On a return flight from London, a relative sat next to the new owners of a South Florida independent hotel. They had settled for coach seats on the “next flight,” rather than wait for “first class” seating the following morning.
The couple spent much of their flight time looking at color chip books from paint and stain/varnish manufacturers. Their attaché also contained photos of wallcoverings and swatches of fabric.
By the time the plane landed at New York’s J.F.K. Airport, the couple had chosen their color scheme for the hotel property. Also, they’d set a “tour and lunch” date with my relative and her spouse.
What fascinated me were the couple’s plans for upgrading the hotel. Especially considering the fact that both husband and wife were in their early forties, versus over 50.
Here’s the list of plans that the couple shared with my relative:
- Target market: Guests 50 and older.
- High WI-FI connectivity property wide.
- All amenities included, and available to all guests.
- Acoustical ceilings throughout.
- Guest room amenities: Two armchairs, reclining/revolving; adjustable queen-sized beds (phase-in); carpeted bathroom floors, bathtub rails and seats; one-way privacy window shades.
- Dining: Dining room and buffet, all meals; “Surf and Ale Pub”®; indoor/outdoor café; F & B Deli and “S & S Snack and Pack.”®
- Property-wide public phones and phone service.
- Front-Social lobby: Seating clusters; firm-cushioned, 2-seat sofas, arm chairs; reading lamps.
- Corridors: Firm-cushioned “park seat” settees.
- Small library: For reading, writing, computer use, quiet games.
- Billiard and Game Room.
- Connectivity and computer room in each building.
- “Techy Show and Go Shop.”®
- Small movie theatre.
- Gift shop: All merchandise home-crafted or home-made.
- Exercise and Massage room in each building.
- “Children’s Day and Short-Stay”® guest areas: Indoor activity/game/movie room; outdoor playground.
- Outdoor bird and nature sanctuary, with pond.
- Outdoor amenities: Pool and spa, two tennis courts, three garden parks; small European-style wood/wrought iron game tables; “under-roof” Boule courts, shuffleboard courts, outdoor bowling; archery range; golf putting range.
- Small 3-chair Hair and Barber Salon.
By the way, all preparation and finishing products used on the property will be odor-free, fume-free, allergy-free, toxin-free; also quick-drying. All surfaces and areas will be smooth, with minimal reflectivity.
What the hotel would not be offering to guests and visitors:
- Full-service restaurants
- Special kidsuites and children’s sleeping areas.
- Room service
- Basketball, volleyball, and racketball courts. (A nearby park offers all three.)
- Clothing, shoe and jewelry shops
“We want to accommodate the 21st Century 50-plus year old guests.” The couple said that they want to offer this group of guests what they need at a tropical hotel.
“Then, we want to “nudge them out of the hotel’s doors.” And, into their neighbors’ restaurants, shops, galleries, stage theatre, etc.
“Why have a full-service restaurant in the hotel, when we have at least five in the neighborhood? Within easy walking distance. Even for the 50-60-70-80 plus year old guest.”
This couple’s philosophy coincides with a trend that more hotels, spas, inns, and other lodging businesses are following.
Their focus: Provide accommodations and amenities that guests need and expect.
One of their aims: Be a good business neighbor, by sharing customers.
Their bottom line: Streamline operations, contain costs, and expand capital reserves.
By the way, the couple has a waiting list of over 250 couples, ready to sign in as inaugural guests.
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Have a great day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”