Lost in the trend of upgrading economy hotels to fancier brands and garden-variety improvement projects to keep pace with evolving brand standards are upgrades hoteliers must make to keep their guests happy: technology enhancements.
“We see a fair amount of keeping up with the Joneses, if you will,” Dilip Petigara, CEO of Access Point Financial, says. “But as technology improves, that’s probably where we’re seeing a lot more initiatives. Whether that’s to reduce operating expense to some degree, or it’s to make sure that guests who are traveling with devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones are able to connect to the internet and stream something from their Netflix account while they’re also working on their computer; you want to make sure you have the bandwidth and the systems available within the room to do that.”
Features of modern hotels include smart TVs, uninterrupted wireless, and even the ability to conduct virtual business meetings. Being on the cutting edge also means modernizing back-of-the-house, revenue management, and marketing distribution systems, too.
“Technology changes constantly,” says Greg Dickhens, principal and managing partner at Trinity Investments. “It impacts everything within the guestroom as well as the amenities throughout the lobby and on the food and beverage menus. It’s constantly changing, and that is a challenge for any asset manager to keep up to speed with those technologies.”
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