20th Oct 2014
Hotels are extremely complicated projects that require very detailed and efficient planning in order to be successful. You cannot, in other words, simply decide a large building will now be a hotel. As many people participating in the “sharing economy” and renting out rooms in their homes are discovering, even the smallest one-room hotel requires a great deal of work to be made successful.
The Core of Hotel Planning: Land, Building Use and Zoning Laws
The most fundamental aspect of hotel planning is the use of the property itself, which requires an understanding of:
- Zoning laws, if the building was not operated as a hotel previously.
- Costs and decisions regarding renovations and conversions.
- Location as regards access to travel hubs, downtowns and business centers, and tourist or convention areas.
If building a “ground up” hotel from scratch, there are additional concerns:
- Zoning changes can take up to two years to secure if the property in question is not currently zoned for hospitality, and will be subject to public comment and hearings.
- Local residents, community organizations and other entities have a long list of legal means by which to delay or force changes onto a proposed new hotel project.
Hotel Planning and Practical Concerns
A hotel is a place where human beings come for shelter, comfort and other amenities. Proper planning will include consideration of:
- Balance between capacity and comfort of guests.
- Offered amenities, facilities and services.
- Local business affiliations, notably gyms, restaurants and other commonly requested services.
- Fire law and safety, including the decision to go above and beyond legal requirements for safety.
- Staff sourcing; building a hotel in an area without a source of trained and experienced employees can cause long-term problems.
Proper hotel planning begins long before construction, and never ends.