Posted 7/30/2009 - 12:00:12 AM
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What are these?
Change is inevitable, and while we all struggle through these trying economic times, it’s important to recognize that as an industry, the importance of quality design has not diminished. If anything, it has been heightened as falling occupancy and RevPAR has left hotels competing more aggressively than ever to maintain market share.
Nowhere is this phenomenon arguably more true right now than in the midscale segment. While those such as Aloft, still in their infancy, debut with a hip, tech-driven style, long-standing heavy hitters such as Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn Express are undergoing their own design evolutions with new prototypes. Regardless of their individual messages or styles, each brand’s goal is the same—to adapt to a new generation of travelers and stay relevant in the minds of ever-increasingly picky and design-savvy consumers who are loyal to the segment.
And the economic crisis has not put a halt to this revolution. Just a few months ago, Wingate by Wyndham revealed plans for a new prototype design for its guestrooms and public space to better position the brand for the future. In this issue of New Look, our inaugural ‘Brands’ Issue,’ we take a closer look at a sampling of these hotel brands reinforcing their commitment to great design. As we start to see the results of these new designs come to fruition across many brands, chances are quite good that when we come out of this downturn, the midscale segment will certainly be putting its best face forward.
Also within this issue is coverage of New Look’s Green Debate Roundtable, which took place this past spring in Las Vegas. A continuation of the cover story from our March/April ‘Green Issue,’ the discussion brought together experts from a variety of fields within the hospitality industry including, architecture, interior design, purchasing, logistics and brands to discuss the obstacles preventing the sustainable movement in the hotel world from becoming more widespread.
While the economic situation and difficulties within the lending market have in many cases forced green design to take a bit of a back seat in the minds of owners, Roundtable participants were also hopeful and confident the movement should begin to rebound with the market. Additionally, panelists also reasserted that eventual legislation may finally bring about a greater emphasis on building sustainable hotels. But in the meantime, those committed to the movement in the industry certainly are by no means giving up. In addition to the coverage within, video of the Roundtable event is also now available to view on our website, www.thenewlookmag.com.
As if further proof of design continuing to flourish in our industry was needed, this issue’s Designer’s Insight column highlights John Hill, Jr. of HKS Hill Glazier Studio’s breathtaking architectural design of the new Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, CA. Taking cues from the Spanish Colonial style of architecture in the city during the 1930’s and 1940’s, the hotel has emerged with a decadent, luxurious look that recalls the splendor of Hollywood’s Golden Era.
Lauren Esposito is managing editor of New Look Magazine. She can be reached at LaurenE@thenewlookmag.com OR LaurenE@hotelbusiness.com