241 | Let’s Stay Together: New design concepts connect small-group travelers and local communities


In the 19th and early-20th centuries, hotels in America offered more than room and board. They defined a community by attracting crowds to their lobbies and restaurants and establishing themselves as vital centers of civic life, writes A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, author of “Hotel: An American Story.”

“Hotels,” writes Sandoval-Strausz, “were points of contact between local communities and the larger society beyond.”

As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.”

Modern-day hotels are returning to the communal spirit that early accommodations depended on to attract business from travelers and locals alike.

In today’s episode of Lodging Leaders, we explore the concept of shared space and spotlight companies answering travelers’ quests for more communal experiences – both in their rooms and in the hotel’s common areas.

We hear from Clay Markham, head of the global hospitality sector at CallisonRTKL. We also feature Jason Fudin, CEO of WhyHotel; Philip Bates, CEO of Bode; and Mike Mueller, senior vice president of Super 8 Hotels at Wyndham Hotel Group.

Resources and Links

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

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