5 Key Trends in the Hotel Construction Industry
Last year, almost 3,000 hotel construction projects were active in the US at the beginning of the year, which represents more than a 10% growth from 2013. As the economy recovers, many hotel owners are looking into ways they can attract new clients and increase profitability. Today more than ever, it’s all about creating authentic, one-of-a-kind guest experiences.
Here are some key trends evolving as hotel industry growth continues:
Going Green and Providing Context
Millennials in particular are becoming increasingly conscious about protecting their environment. In response to this, there’s been a growing trend in the hotel industry to offer improved water and energy conservation services beyond O+M procedures such as laundry.
Guests are looking for enhanced experiences that come with high-quality room control systems. These systems typically include air conditioning controls, ventilation, heating, and in-room lighting, as well as occupancy sensors that save energy by lowering thermostats in unoccupied rooms. By providing ecologically responsible features such as these, you’ll align your hotel services with guests who desire a holistic, environmentally sound setting.
The green trend goes beyond efficient mechanical systems. Guests want to stay in hotels that also “look” green. Today clients are looking to get away from standard cookie-cutter hotels and would rather stay in authentic hotels that reflect their setting.
Renovating Historical Buildings
Repurposing facilities such as factories and old office buildings is a great way to infuse new designs with a bit of history and offer a truly one-of-a-kind guest experience.
Structures that are most in demand for this type of renovation date back to the late 1800s and into the first few decades of the 20th century. These building make good candidates for reuse because of their natural ventilation and good floor-to-ceiling height.
While there are tax credits and local development incentives available to alleviate costs, transforming these structures into luxury hotels is no simple task. Renovators will have to ensure that key historic features are preserved. These features are usually decorative details that apply to lobbies, guest rooms, and the HVAC and MEP systems.
Renovations and Upgrades
Many hotels are leveraging renovations as a way to shift their business model and change their target market. Whether your goal is to remain relevant and up to date with current trends or appeal to a wider demographic, renovations to room and guest bathrooms are necessary from time to time. Look at renovations and upgrades as opportunities to not only appeal to your existing clients, but also attract a new client base that may value your updated features, amenities, and aesthetics.
Mixed Use Projects
Prior to the economic downturn, large scale mixed-use projects were popular among development models. This model is resurfacing in urban areas such as New York, where hospitality projects are being integrated with entertainment venues, retail storefronts, housing, and office spaces. The trend today is to link hotel projects to bigger developments. Being part of a bigger story such as a theme park or convention center can help increase a property’s visibility, with the goal being that the hotel becomes the ultimate main attraction.
Select Service Hotels
Some hotels have achieved great success by focusing on features they don’t provide, rather than on those that they do provide. These select-service hotels represent one of the most popular models for new construction projects for US chains.
Select-service hotels may incorporate modest eating facilities, small meeting rooms, indoor or outdoor pools, mini-convenience stores, guest laundry facilities, business centers, and fitness rooms. What these hotels don’t provide are restaurants and banquet facilities.
Select-service hotels have become more popular today because of the demand for increased value. Guest are willing to pay for services they want, and don’t want to pay for services they don’t want. By cutting out extraneous services and focusing on select key services, hotels can align their offerings with the needs and interests of their clients. This type of business model requires a deep understanding of the clients’ behavior and motivational factors.
As the economy recovers and the hotel industry continues to grow, cookie-cutter approaches have become yesterday’s model. Today clients want intimate experiences that mean something to them, and are willing to pay for that authentic experience. Create an environment that your guests will remember, and they’ll keep coming back for more.