hotel industry anticipating continued construction growth; emphasis on smart technology features noted
A steady pattern of growth in new hotel construction is expected to play itself out for the rest of 2019, with more than 5,500 projects currently in the planning stage across the country.
According to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Lodging Econometrics, those 5,500 projects work out to just under 670,000 new rooms.
But while the total amount of new hotel construction nationally remains strong, it is still below the 5,800 projects recorded in the pre-recession year of 2008.
Lodging Econometrics is additionally reporting an upsurge in the construction of upscale, upper-midscale, and midscale properties.
“Luxury room counts and upper-upscale project counts are also at record levels,” reports the industry analysis firm.
What these new hotels will ultimately look like will vary greatly depending upon such factors as market demand and region.
But, increasingly new hotel design is expected to place an emphasis on such things as LED lighting, artificial intelligence, video projection, and even robotics.
“Hotel designers must think beyond the bricks and mortar as emerging technologies play a more prominent role in the guest experience,” reports the magazine Building Design + Construction.
This embrace of smart technology is expected to particularly make itself known in both upper-end hotels as well as destination resorts.
Smart technology will include offering guests the opportunity to implement temperature control, ambient light levels, and even aroma features from smartphones or in-room control panels.
Despite the demand for such features, and the overall health of the hotel construction business, industry analysts say the same labor shortages and material cost increases challenging the rest of the construction industry are also making their presence known in building hotels.
Notes Hotel and Motel Management Magazine: “Lumber, steel, aluminum, and cement were the largest culprits for cost gains” in 2018.
The magazine adds that the 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs imposed last year by the Trump Administration, coupled with a precarious trade relationship with China, “are certain to have an effect on material costs moving forward.”
By Garry Boulard
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