By Michael Parks and John Page
We’ve been in the construction business for a while (78+ years), and each time we start a hotel renovation project we hear the same thing – “Please deliver our rooms on schedule!”
Of course, we know the importance of delivering on time is significant. The sooner rooms are returned to inventory, the sooner owners can take advance reservations and begin recognizing revenue again!
It’s very much the same with meeting space. Both rooms and meeting space are revenue generators. Limited disruptions and schedule are key to successful renovations for both.
If you’re considering a renovation project for your hotel or resort, here are a few things that we, as a general contractor, will tell you to plan for before you get too far in the process.
Open and regular communication between our construction team and your hotel staff is critical to ensure both sides have a complete understanding of how construction activities will impact ongoing hotel operations and the guest experience. We recommend a meeting between all parties at the start of the preconstruction phase and then regular meetings throughout construction to ensure expectations are clear and are being met.
Second, there are going to be unknowns. Depending on the extent of the renovation, these unknowns might have a significant impact on the project. For instance, we may find when we are replacing drywall that a leaking shower pan created damage. There’s a process for handling these situations, but it takes time. It’s key to think about what could happen and have some time built into a schedule for situations we can’t control or anticipate.
Finally, you will get a lot of value from having an experienced contractor on board early. We can help through design and constructability reviews, which can have a positive impact on schedule and budget. With a branded hotel the design, materials, furniture, fixtures, and equipment may be dictated by design standards, but there might be flexibility with building materials and alternates on finishes that could drive the schedule to put heads in beds sooner.
Early engagement, open communication and prepping for unknowns are all part of renovation projects. The more you know ahead of time, the more prepared you can be to meet the challenges and opportunities to have a successful hotel project that delivers your rooms on schedule.