Project managers must be at the forefront of hotel technology when leading the construction of new-build properties or conversions.
Hotel project managers initiate, plan, execute and manage a broad range of activities by applying experience, knowledge and skills to meet the requirements of a particular development. Most importantly, as the investor’s representative, the project manager must ensure the owner’s needs are met, and that hotel improvements are designed and built on time and on budget.
Today’s hotel projects, whether renovations or new builds, naturally require the technological advances expected by business and leisure travelers. Technology has become a way of life in all aspects of front- and back-of-house operations.
Whether a project involves new-build construction or a renovation of an existing property, the project manager’s job is to create—within the approved budget—the most productive, efficient and effective hotel.
He or she does so by collaborating with ownership and designers during the pre-development stage when the hotel’s key features and amenities are discussed and designed. The key features include building design, lobby, guestrooms, food-and-beverage outlets, meeting rooms, fitness facilities and more. All of this also must be conducted in coordination with the brand, the manager and the proposed project team.
Technology is at the heart of this, ranging from increasingly sophisticated electronic security and locking systems to off-site check-in, easily accessed and effective Wi-Fi internet connectivity, property management and reservation systems, point-of-sale equipment, building management systems and the ever-increasingly sophisticated computer interfacing of all of these systems.
Clearly, the successful project manager must work hard to continuously keep abreast of technological advances, needs and services since they are changing at such a rapid pace.
In the end, the project manager is ultimately responsible for assuring all pieces of the puzzle—including the key technological pieces—are developed as powerfully and effectively as possible, on time and within the owners’ budget, of course.
Tom Engel is principal of Boston-based T.R. ENGEL Group (TRE), LLC, a global hospitality management firm. TRE specializes in advisory, project management, asset management and transaction services for hotels, convention centers and mixed-use commercial real estate. As investment advisors, TRE advises its clients on the acquisition and sale of hotels in North America, Europe and the Middle East. Tom can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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