Originally appeared in Hotel Business Review in June, 2017
AHLA PARTNERS WITH DOL TO INVEST IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT; INDUSTRY SUPPORTS 8 MILLION JOBS
WASHINGTON, D.C. June 21, 2017 – As part of President Trump’s workforce development week, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO, Katherine Lugar, joined the President, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, and dozens of industry leaders today as the President signed an Executive Order designed to reduce the regulatory burden on apprenticeship programs and increase the prominence and availability of apprenticeship programs in non-traditional industries such as hospitality.
AHLA has committed to participating in a cornerstone apprenticeship project to ensure the education marketplace is further connected to the needs of the lodging industry. In partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF), AHLA received a $1.8 million award from the Department of Labor to create and implement career opportunities through registered apprenticeship. The result is an industry-created, competency-based, apprenticeship program that offers a direct path to upper management and credential attainment.
This commitment includes leading, global companies who are committed to participating in this foundational program, including Hilton, Hyatt and Wyndham and B.F. Saul Company and Stonebridge Companies among others. The life of the contract includes a commitment from the partners to enroll a minimum of 2,250 apprentices over the next five years.
“Investing in its employees is central to who we are as an industry as they are our greatest assets. For over 60 years, AHLA has helped advance the lodging industry workforce through its portfolio of industry-recognized certifications that prepare employees for job success,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of AHLA. “Recruiting, training, and retaining employees has never been more important given the growth of our industry and an increasingly competitive labor market. Embracing apprenticeship initiatives aligns firmly with our industry’s long-term vision to better attract and secure individuals and help them achieve the American Dream.”
With more than 50 percent of hotel General Managers and many in the C-Suite starting their careers in entry-level positions, the hotel industry has a long tradition of grooming talent and growing careers, supporting some 8 million jobs across the United States and paying $74 billion in wages to employees.
AHLA has committed to enroll 225 apprentices by September. To date, AHLA already has more than 360 commitments from its membership. The apprenticeship program was designed with the goal of aligning certification with the fundamentals of apprenticeship, and was constructed using more than 100 competencies found in leading AHLA certifications. Apprentices in the DOL-approved AHLA program have the opportunity to earn while they learn, but also acquire two industry certifications and credit towards a college degree.
About the American Hotel & Lodging Association
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests’ stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and contributes nearly $170 billion to the U.S. economy. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.
Originally appeared in The Denver Post in May, 2017
8-story hotel being developed by Denver-based Stonebridge Cos. will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection
Cherry Creek North’s third new hotel set to open in less than two years has a name: The Jacquard.
Stonebridge Cos. officially announced the moniker Tuesday during a “topping off” celebration for the eight-story, 201-room luxury hotel at Second Avenue and Milwaukee Street. The Jacquard is on schedule to open early next year.
“Our goal is to position this hotel as the highest quality of all the hotels in Cherry Creek,” Stonebridge CEO Navin Dimond said in an interview before the event. “We will firmly position this hotel at 4 1/2 stars.”
The Jacquard will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, a global portfolio of luxury hotels that maintains an independent identity while gaining access to Marriott’s reservation and loyalty program backbone. The only other Autograph property in Denver is The Brown Palace Hotel.
In Cherry Creek North, it will join an increasingly robust hotel market that this time last year only had one property with 100-plus rooms, the JW Marriott.
The first hotel to open in a decade in the tony neighborhood, Sage Hospitality’s 154-room Halcyon debuted in August on the site of the former post office on Columbine Street. The independent luxury hotel promised guests the “homey” feel of staying with a friend, albeit a very well-off friend.
And the 170-room Moxy, a millennial-focused Marriott concept that offers a more budget-friendly price point, should open later this year on Josephine Street.
Details about The Jacquard are still trickling out, but one amenity the hotel will have is a rooftop bar and pool — and not just any pool, a 75-foot lap pool.
A grand staircase will connect the spacious lobby to 6,900 square feet of meeting space, and a large, landscaped porte cochere will protect guests from the elements as they arrive and depart by car, Bill Martinic, Stonebridge’s director of hospitality development, said during a tour of the construction site last week.
The hotel’s personality is best described as “haute happiness,” Dimond said.
Its namesake is French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard, who played an important role in the early 1800s in the development of a programmable loom capable of producing intricate woven patterns.
“It’s the things that will wow people just when they didn’t expect it — everything from curating the architecture to the art to the food to the people,” Dimond said. “You turn a corner and go, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ ”
A company “in perpetual motion” when it comes to hotel development, Stonebridge is also busy in Seattle, San Francisco and Boulder and recently wrapped up two projects on the East Coast, Dimond said.
And while Cherry Creek North went years without seeing any hotels open, Dimond said he’s confident there is sufficient demand to support all of the neighborhood’s new hotels — his included.
“People want to stay where there’s some action, some activity. People want to be where the buzz is, where they can just walk out and get a cup of coffee, walk around,” Dimond said. “That neighborhood has that — as soon as all the cranes are gone.
“You’ve got the mall. You’ve got lots of shopping. You’ve got great restaurants. There’s a number of business enterprises in the area. There’s great residential.”
Originally appeared in West Virginia Executive in May, 2017
Waterfront Place Hotel officially transitioned to Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place at Two Waterfront Place in Morgantown, W. Va on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017.
The newly renovated Morgantown Marriott is conveniently located one mile from West Virginia University and offers an airport shuttle, full-service spa, fitness center, pool, and a full-service Starbucks®, open from 6 am to 6 pm daily. The hotel has 207 guest rooms, consisting of double-queen, king and suites, with both river and city views available.
To ensure a comfortable stay for travelers, all rooms are equipped with complimentary high speed Internet, a desk, a mini refrigerator, a 55” television, and a coffee maker for early risers. Located within the hotel, Morgantown Marriott is home to the Morgantown Event Center, with 18 meeting rooms with more than 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space, perfect for business, weddings, parties and more.
Guests and locals are invited to dine at Bourbon Prime, a new bourbon-inspired, full-service restaurant located at the hotel. Executive Chef Jeremy Bosley has created a “wild and wonderful” West Virginia experience by consistently offering a menu of locally sourced items, including prime cuts of beef, inventive artisanal cocktails, and fine craft beers. Bourbon Prime is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Founded in 1991 by Navin C. Dimond, Stonebridge Companies is a privately owned, innovative hotel owner, operator and developer headquartered near Denver, Colorado. Its diverse portfolio of properties includes select-service, extended-stay, mid-scale and full-service hotels in markets throughout the U.S. For detailed information, visit http://www.sbcos.com.
Originally appeared in TimeOut Denver in May, 2017
The best hotels in Denver offer convenience, luxury and amenities galore for leisure or business travelers
From cowboys to climbers and skiers to stoners, Denverites are nothing if not naturally casual. But that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t rise to the occasion when it comes to world-class accommodation. Visitors hitting town for a dose of mountain culture, to linger over an espresso in our trendy coffee shops or dive into the booming food scene (which includes some of the best ramen in America), have plenty of places to lay their heads. These 13 hotels—all in proximity to the best things to do in Denver—go to show that, when it comes to hospitality, the Mile High City is ready for its close-up.
12. Denver Renaissance Hotel (Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center)
Housed in what a century ago was the Colorado National Bank, this Marriott contains the city’s most spectacular lobby by far: a three-story Greek Revival atrium rung round with enormous marble columns, graced with murals by Allen Tupper True and dotted with luxe furnishings that invite you to sit right down and soak it all up (or belly up to the Teller Bar situated along one wall to enjoy it over cocktails, sometimes enhanced by live music). Meanwhile, business travelers can book meetings in a former vault built into the other wall, and foodies can experience New American West cuisine as served at Range—including a bison, elk and quail platter. Now that’s a taste of Colorado.
Originally appeared in National Braille Press in May, 2017
NBP recently worked with the Residence Inn Boston Watertown to produce braille versions of their restaurant guide, shuttle service information, and points of interest in the area!
Director of Sales and Marketing, Korinne Robertson says, “The BRAND NEW Residence Inn by Marriott in Watertown, MA neighbors both Perkins School for the Blind as well as The Carroll Center for the Blind. Associates of the hotel feel it’s important that guests walk through the doors and settle into an environment where they will feel at ease, at home, and acquainted. Being able to provide them with tools and information about the surrounding area and hotel is a great amenity! We strive to provide as much as we can for all of our guests, and having guides and information about the hotel are essential to ensuring a seamless stay while away from the comforts of home.”
When visiting a hotel for the first time, blind and visually impaired guests need to get the lay of the land, figure out where they are going, and of course navigate to new places. Proofreader and frequent traveler, Chris Devin, always loves going to a hotel that accommodates him with braille materials. “If a chain has braille materials and we as blind people know they do, we are more likely to frequent that hotel.” It’s important for materials that are available in print to also be available in braille. “There’s a thought that all blind people can get their information from their iPhone. This is not always the case and that’s why braille is so important,” Chris advocates.
By having braille materials for your guests, you are showing them that their needs are important to you. You are giving them a chance to check out the best places to visit or eat, and information on how they can get around the new area.
Originally appeared in Mile High CRE in May, 2017
McWHINNEY and Stonebridge Companies announce a new Courtyard by Marriott slated to be built at Centerra, an award-winning master-planned community located in the heart of Northern Colorado in Loveland. The new hotel will break ground in June of 2017 proximate to the highly operated I-25 and US 34 intersection, which provides direct access to strong corporate and leisure demand including Rocky Mountain National Park.
The four-story, 101-room hotel plans to include a bistro and lounge, more than 1,200 square feet of meeting space, fitness center, a market, pool, hot tub, and guest laundry. The Courtyard by Marriott will be located off Sky Pond Drive and Centerra Parkway, just south of The Promenade Shops at Centerra. The hotel will incorporate local artwork and will immediately connect with surrounding community amenities, including Chapungu Sculpture Park, and be within walking distance of nearby shopping and dining experiences.
“At the heart of Northern Colorado, Centerra is the perfect location for a new hotel and we are excited to welcome Courtyard by Marriott to Centerra,” said David Crowder, McWHINNEY Vice President of Community Development/GM of Centerra. “The area is growing at a rapid pace and with that growth we also expect more visitors. The new Courtyard by Marriott will provide companies in the area with a convenient location for guests and will give visitors a place to call home.”
“We are thrilled to work with McWHINNEY on Centerra’s fourth and latest hotel project,” said Navin Dimond, President and CEO of Stonebridge Companies. “The hotel was designed under our “Distinguished Hospitality™” brand in order to ensure the best experience possible, as well as provide a true, local ambiance for guests.”
Centerra encompasses 3,000 acres of open space and lakes, homes, retail, dining and businesses. The master-planned community is home to hundreds of companies employing more than 7,000 people, 1.5 million square feet of retail space including more than 30 restaurants, three hotels, a health club, Pre-K-8 STEAM school and miles of trails and open space with breathtaking views of the Front Range. The unique community was built around two lakes and partners with High Plains Environmental Center to oversee and manage 275 acres of wetlands, open space and reservoirs within Centerra; and Chapungu Sculpture Park, a 26-acre walkable natural garden with more than 80 Zimbabwe stone sculptures throughout.
McWHINNEY is Northern Colorado’s premier developer with expertise in building office, industrial, retail, mixed-use, and hospitality assets. The Loveland and Denver-based company has developed more than 6,000 acres and 6 million square feet of property across the Rocky Mountain region and West coast.
Stonebridge Companies is the hospitality developer working with McWHINNEY on the new Courtyard by Marriott. The Centennial, Colo.-based company is an innovative hotel development and hospitality management firm. The company manages a portfolio of more than 45 hotels across the United States, and provides investor opportunities, hotel development services, hotel management services, and hospitality career opportunities to our partners and associates.
Originally appeared in eDividend, The Official Online Magazine of the Carson College of Business in March, 2017
The Residence Inn by Marriott and the Courtyard by Marriott, built by Stonebridge Companies, are much more than nice places to stay on the Pullman campus. Since 2014 the company and the facilities have provided unique learning opportunities for WSU students interested in hospitality business management, marketing, sales, and construction management careers.
Providing training and hiring grounds for WSU students was part of Stonebridge founder Navin Dimond’s (’85 Bus., Engin. & Arch.) vision from the beginning. During the construction phase of the Residence Inn, a class of WSU students worked with the company to develop the hotel’s sales and marketing plan. Students accompanied hotel leadership on sales calls to local Pullman businesses to gain practical experience, and once the hotel was built in 2014, students were hired for full- and part-time positions.
During the Courtyard’s construction phase in 2016, Stonebridge tapped WSU construction management and hospitality business management majors to research whether the Courtyard’s modular building units would be viable for future construction in the hotel industry.
Austin Pfeifer (’15 Hospitality) was in the 2014 class. “Seeing my class have direct payoff in the real world was exciting,” he says. “It gave me invaluable insight into the inner workings of a hotel at a level I had never seen before.” He worked his way up from a part-time, front desk agent to the front desk supervisor, and has the opportunity to become the assistant general manager of the Pullman Courtyard by Marriott.
Pfeifer’s classmate, Mohammed Abdulwahid (’15 Hospitality), always wanted to open his own restaurant. This class taught him how to create a marketing plan before pursuing his dream of creating a concept for a restaurant to be established in every state, he says.
INDUSTRY INSTRUCTORS BRIDGE THEORY AND PRACTICE
The successful model of the 2014 sales and marketing class, and the collaborative relationship with Stonebridge over the years, was the impetus for Hotel Sales and Marketing 497, a new course for hospitality students taught onsite at the Residence Inn and in Todd Hall this semester.
“Stonebridge’s proposed course content aligned nicely with concepts we are teaching in our lodging curriculum, with the added element of direct input from industry experts,” says Sandstrom.
Gordon Palm, Stonebridge regional director of sales, approached the hospitality school to propose that a team of Stonebridge executives teach the class, facilitated by Jenni Sandstrom, a hospitality business management clinical assistant professor. A 2015 graduate of the Carson College hospitality Ph.D. program, Sandstrom brings 25 years of hotelier expertise to the college and says learning from hotel industry leaders bridges a gap between classroom learning and professional practice.
Each week, a different executive delivers a lecture on sales and marketing topics. Students are working alongside Residence Inn hotel staff to develop a marketing plan that will benefit the Residence Inn and the Courtyard by Marriott.
“Stonebridge has the great privilege to provide the WSU students with career knowledge and education as they move into future business opportunities within the industry,” says Palm. “We hope that upon graduation these students enter the industry with practical hospitality sales knowledge and skill.”
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION PROVIDES GLOBAL INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
“I plan to work my way up the hotel sales ladder to become a hotel executive,” says Jackson Warfield, who will be graduating with his hospitality business management degree in May 2017. “Learning to effectively conduct a site tour, sales blitz, and marketing plan will help me in the future.”
“Having new perspectives and seeing different personalities every week helps me stay engaged because everyone has something different to add to the content,” says Jackie Chestnut, a hospitality business management senior. “This class gives you a good idea of what sales look like in a hotel, and it is valuable in every aspect of the hospitality industry.”
Prior to launching the spring class with Stonebridge, Sandstrom spent fall semester abroad teaching a Hotel Sales and Marketing class at Cèsar Ritz Colleges in Brig, Switzerland. She worked in concert with Hotel De Londres, a local boutique hotel in Brig, to engage students in solving some of the hotel’s marketing problems. One of the challenges students tackled was improving the hotel’s social media strategies.
“The students determined the hotel was missing an opportunity to attract additional Swiss customers, its biggest market, because social media posts were in only German. Certain areas of Switzerland are English speaking,” says Sandstrom. “Students recommended that the hotel post in English and German to attract a wider net of customers and helped the hotel target audiences on Pinterest, Snap Chat, and We Chat.”
As a final group project, students developed a marketing plan and presented it to Hotel De Londres management and owner representatives.
“We looked forward to working with students from all over the world, as we believe they will have a different view on our product, the area, potential unique selling points, but also constraints,” says Lilian Roten, Hotel de Londres owner. “It was refreshing to work with young and motivated newcomers to the industry. As a small boutique hotel, we have very limited resources to do thorough research. It was good for my team to see what it takes to do a solid sales and marketing plan by the books.”
Working directly with industry executives to solve real-world hotel problems opens new opportunities for marketing and other majors who may never have considered a career in the hospitality sector, says Sandstrom. The outcome is that students get jobs.
The brand new Residence Inn Washington Capitol Hill Navy Yard opens March 2017! Located on First Street, this hotel is in an up and coming area of the Navy Yard that will surely provide a top tier extended stay guest experience. Just a few miles from Downtown and adjacent to the Nationals Park, this Washington D.C. hotel will offer a wide range of amenities and the service & quality that guests have come to expect from a Residence Inn by Marriott®.
Accommodations include 170 spacious studio and one-bedroom suites with separate living and sleeping areas and fully equipped kitchens ready for your favorite cuisine. Complimentary grocery delivery service is available to fill your refrigerator and satisfy cravings. Connect to free internet throughout the hotel and enjoy free hot breakfast to start mornings off right. The Residence Inn Mix® evening social hour, offered Monday through Wednesday, offers an opportunity to end the day well, with complimentary beer and wine with small plates to snack on. Our fitness center ensures your routine won’t fall by the wayside during your stay. At Residence Inn, we’ll make sure you thrive during your stay.
Residence Inn by Marriott Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard
1233 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Hotel Phone: 202-770-2800
Hotel Fax: 202-695-1233
Originally appeared in HOTELS Mag Online in March, 2017
IHG Holiday Inn: IHG signed eight new Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels in Germany, a country which is now IHG’s second biggest market in Europe with 69 hotels and 38 in the pipeline.
Auberge: Auberge Resorts Collection will manage The Lodge at Blue Sky, a contemporary luxury resort under development near Park City, Utah. The resort will be built at Blue Sky Utah, a 3,500-acre hospitality and recreational paradise created by local developer Mike Phillips.
Stonebridge: Stonebridge Companies commenced construction on a 230-room, 11-story Hyatt Place hotel in San Francisco. Stonebridge Companies is developing the project and will also manage.
Originally appeared in Colorado Real Estate Journal in March, 2017
A record number of hotel rooms will be added to the Denver area hotel market this year.
The market is poised to add 3,500 to 3,800 hotel rooms this year, according to Bob Benton, principal of Robert S. Benton Associates.
That is about 1,000 more rooms than were added in 2015 and 2016, combined.
“We’re not going to be able to absorb all of those units” that will mostly come on line in the second half of 2017, he said.
However, the market is not facing overbuilding, according to Benton, who will moderate a broker’s panel at the 2017 Hotel & Resort Summit & Expo from noon until 4:45 p.m. March 16. The conference, at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center, will be Colorado’s largest hotel and development and investment conference this year.
The conference, sponsored by the Colorado Real Estate Journal, is expected to draw more than 350 industry leaders.
“We are going to be moving toward equilibrium,” in which supply and demand are in balance, he said.“We are not going to be overbuilt at this point,” Benton said.
That is because very few rooms were added from 2009 to 2014, he said.
Hotel construction came almost to a standstill because of the Great Recession and with lenders unwilling to invest capital for new hotels, he said.
And the Denver area hotel market has been hovering at record, or near record, levels for the past two years.
Last year, the overall hotel occupancy rate was 75 percent, just under the 75.9 percent in 2015.
But the average daily room rate rose 5 percent to a record $140.46 from $133.65 in 2015, Benton’s research shows.
Even with all of the new supply, Benton expects rates to rise another 3 percent this year.
“Because a lot of these rooms are going to be opening in the second half of the year, it is going to push rates in the summertime,” Benton said.
The average daily room rate rose about 5 percent last year, and Benton expects rates, overall, to rise another 3 percent in 2017 from 2016.
And the hotel building boom won’t come to a halt in 2017.
Benton expects another 1,500 to 2,000 hotel rooms to be added to the Denver area market in 2018.
In addition to Benton, other speakers at the CREJ hotel conference include:
- Nicole Ament, a shareholder of the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck law firm;
- Pat Westcott, business development director at the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association;
- Michael Cahill, CEO and founder of Hospitality Real Estate Counselors;
- Mark Darrington, senior vice president, CBRE Hotels/Capital Markets;
- Jeffrey Duni, vice president, HREC Investment Advisors;
- Michael Herzog, appraiser, National Valuation Consultants Inc.;
- Bob Clasby, managing director, North American Development, Best Western International;
- Jason Farmer, area vice president, Lodging Development, Marriott International;
- Carly Thorp, hospitality asset manager, McWhinney;
- Jim Nelms, Hotel Broker One – Denver;
- Navin Dimond, president and CEO, Stonebridge Cos.
- Michael Everett, chief investment officer, Sage Hospitality;
- Peter Estler, CEO and founder, Quintess;
- Chris Scheer, chief financial officer, Stout Street Hospitality;
- Brett Russell, director of business development, HVS Consulting & Valuation;
- John Markovich, senior vice president, FirstBank;
- Greg Hartmann, managing director, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group;
- Don Schuster, hospitality vice president, Aspen Skiing Co.;
- Craig Cohn, president of real estate, Intrawest;
- James DeFrancia, principal, Lowe Enterprises;
- Noah Hahn, partner, Meriwether Co.;
- Rebecca Stone, OZ Architecture;
- Richard B. Benenson, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (consumer protection);
- Christine A. Samsel, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (employment);
- Melissa Kuipers Blake, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (marijuana);
- Ian V. O’Neill, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (privacy and data breach); and
- Philip A. Gosch, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.