From: Megan Sullivan, Editor Lodging Magazine

The forecast for 2013 capital expenditures for U.S. hotels is approximately $5.6 billion, according to a recent report by Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University. This would exceed the prior record level spent in 2008 ($5.5 billion). The expenditures in 2013 reflect deferred items and meeting new brand standards, such as redesigned lobbies, business centers and guestrooms; reconcepted restaurants; and added or enhanced fitness facilities.

This is good news for contractors and project managers who may have felt a strain during the economic downturn, as many brands and management companies waived new and existing requirements involving capital expenditures to help out struggling owners. Now that occupancy will be at its highest level since 2007, average daily rate will exceed to the prior peak of approximately $107.50 in 2008, and industry profits are expected to increase by 10 to 15 percent in 2013, owners are in a better position to make improvements.

During the 19th annual Lodging Conference at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, I’ll have the pleasure of moderating the panel “Planning a Successful Hotel Renovation Project” (Sept. 19, 4-5:15 p.m.). In light of Hanson’s recent trend analysis, I believe this think tank discussion will be extremely timely in conjunction with a boom in hotel makeovers. Industry experts will walk attendees through every stage of the hotel renovation process and give advice on how to complete projects on time and within budget.

The panelists will include Craig Sullivan, senior vice president of Parkwest General Contractors; Stephen Siegel, principal of h-cpm; Bill Swank, president of development and construction for Twenty Four Seven Hotels; Peter Welch, president and CEO of Continental Contractors Inc.; and David Winkler, vice president and director of western regional operations for the Allied Group. These experts will address everything from how to establish a clear vision for your renovation project to the most common pitfalls and how they can be avoided. With so many renovation projects on the horizon, I’m sure there are plenty of questions on hoteliers’ minds, and these experts are eager to share their best practices and tips for success.


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