HD Talks

HD Expo: Has the Industry Hit Its Peak?

Posted by on April 21, 2016 in Events

HD Expo is only 12 days away, which means that we’re finally getting to the good stuff. What you’re feeling is perfectly normal: excitement, nerves, joy, and hope that Jennifer Lopez will invite all of us to her Vegas show.

HD Expo logoAnother of the most anticipated events is our ISHP/HD Owners’ Roundtable, where some 35 industry leaders discuss everything from trends to collaborations and projects on the boards. The event will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 10:30 a.m.-Noon in South Pacific E and is already sold out. However, attendees are encouraged to come as spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our own Stacy Shoemaker Rauen will moderate the event alongside Lori Patten, principal of Patten Purchasing, and Mitch Parker, partner and COO of the Parker Company. I had a chance to talk to Parker a few weeks ago about the annual International Society of Hospitality Design Purchasers (ISHP) survey conducted by the Nielsen Business Media Research Center and sponsored by Hospitality Design magazine. He had some interesting insights.

While things are still positive for the industry, “they have definitely peaked,” he says. According to the ISHP members surveyed, they are seeing more projects in and outside of North America; higher-end projects, and designers in the marketplace. The industry’s outlook remains positive, especially in the near term, Parker says. “We are at the peak but we’re not crashing. Things are good; we’re still busy.”

Here are four more takeaways from this year’s survey. And check HD’s Show Daily, available during HD Expo, for more insights from Parker and the survey.

• Upper-upscale and upscale projects are experiencing a four-year trend of growth with 33 percent and 35 percent of projects reported in those sectors, respectively.

• The large majority—86 percent—of hotel projects are in North America. Parker credits the success of secondary and tertiary markets within the U.S., including Nashville and Austin, as well as major growth in Miami. In addition, the Southeast region of the U.S. saw a 10 percent increase in projects year over year from 27 percent in 2014 to 37 percent in 2015.

• New construction is the highest it’s been in 13 years, with 46 percent of projects reported as new builds. “The conditions have been ripe for it,” says Parker. “Interest rates are low, availability for funds is high, and appetites for REITS is still huge.”

• Respondents reported the percentage of projects with design firms they had not previously worked with was 35 percent, up from 26 percent in 2014 and 23 percent in 2013—the highest number in the 13-year history of this project. “That’s a sign that more designers are getting into hospitality or spinning off from hospitality and starting something new,” explains Parker.

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