277 | Contagious Ideas: Hospitality brand and design experts search for creative solutions in the age of COVID-19


In the introduction of his book, “Hotel, an American History,” A.K. Sandoval-Strausz writes: “The hotel as we know it today did not evolve randomly or naturally, nor did it develop as some sort of automatic response to structural needs. Rather, it was the deliberate creation of an identifiable group of people who lived in a specific place and time.”

Hotels, he writes, are an artifact of an epochal shift, an important period in history. At the same time, the hotel is a microcosm of key challenges of modern life.

In the year 2020, we are living in an unprecedented, and therefore historical time.

America’s hotels are telling the stories of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy and the people who depend on a thriving hospitality industry for their welfare.

It is the hotel’s designers who help tell a story through branding, architecture and interior design.

This episode of Lodging Leaders explores what designers are doing to help hoteliers reimagine their properties in an age of heightened consumer awareness of health and wellness.

We feature Alpa Patel, founder and CEO of Spaceez, a web-based interior design company that caters to motels and hotels in the economy and midscale segments; Patti Tritschler, founder and CEO of Interior Image Group, an interior designer for branded and boutique hotels; Roger Hill, CEO of The Gettys Group, and his colleague Ron Swidler, the global hotel design firm’s chief innovation officer; and Steve Palmer, managing partner at The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, who focuses on the company’s restaurants and F&B concepts.

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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