Posted 11/6/2009 - 5:02:22 PM
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What are these?
For the past year, everyone in the hotel industry has been working as hard as possible to maintain the status quo in the midst of a credit crisis, projects falling through and declining rates. But at some point, we all have to pick up the pieces and look forward.
In this issue of NEW LOOK®, we are focusing on just that—the future. Because as an industry, we’ve been through downturns before. Some not as pronounced and as long lasting as this particular one may prove to be, but with experience also comes the wisdom that things will begin to pick up again and when they do, success may hinge on how well prepared we are.
Our cover story takes a look inside three of the top ownership companies in the industry today. Although all of the companies have been negatively impacted, by the downturn, each of them is using this experience to recognize new opportunities, reassess their operations and make changes to become more efficient so that when things improve, not only will they be ready, they’ll be working smarter and hopefully, be more profitable.
Meanwhile, at this year’s annual Architects & Designers’ Roundtable, panelists were prompted to discuss what the next big game changer will be when it comes to the way hotels are designed. Of course, an increased emphasis on sustainability was discussed, but equally as prevalent was the impact of technology. The hotel industry may not be moving at the frenzied pace it once was, but the constant emergence of more advanced technology has yet to abate. As a result, architects and designers are grappling with the task of figuring out not just how to design a hotel that incorporates new technology and accommodates the bevy of gadgets today’s guest takes with them on the road, but to also build an element of flexibility to their plans to prevent them from becoming outdated in a year or two.
This issue’s Trend Report continues the focus on technology in the hospitality world. With the flat-screen television no longer the new, great tech amenity, hotels now are concentrating on media connectivity capabilities and guestroom status control panels that allow for the adjustment of temperature, lighting and drapery. But designers and vendors walk a fine line between trying to make a room that makes a guest’s stay easier and one that is entirely too complicated with too many bells and whistles. Equally as important for designers is making sure such amenities are incorporated into hotels in as unobtrusive a manner as possible.
In a time where everyone is striving to stretch every dollar and value engineer those projects that are going forward, a word of caution—not making allowances for elements that will keep a property looking fresh and meeting guests’ present and future needs might end up being a decision that is more costly in the long run.