HM on location: HX panels cover selling hotels, ADA renos

NEW YORK—HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA, along with co-located conference Boutique Design New York, yesterday closed out its second and final day with a variety of panels here at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 

As part of educational sessions sponsored by HM's Hotel ROI platform and AAHOA, industry experts offered insight on selling franchised hotels as well as how to prevent ADA issues from developing during a renovation.

Selling Your Franchised Hotel

Drew Senulis, an associate attorney with Patel Gaines with experience negotiating and closing more than 30 commercial leases, moderated a discussion on preparing to sell franchised hotels. Sitting on the panel were Ben Seidel, president/CEO of Real Hospitality Group; Steve Kirby, managing principal with Mumford Co.; and Mary Beth Cutshall, EVP/chief development officer at Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG).

Though the panelists advised hotel owners plan well ahead—Seidel said they’d be “kind of foolish” if they weren’t thinking two years in advance for some properties—they all agreed on the importance of preparing for a sale to fall through.

“Operate the property like you're going to own it,” said Kirby. “Don't start cutting back because the worst scenario is that the buyers are going to see that and then you're going to lose some value there but also if the sale isn't accomplished, you're stuck recovering your image in the marketplace.”

“Especially at this point in the cycle, you want a property that is operating well and is a good buy,” Cutshall added.

Building and Renovating with ADA in Mind

In one of the events’ last panels, Suzanne Saunders, VP of design and construction at HVMG, and Stephen Siegel, principal at H-CPM, came together to discuss building and renovating hotels to meet ADA requirements. Though much of the discussion looked at past problems and solutions, Saunders and Siegel also advised checking designers’ plans to prevent an issue from arising in the first place.

“Sometimes I'll look at the layout and I think, 'Well, that doesn't look like it's to scale,' and then I always look at the door, because I know it's 36 [inches], and that kind of gives me like something to compare to,” said Saunders. “Then I'll look at the chair or the chaise longue or whatever else is in the room and then maybe realize that they've not really done it to scale and we need to go back to ground zero.”

"If you have a good ADA consultant, have a good architect, have a good designer and they all work together, they can pretty much accomplish most everything,” said Siegel.

Hotel ROI, owned by Hotel Management's parent company Questex, presented the “Preparing to Sell Your Franchised Hotel” and “Compliant Construction: Developing with Accessibility in Mind” panels. Look for more in-depth coverage on these panels later this month.