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.
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More than 1,700 hotels in the U.S. closed in spring 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of August, 1,200 were closed, reported Kalibri Labs. Meantime, 840 new hotels opened last year and 900 are on track to open this year, according to Lodging Econometrics. Episode 337 of Lodging Leaders explores the challenges owners faced in reopening closed hotels as well as what owners and operators did to ramp up business at hotels that were at such low levels of occupancy, they might as well have been closed. We also feature owners who opened new properties during the pandemic. One owner we interviewed opened two new hotels while doing what it took to keep his existing properties in business. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
As America approaches the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on its homeland, Lodging Leaders explores the impact 9/11 had on the U.S. travel sector. We feature hotel industry leaders who were on duty that fateful day and can recall the shock of the attacks, how they cared for frightened guests and how the event changed hotel operations. They also draw parallels to the coronavirus crisis and remind listeners of the resiliency of the nation’s hospitality industry.