging and repositioning it. This is just one reason why so many renovations and reflaggings fail to recoup an adequate return on investment and why capital markets for such projects today often are deemed too risky. These and dozens of other "cancers" are blackening what otherwise undoubtedly would be a much-brighter profitability picture for lodging. Due diligence means 'do your homework,' which includes many steps along the road to success. Let's look at eight crucial areas that you will need to focus on... Read on...

Larry K.  Kimball
Rollin Bell
  • Development & Construction
  • Trends in Green Construction in the Hospitality Industry
  • Over the past decade, the hospitality industry - like the rest of the commercial real estate industry - has begun incorporating the use of environmentally friendly, green materials into the design and renovation of existing spaces. The result has been new hotels that are not only aesthetically pleasing - but also sustainable buildings that are making a positive impact on the communities in which they are located. The breakthroughs in green construction have been remarkable. Some international hotels, for example, have been able to reduce energy costs by constructing sod roofs consisting of mud and other organic materials. Other hotels have found ways to minimize waste runoff through innovative engineering techniques, while still others have increased energy efficiency through use of natural and ambient lighting. Read on...

Rollin Bell
  • Development & Construction
  • Hotel Lobby Renovations: How to Minimize Guest Disruption
  • Hotel renovations are on the rise. According to a report issued by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, U.S. Hotels spent a total of $3 billion renovating and upgrading guest rooms and public spaces in 2004. Of this spending, a large percentage was devoted to major structural renovation activities. In its biannual Lodging Survey which includes responses from more than 2,150 hotel managers and owners, the American Hotel and Lodging Association reported that nearly 90 percent of participants said to be planning major structural renovations in the coming year. Read on...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.