A hotel owner’s objective should always be to own and operate
a property that is at the top of its market. But a neglected property doesn’t
stand a chance of doing that. An inspired design renovation can improve the
outer and inner appearance, reputation and curb appeal of any hotel property.
That process demands a clear vision and sound strategy in order to execute it
properly. Knowing what the end goals are, at the beginning, will help flesh out
the budget, materials and plans. Here
are seven things to keep in mind as hotel design and renovation investments are
- Redesign Starts at the Inspiration
When beginning a hotel renovation, both the smallest and largest projects start with inspiration. Design firms will research brand standards and the surrounding area to get a feel for natural color schemes, local landmarks and elements to include. A pattern or color scheme may be frequently used in the city’s logo, on the state’s website or the lighted street signs. Is there a local artist famous for promoting the area? A top of the line revamp may include their work in the hotel lobby.
- Renovation Costs Less Than New Build
Oftentimes a property has been abandoned or neglected for so long that it is, however briefly, considered that a demolition could be a more cost effective route versus a complete renovation. In the majority of cases, the structural components of the buildings are still solid; it is just in need of updates and repairs. Even the most thorough renovation plan normally costs far less than comparable new building,'' reports Hans Sternik, president of Inter-Continental Hotels. (Source)
- Tax Incentives
The tax benefits of renovation can be impressive. Especially if the property is of an historic or national landmark status, credits can range from 15-25%. This is an actual dollar-for-dollar reduction in the owner’s taxes. And if the investment tax credit is utilized often the total equity of the renovation can be recouped in only one year.
- Repeat Customers
Most travelers are creatures of habit. If they are frequently going to the same area for business or recreational travel, they often select the same hotel repeatedly. They see the benefits of knowing the area, staff and nearby amenities. When a renovation takes place at their favorite hotel, they will endure the temporary inconveniences in order to get the new and updated features. Then they’ll brag about it to co-workers and customers.
- Location, Location, Location
A hotel property that is located in San Diego’s Historic Gaslamp Quarter or one that is located next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport have one very strong thing in common – location. When the hotel is in a prime area, redesign and renovation are essential to keeping up with the demand of its frequent visitors. Tourists want the experience of a historic district with the luxuries of today. And especially those that are displaced travelers, the last thing a hotel wants to give them is something else to be unhappy about. Frequent business travel guests may keep coming back out of habit, but if the property starts to look dated or run down, they will change their hotel in the blink of an eye.
- Future Revenue Opportunities
A renovation will allow a hotel to maintain its current corporate and transient customer base, lure back frequent guests that had been staying at the property but left due to its previous condition and even pick up additional accounts that had been staying at “newer” hotels in the market. It can also allow for the ability to have a higher room charge as well as garner press and local attention.
- Recommended By Brand
Regardless of the brand of the property, standards are in place regarding renovations: frequency, package options, budgets, approved vendors, etc. Be sure to verify that any plans (including customization) will be approved by the brand prior to beginning construction to ensure a smooth process. Most brands will allow flexibility to allow owners to make their properties brand standard, yet unique to the locale. Exploring those options with a designer will help ensure that the property represents the brand’s look and feel that guests will expect - with a local twist.