Star Turn for Secondary Cities
Why these formerly under-the-radar markets have become hotbeds of hotel construction.
Our July+August edition included coverage of Boutique Design’s “State of the Industry: Cincinnati” roundtable, where we brought together leading voices from the area’s hospitality ownership/operations, design, architecture and manufacturing sectors to share their insights on the opportunities and challenges presented by that southwest Ohio city and other mid-sized American markets.
Then, just a few weeks after our piece appeared, I had the distinct pleasure of coming across a “36 Hours in Cincinnati” feature in The New York Times. In addition to touting the city’s booming cultural and arts scene, the newspaper’s travelogue noted the integral role that hospitality venues are playing in the region’s upswing.
In fact, the two lodging options specifically mentioned in the “36 Hours” report—the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati and Aparium Hotel Group’s Hotel Covington—also received prominent play in our roundtable review. And we summed up that session with this quote from Jeff Eagle, vice president of construction at locally based Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group: “Cincinnati’s hotel market is a microcosm for what’s happening in the rest of the country.”
In keeping with that sentiment, I’m happy to report that we explore the strong expansion of the hotel sector in secondary U.S. cities in more depth in our September edition, as part of an overview on worldwide opportunities. Among the timely topics explored by that article is why the retail-derived west elm Hotels chain has chosen cities such as Indianapolis, Savannah, Georgia, and Oakland, California, for its first batch of locales. Beyond that, the feature details the ins-and-outs of landing design commissions in two sizzling gateway markets, Paris and Singapore.
In addition to profiling markets that need to be on your creative and business development radars, this issue includes the latest work by some of the hottest hands in hospitality design. That includes Todd-Avery Lenahan, who explains how he became known as the “7-Star Czar” in an in-depth Q+A. Hint: Working for a time in the same office suite that Walt Disney once occupied didn’t hurt.
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