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Derrick Garrett

As a company focused on Music Architecture as a key guest engagement tool, I stand committed to the hotel community by sharing new and intriguing insights. I want all hotels (large and small) to reap the benefits of engaging your guests based on what you distinctly deem necessary for your specific property, considering what your guests' expectations are. Tools that drive guest engagement through content management (like music and digital signage) are becoming more flexible, such that you can better invest in exactly what you need. They're also becoming more cost effective, compact, and user-friendly. Content management that is flexible and customizable better facilitates the creation of guest memories…on your terms. Here's some insight on what's next… READ MORE

John Tess

Some think historic boutique hotels can offer central locations and authentic guest experiences but can suffer in quality and operational efficiency. Fort Worth's Sinclair Hotel shows how wrong that perception can be. The recently renovated hotel maximized the use of modern technology while preserving the detail of its 90-year old iconic design. Energy consumption was reduced by 35%, while the developer was able to capture 45% of the renovation costs in federal and state historic tax credits. Sinclair Hotel represents an exquisite blending of old and new, capturing the best of both and serving as a wonderful prototype. READ MORE

David Ashen

Is bigger better – or can independent hotels thrive in today's hospitality environment? David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, takes a look back at hotel trends over the past several decades to examine guest preferences over the years and how they tie to changes in culture and consumption. Ashen explores the push away from big brands, including what's driving the shift, risks and rewards, and how hotel owners and operators can successfully make the transition. In this piece, he shares examples of hotels that experienced success and cautionary tales of the challenges ahead. READ MORE

Scott Lee

The past tenderly reveals itself in the present, whether through a curved archway, heritage tree on site, or local relic long buried. To create hospitality environments that embody the local history, charm and character of place, we try not to reference history too heavy handedly or focus so much on the story we want to tell that we lose sight of the site and its heritage. There aren't objective facts about a site or landscape; it's the sensations that drive us. This article explores how to channel historical character in hotel design guided by the site itself and its surroundings. READ MORE

John Tess

Sage Hospitality, founded in 1984, is one of the more innovative hospitality companies when it comes to the historic boutique hotel market. Though Sage also does ground-up new construction, the historic properties that have been developed by the company are iconic. Examples include the Blackstone Hotel, situated overlooking Grant Park in Chicago and host to American presidents and gangsters alike, and Crawford Hotel at Union Station in Denver, which lights up downtown with its neon "Union Station – Travel by Train" sign, among others. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

Millennials, categorized as those people born between 1981 and 1996, have been described as possessing a whole range of shared characteristics and behaviors. In this article we will look at how this generation is impacting the hospitality industry and how hotel design is evolving to attract this rapidly growing traveling customer segment. Hotel companies, developers, owners and operators are developing new brands and reimagining existing brands to cater to this explosive new market. To attract this expanding customer base, new hotels need to address Millennials' preferences for personalization, social media, cultural context, wellness, cutting-edge technology and communal public spaces. READ MORE

Felicia Hyde

From travelers to renters, modern consumers are in search of accommodation that provides the convenience, connection and customization of a "live-work-play" environment. Research shows that this lifestyle and desire for an all-inclusive experience is longer a trend but an expectation. While shaking up many industries, this concept is already transforming multifamily communities nationwide and developers are responding with designs infused with mixed-use design strategies, elements and spaces. The result: innovative and flexible designs that not only attract and boost consumers' experience but deliver optimal return on investment for multifamily owners and hoteliers alike. READ MORE

Jasmine St. Clair

What does biophilic design look like? What does it feel like? Where is biophilic design most prevalent, how is it deployed, and what are the potential benefits of a well-executed biophilic design scheme? Jasmine St. Clair, Vice President of Design and Construction for Prism Hotels and Resorts discusses the growing popularity and prevalence of biophilic design principles rooted deeply in our past, how we have lost the organic connection to design with a modernized approach and what the growing future of biophilic design looks like. She outlines how successful hotels are utilizing the age-old design style to incorporate beautiful multisensory, immersive and soothing spaces guests can enjoy. READ MORE

John Tess

In the competitive hotel industry, it is sometimes hard to successfully market a property's history and heritage in a cost-effective manner. In 1989, the National Trust for Historic Preservation created Historic Hotels of America, a marketing organization specifically charged with capturing the heritage tourism market. Thirty years forward, the organization has grown to represent 300 properties nationwide, including nearly every major brand. The success of HHA can also be found in the average daily room rate and per room revenues. This article explores both the growth of heritage hotels and the programs of HHA. READ MORE

David Ashen

Of all areas affected by changes in the way people live, work and play, public spaces are chief among them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores what's behind the shift, including generational preferences, an increase in remote and co-working environments and a need to surprise and delight guest like never before. Ashen explores how hotel brands can stay relevant to leisure and business guests by reimagining meeting spaces and ballrooms to make way for fresh possibilities and a world of flexibility. READ MORE

Derrick Garrett

New technology is providing a path forward in the pursuit to contextualize the actions of your customers. Eventually, the result will lead to a more accurate representation of their emotions. Quantifying these emotions in a predictable and repeatable fashion paves the way not only to consistent business, but to continuous upselling as well. Fortunately, technology has ceased to be maligned as an unnecessary expense. Not only is advanced technology required now, but it's transforming from an uncomfortable cost to a shrewd investment with quantifiable returns. READ MORE

John Tess

Portland's Harlow Block is the second oldest commercial building north of downtown. Built as a hotel in 1882, it thrived well into the 1920s but then began a descent into disrepair and disinvestment that ended in the building becoming a flophouse before being closed. For the last forty years, people have tried to revitalize the building, only to leave it in worse condition than before. In 2007, Ganesh Sonpatki of Parum Hotels took on the challenge. Despite more than a decade of struggling through code and historic preservation issues, the building is today reborn as a historic boutique 26 room hotel/restaurant. READ MORE

David Ashen

Remember when rooftop bars and cool restaurants were novel? What was once unique enough to rile up crowds and delight hotel guests has now become the norm. Fortunately, hoteliers are now looking for fresh ways to connect with – and inspire – the communities that surround them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, examines what's behind this shift and some top ways today's brands are answering the call for connection, from art installations that excite to socially-conscious initiatives and more, hotels are more than a mere place for heads in beds. READ MORE

Bob Neal

Rooted in history, our nation's capital is full of character and charm, and a focus on preservation is the norm rather than the exception. That's why the design for Columbia Place, a recently completed, mixed-use development combining a dual-branded hotel, residences and retail with historic buildings in Washington, D.C.'s Shaw District, didn't need to invent a new sense of place. Design and architectural firm COOPER CARRY in collaboration with tvsdesign instead built upon its origins. Striking an artful balance between "then" and "now", Columbia Place blends centuries-old structures with modern living to honor history while also welcoming the next generation. READ MORE

Derrick Garrett

Digging deep into many of the complexities of creating successful music architecture solutions, we can move into the future of guest experiences. To me, that means bundling the music content service with the audio and video integration. AV technology today has the potential to be so much more than background music and a screen with static information. There are endless opportunities with the latest technology to drive the guest experience and engagement in innovative and unforgettable ways. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.