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Hotel Trends: F&B, Design Teams and a Realistic Look at Airbnb

Hilton Cleveland Downtown, designed by Cooper Carry, demonstrates new design trends.

LAS VEGAS – (Realty News Report) – As more and more guest demand an authentic experience, increasing numbers of hotels are creating different opportunities for food & beverage (F&B).

That was one of the takeaways from the “Hotel and Casino Trends:  New Designs and Luxuries” panel at the 52nd annual real estate journalism conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) here Wednesday.

“Traditionally, hotels didn’t consider F&B revenue generating space,” said Manny Dominguez, a principal of Cooper Carry’s hospitality studio, during the discussion of how hoteliers are looking to capture a wider variety of guests for more unique, interactive and social experiences that increase revenue and time spent on property.

“Hotels might have had one door for F&B outlets, now they have multiple doors, so that people can access their restaurants from the street and not just the lobby,” Dominguez continued. “F&B is becoming increasingly important to hotels”

Dominguez added that in the past, a hotel usually had one architect and one interior designer.  That’s changing.  “Now developers bring in several designers for F&B outlets, including a specialist in bar design to help with the diversity of design.”

Daniel Lesser, President & CEO of New York’s LW Hospitality Advisors — another member of the panel — told attendees that the hospitality industry is robust, benefiting from increased U.S travel and also travel from the middle class in China “who want to travel and have the means to travel.”

“America is the greatest country in the world and they want to come here,” he added.

Lesser said some hotel markets are overbuilt while others are underserved.  “The hospitality industry is fairly well in check, and new supply seems to have peaked,” he continued. “There is a shortage of construction labor, which is increasing the cost of development.”

Richard “Boz” Bosworth, a general partner and CEO of the newly formed JC Hospitality — which recently acquired the 1,500 room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas — said there was continued competition for hotel customers.

“In Las Vegas, there are five different customers,” he added.  There is the casino customer, the conference customer, the leisure traveler, the entertainment customer – who comes to see shows—and the local clientele,” he said. “All are contributing to strong business.”

Among Bosworth’s partners in the Hard Rock Hotel venture is flamboyant British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Bosworth said the group plans to turn the Hard Rock into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019. It will be renamed Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Bosworth said the growth of online marketplace Airbnb has slowed.  “When Airbnb first came on the scene, everybody was frightened,” he added.  “But Airbnb growth has clearly slowed. Airbnb has been here for a while and that major negative perceived impact is behind us.”

Hotel design continues to change, emphasized Cooper Carry’s Dominguez, noting the firm won an award for its design of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.

“We’ve emphasized bringing daylight into staff areas,” he added.  “It used to be the staff facilities never had windows. Now, attracting employees today is different and not like 20 or 30 years ago when there were plenty of people for those jobs. Hotels today want to retain their talent, so designers want to make the hotel a good space for guests and employees.”

June 14, 2018 Realty News Report Copyright 2018

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