“Today’s hotel guests don’t just want a bed and a shower. What they want is a memorable experience,” says Anita Massey, Senior Managing Director – Client Services for Louisville-based Luckett & Farley.
“The U.S. hotel industry is a burgeoning one, generating $169.7 billion in revenue annually. But the hospitality market — and what people demand from it — is changing,” she adds.
First off, travelers expect some level of personalization in their accommodations – one key element of which is technology. Not just Wi-Fi, but tech tools that allow them to easily program their individual room’s temperature, lighting, music, and even the artwork on the walls. Guests also expect seamless applications for check-in, check-out, and ordering in-room services.
Modern guests look for eco-friendliness and locally-sourced materials and goods. Hoteliers themselves want architecture and design that allows for multi-use spaces, such as a lobby area that can be converted to a piano bar during off-peak hours.
Because of this raised bar in the hospitality space, Luckett & Farley saw an opportunity last year to put its expertise and collaborative approach to work in a new arena. As the oldest continuously-operating architecture firm in the United States and the largest architecture, engineering and interior design firm in Kentucky, Luckett & Farley is uniquely positioned to develop, design, engineer, and furnish any hotel concept from start to finish.
A ‘hot’ market
Massey joined Luckett & Farley to lead its new hospitality market in October of 2016. She was tasked with building on the firm’s strong history of success with casual dining and tourist attractions and expanding its focus to full-service hospitality — hotels and resorts and their on-site restaurants, lounges, spas and meeting spaces.
Given that the U.S. hotel industry is projected to experience continued performance growth through 2017 (demand growth [+2.1%] is also expected to outweigh supply growth [+1.7%]), it’s clear that development and renovation of these properties will only continue its impressive momentum.
Add to the equation, that the U.S. boutique hotel industry has outperformed the traditional brands, and is growing at an average annual rate of 5.6% since 2012, it simply made sense that now is the right time to embark on this industry. Luckett & Farley is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this amazing growth.
Up to the challenge
Because these hotel franchisors, owners and operators have such demanding standards, often times the design and construction of these facilities can be quite challenging. That’s where Luckett & Farley’s experience and state-of-the-art technology sets it apart from the competition.
“One example of this is that we use Building Information Modeling (BIM) to ensure there are no clashes with the many trade disciplines involved in a project,” says Massey. “We also use BIM to map a building’s equipment-maintenance schedule.”
“Another exciting technology, SITEOPS, is instrumental in site master planning and assessing topographical data to determine the best positioning of a hotel on a property,” Massey adds. “It can also calculate costs to provide a rough construction budget.”
Perhaps the most unique application of technology is Luckett & Farley’s use of cutting-edge virtual reality software, including 3D Studio Max, Corono Renderer, Forest Pack, and others. These tools allow the firm’s architects and engineers to create a virtual walkthrough of a proposed site before it is ever built or renovated.
“This allows our artists to create photo-realistic rendered scenes using actual properties,” says Massey. “Designers can apply all types of finishes, colors, lighting, furniture, landscaping, and other amenities to show a real-world picture of the potential finished product.”
All of these technologies can not only save clients time and money, but they can ensure the highest-quality results.
Making a name in hospitality
Luckett & Farley may be somewhat new to the hotel industry, but its reputation for excellence dates back nearly two centuries. Throughout its rich history, the firm has partnered with major dining and hospitality brands, including Churchill Downs (Luckett & Farley’s oldest client, dating back to 1895), Calder Casino & Race Course, Woodford Reserve, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Hilton Garden Inn, Yum! Brands, and Bonefish Grill.
Currently, Luckett & Farley is lending its expertise to two Detroit hotel projects. The firm is providing design and development services for a new 6-story,120-bed Staybridge Suites Hotel that will also include a multi-level parking garage, and a floor of retail space.
As the hotel industry continues to grow, Luckett & Farley’s Hospitality Group is positioned to grow right along with it. In fact, the firm is already pursuing additional projects in Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Idaho, New Hampshire and South Carolina.