Houston Hotels Just Wanna Be Unique
At Bisnow’s fourth annual Houston Hospitality Summit we snapped DP Consulting president David Parker (center). He says he's been telling his clients that bad sites work in good times but only good sites work in bad times. "You have to think about economic cycles when choosing a site, because good times don't last forever," he says. He further notes that lifestyle brands and contemporary interiors are increasingly becoming popular with guests seeking unique experiences. "As hoteliers, our goal should be to deliver experiences that cause the guest to call home and say to their spouse, 'this place is cool, you should have come with me!' " In other words, a cool hotel in a cool location is a hard combination to beat.
Grandbridge Real Estate Capital SVP Gary Dunkum (center) says that fundamentals are as good as they’ve ever been, and it’s a great time to be in the finance business. It’s a lot easier in Houston to finance hotel development than only a few years ago. But it’s more than that: “I’ve been in Houston a long time, and didn’t think it would ever be a world-class city, but now it is,” he explains. Much of the money coming here now would never have before, and it’s coming from everywhere. “If we can get them here, we can sell Houston, and now they’re coming.”
Arch-Con Construction SVP-hospitality division Michael Vaughn (center), who’s worked on 35 hospitality projects and 17 different brands, across the spectrum of hospitality properties since joining the company in 2003. He agrees that now is a great time for hospitality in Houston. Arch-Con will deliver over 1,200 rooms in 2015, with just as many scheduled for '16. Some submarkets are expanding more rapidly than ever before. For instance, six projects are underway in The Woodlands, plus four more planned, which will double the number of rooms there.
First American Title, National Commercial Services VP David Crawford moderated the panel. David says his division offers a commercial-only platform for handling closing, title insurance, and escrow services locally, nationally, and internationally. He has over 20 years’ experience working with investors, developers, brokers and others in the acquisition, development, brokerage and financing of commercial real estate in the greater Houston area.