On February 19, Bisnow hosted its 2019 Pacific Northwest Hotel Summit held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. Reputed real estate property developers, hotelier and principal consultant of an architectural and design services firm convened to share their insights on how Seattle’s booming tourism is impacting the hotel industry, specifically with regard to the increase in development, investment, supply, and branding of hotel properties.
GSB attorney Stacy Marchesano and I had the pleasure of moderating two panel sessions, “Investment & Development Update”, and “Construction and Design in Building a Brand”, respectively. Stacy’s investment and development panel focused on several key areas of interest, including the ramification of Amazon’s decision to pull out of the plan to build a New York City headquarter, which was deemed by everyone on the panel as a gift to the Pacific Northwest hospitality industry; the economic impact of building green and operating sustainably; and how demand is expected to keep up with the supply given the newly-opened 1,260 room Hyatt Regency and additional new hotels opening in the coming months in the region.
Stacy also led a fireside chat with Colin Carvey, SVP of Growth at Vacasa, which focused on Vacasa’s enormous growth in the last year and its status not only as a disrupter in the hospitality industry, but also as a serious contender.
On the branding panel, I moderated discussion on how hotels can differentiate themselves and establish strong and unique brands by ensuring their space looks “Instagrammable” and also reflects the character of the location. As noted by the panelists, including CEO of Columbia Hospitality, John Oppenheimer, guest experience is king – no matter how passionate an owner may be about a specific style. With millions of guests sojourning every day at hotel properties, focusing on what the customers want should always be the top of mind.
Read the full recap of the panel discussions in Bisnow’s article.
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.