When building a new hotel, hotel owners and their project teams will encounter numerous obstacles along the way. Some might be expected, while others pop-up based on circumstances. Although some challenges are the same as those present during hotel renovations, others are unique to new construction.
In this post, we’ll discuss five challenges facing hotel owners and developers specifically during new construction. We’ll also describe how to tackle these. In future posts, we’ll talk about the hurdles hoteliers face during the renovation process.
Hotel Construction Challenge #1: General Schedule Delays
New construction is often perceived as easier than renovating in the hotel industry because hotels typically try to stay open during renovations. This means that extra care and considerations around storage, the guest experience, organization and timing are required. During a renovation, since the hotel is still operating and you want to avoid impacting guests, how well the project stays on schedule day-to-day is a huge factor in its success.
With new construction, you don’t have to worry about scheduling to avoid disturbing guests, but timing can be a challenge in a different way. Because there is typically a prolonged time frame from when you purchase the land until the day the hotel opens for business, this multi-year process introduces a much greater likelihood of schedule delays.
New construction, as with renovations, requires things to be completed in order. If something in that sequence delays, there is a domino effect that impacts the scheduling, delivery, and installation of everything that follows it. But because the construction process involves so many different steps, there are more dominoes that could fall than in a renovation.
Innvision’s project management and logistics teams knows this well, which is why we work closely with each key player involved in a hotel’s construction to manage the schedule and make adjustments as needed. That way, we can anticipate delays and prepare accordingly to minimize their negative impact as much as possible.
Hotel Construction Challenge #2: Factory/Shipping Delays
Although good communication between a hotel developer and their on-the-ground teams can help minimize and prepare for certain construction scheduling delays, some delays are simply out of anyone’s control. For example, factory and FF&E shipping delays have become a significant challenge due to the pandemic (learn why in our blog post here ). Materials such as foam (for seating and bedding) are delayed tremendously, and we also see laminate shortages.
These external delays can make it difficult for hotel owners and developers to stay on schedule, especially when these materials or products are necessary to complete the project. That’s why Innvision recommends working with a procurement provider who knows the latest news on these delays and frequently communicates with manufacturers and distributors. With the right FF&E partner, you can anticipate delays and even shorten them in many cases.
Hotel Construction Challenge #3: Outdated Architectural Plans
The early stages of developing a hotel usually involve these steps: buy the land, determine what flag the hotel will be, and then hire an architect. The architect will create preliminary drawings with prototypes and send them in to get rubber-stamped by the hotel brand. But from the time the architect offers the initial plans to the time the FF&E team is ready to begin their work, things may have changed, architecturally or otherwise. After all, the whole process up until this point could be upwards of two years or more. This creates a handful of new hotel construction challenges that could impact everything from its architecture to FF&E.
Because architects typically don’t look at the design Innvision will work with, and sometimes the architect will make changes, we attempt to review the latest set of architectural plans multiple times throughout the project. It’s critical for these reviews to identify what, if anything, has changed architecturally, however minor the modifications may seem.
These construction drawings must also support the current FF&E specifications. We’ve seen cases where this review has prevented later issues with the building’s electrical or mechanical operations — a very costly and timely mistake to correct if caught too late. Once the electrical outlets are in the walls or floors, they are much more difficult to relocate if needed. With this review process, outdated plans have the chance to be corrected and re-distributed down the line before problems arise.
Hotel Construction Challenge #4: Changing ADA Regulations
Things are likely to change since an architect starts work up to two years before the FF&E team comes in to do their part. This includes ADA compliance regulations. To be proactive, the Innvision team checks new construction hotel architectural drawings with an eye for ADA considerations, stays abreast of regulation changes, and proves our value by looking at what might not work. We preemptively offer ADA-related solutions that could save money and massive headaches down the road for new hotel owners and developers if they had not met Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Hotel Construction Challenge #5: Changing Brand Requirements
Because new construction projects typically require a longer timeline, changing brand requirements can also be a challenge. After all, a hotel owner wants to open the doors of a new hotel with the most up-to-date design scheme!
Over the course of a couple years, a hotel brand will continue to evolve its FF&E requirements. These changes could impact what an FF&E team needs to order and install for the hotel, and it could also affect some architectural elements. Hotel owners and developers, working with experienced and knowledgeable interior design and procurement professionals such as Innvision, can stay on top of these changes. For example, Innvision handles the brand submittal process. The team can communicate and work together with the general contractor, if needed, to adjust accordingly without nasty surprises. Furthermore, Innvision serves as a resource to answer questions your GC has along the way.
Whether it be new construction or renovation, Innvision has a team that assists hotel owners throughout the project to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish. Our strong sense of teamwork allows us to work hand-in-hand with new hotel owners, general contractors, and a curated selection of the best manufacturers and vendors to ensure our clients’ best experience.
Although new construction is often considered easier than renovating, challenges are bound to arise. By working with an experienced team that can anticipate and mitigate those challenges, your project can be a stress-free, spectacular success. To learn more about how Innvision can support you with your new hotel project, contact us today.