I spent last week in Las Vegas for the annual Hospitality Design (HD) Expo. Per usual at events such as this, I met with several vendors of hospitality-centric products and services, and searched for emerging trends among the exhibitors and attendees. This year, much of the talk centered on renovations, or more precisely, the inevitable glut of hotel transformations soon to come.
While lending remains in limbo, and while the industry continues to endure an over-abundance of product, the industry is poised to see less new-builds and more transformations as it emerges from the economic turmoil of the last few years. Now that occupancy is increasing and rate won’t be far behind, hotels that aren’t already undertaking extensive renovations are preparing to make them. And, the designers and vendors at HD Expo were very upbeat at the opportunity before them.
Many of the exhibits I visited centered on products and services intended to help hotels reinvent and transform themselves over the next few years. From carpet manufacturers to furniture manufacturers to amenity suppliers, many of the representatives on hand talked about being prepared for the inevitable push to renovate hotels.
That means products and services that can reach hotels quickly. As many vendors told me, when hotels begin to renovate they’ll look for products and designers who can turn around ideas at a lightning pace. And, they’ve spent a good part of the recession preparing for that day.
Hotels undergoing renovations will also be searching for a value proposition in the products and services they choose. They’ll not only want products and designs that are cost efficient, but also ones that meet the needs of the new normal for the traveling public—value-consciousness.
When will the push for renovations begin? In many ways, it’s already started as nearly every day a new announcement of a significant renovation crosses my desk. But as several of the attendees at HD Expo said, we're just seeing the beginning.
Hoteliers: Are you planning, or have you already begun a significant renovation. If so, what has been the biggest challenge in transforming your property?