Mixed-use projects’ hotels cater to shopping-minded travelers
PHOENIX ? Among consumers, “retail therapy” describes shopping as a way to soothe frustration and relieve stress. But according to some panelists at last week’s Lodging Conference here, hoteliers have their own version of retail therapy: developing lodging, especially select-service hotels, either on top of or alongside shopping malls and retail centers.
Increasingly, U.S. developers and hotel-brand operators appear to be reaching mixed-use development agreements that work to the mutual advantage of the retail and lodging industries.
Consider: Since the beginning of the year, a 500-room Radisson Blu opened at the massive Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., while the 209-room Alexander, which is operated by Dolce Hotels & Resorts, opened as part of Indianapolis’ CityWay mixed-use project.
And the panelists pointed to many more such projects in the works.
In the Los Angeles market alone, Hyatt Place select-service hotels are being planned for both Pasadena’s 12-year-old Paseo Colorado shopping center and the yet-to-be-built Village at Westfield Topanga in L.A.’s Woodland Hills district.
San Antonio’s first Kimpton hotel will be part of the Pearl Brewery mixed-use redevelopment when it opens next year, and a yet-to-be-named 180-room hotel will be part of a mixed-use project to be built near Nashville’s Vanderbilt University. In Tysons Corner, Va., a 300-room Hyatt Regency will open next year at a new retail complex to be built by the shopping center giant Macerich Co.
“People are just starting to get comfortable with mixed use,” said panel moderator Jim Butler, chairman of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell’s global hospitality group. “For leisure travelers, shopping has been No. 1 or No. 2 on the list.”
Indeed, an underlying theme at the conference, which attracted about 1,500 people, was how the increasing frequency of retail-adjacent hotels reflects growing confidence within both hotel development and the retail environment.
Overall, the number of rooms under construction in the U.S. is up about 25% from a year ago, according to STR.
“On a national basis, we have more room to roam,” Simon Turner, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ president of development said on one of the conference panels. “We have a couple of years of solid demand growth, and supply growth has remained relatively low.”
Meanwhile, August marked the fifth consecutive month of increased retail sales, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
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