Meet You in the Lobby
Check out a hotel's public areas for your next store site
Hotel guests like to use lobbies for a variety of purposes everything from conducting meetings to passing the time, according to The Wall Street Journal. Customers told Marriott International they wanted a lobby similar to airline executive lounges where they can rest, watch television or work.
People want to be in the lobby having a beer, talking to a friend and checking e-mail all at the same time, says Craig Lambert, a Marriott senior vice president.
As a result, Marriott is refashioning the public areas at its 485 Courtyard hotels; changes are planned also for the companys 433 extended-stay Residence Inns.
New lobbies will include a business library with newspapers and magazines as well as desks where travelers can hook up their laptops to printers, access the Internet or chat on the phone. A gourmet grocer will provide snacks around-the-clock. Floorplans call for center-stage seating for extroverts and cozy nooks for those who like more privacy.
Marriotts lobby refurbishing is part of a wider hospitality-industry trend. Other hotel chains are also updating themselves to appeal to travelers who are increasingly mixing business with pleasure. All of a sudden, the industry realizes people view hotels as a form of entertainment in addition to overnight lodging, says Bjorn Hanson, an industry consultant with PriceWaterhouseCooper.
It may be the right time for you to open a store in an upscale hotel catering to businesspeople and pleasure travelers to tap into a market looking for entertainment and a gift to take home.
by Mark E. Dixon