Hotel Owners Look To Cut Amenities While Brands Want Them Restored

Hotel Indigo New Orleans - French Quarter – Lounge Area
  Offerings Such as Executive Lounges Are on the Chopping Block

Excerpt from CoStar

Hotel executives said the pandemic was a good opportunity to reset the hotel operating model and to cut back on unwanted or overly expensive offerings such as executive lounges.

“Amenity creep” was a real problem for the hotel industry pre-pandemic, but the past two years have given hoteliers the opportunity to reset their operating model and make some cuts, according to industry executives.

Speaking at the “Boardroom Outlook: Leadership — Understanding the ‘Hot Potato’ Issues” panel at the 2022 Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Ashford Hospitality Trust President and CEO Rob Hays said things like executive lounges must be scaled back to combat labor shortages and increasing costs.

“That’s something brands were pushing hard from the loyalty side, and I think this has given us the ability to kind of rethink some of those amenity creep issues,” he said.

Speaking from the brand side of the equation, Extended Stay America Chief Operating Officer Greg Juceam said it’s important to use this moment to reset.

“We have to ask ourselves not just ‘What do the guests actually need?’ but equally ‘What are they willing to pay for?'” he said.

At the same time, Juceam said some of the prediction of permanent changes to the industry have been a bit exaggerated.

“All of us read a year or two years ago the thousands of articles about how the buffet is going to die, and you’re never going to see the buffet in a hotel again,” he said. “But think about that as you’re eating your buffet breakfast tomorrow.”

Ray Bhai, CEO and chairman of IBF Hospitality, said the scaled-back operating model has been particularly important at full-service properties, which require more labor and where demand has been typically lower than at leisure-driven, select-service hotels.

Click here to read complete article at CoStar.

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