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.

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