The state of the hospitality industry—and the trends to watch—are discussed with IMEG Director of Hospitality Bob Winter in the first in a series of episodes featuring the firm’s market leaders.

“Last year, 2022, was a tremendous year in the market for design and construction,” Bob says, citing the recovery of occupancy rates as the industry emerged from the pandemic. “I have seen a little bit of a headwind this year with some of our projects due to the cost of construction and the cost of money.” However, he adds, there are still a lot of “pent-up opportunities that are coming online,” along with growing demand for more hotels in urban and resort environments.

Bob also sees a growing focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as continued growth in properties with a focus on wellness. “Many of the major brands have wellness hotels that are really retreats and are located in places like Sedona or Palm Springs or in wilderness settings, but they’re also in top urban markets, too. These are places where people can go to experience various mind and body rejuvenation or even a much more focused healing and recovery experience, with medical staff and licensed therapists.”

Bob is no stranger to the concept of wellness retreats. In 1912 his great grandfather opened the Hotel Thermia Palace in Czechoslovakia, one of the world’s first wellness resorts.

“It was built on natural hot springs and there were mud baths; people from throughout central Europe would go there for treatment, primarily for rheumatism,” he says. Though no longer owned by the Winter family, the Thermia Palace exists to this day as a luxury spa and wellness hotel catering to clients worldwide. Those who cross the bridge onto the property pass a statue of a man breaking his crutch—a likeness of Bob’s great grandfather and a symbol of the retreat’s long-standing healing properties.

“It’s still a very popular place,” says Bob, who has visited the site.

The Winter family’s hospitality legacy transferred to the U.S. at the outbreak of World War 2, when Bob’s grandmother emigrated with her sons to the U.S. She soon became the country’s first female general manager of a major urban hotel, the Hotel Pearson in Chicago. Bob continues the family legacy today as IMEG’s director of hospitality.

“It’s the ‘giant circle’,” he says. “It’s been an interesting journey.”

IMEGCorp.com

Listen to the podcast: Podcast


Superior service is at the core of One Source Restoration. Wherever feasible, One Source uses and supplies its own labor source, only using subcontractors when necessary for practical reasons such as M.E.P (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) services. Our project management advisor is trained to manage multiple projects simultaneously, while our field crews are more than skilled in multiple trades that help ensure the satisfaction of our customer. By using our own crews we can maintain tighter control on our schedule, and the quality of our work, which provides greater consistency and efficiency for our clients satisfaction. www.onesourceresto.com


TPG Hotels & Resorts, one of the nation’s premier hospitality management firms, announced today the appointment of Ben Perelmuter to President & Chief Operating Officer. Perelmuter will oversee the operational performance of TPG’s entire hospitality portfolio.

“I am excited and motivated to join the TPG Hotels & Resorts team,” said Ben Perelmuter, President & Chief Operating Officer, TPG Hotels & Resorts. “This entrepreneurial hospitality team is committed to defining the gold standard for management services in the hospitality industry. We plan to firmly establish TPG Hotels & Resorts as the market leader for third-party management services, and I look forward to working with our talented team to achieve this goal.”

Perelmuter brings almost 30 years of hospitality leadership experience to TPG Hotels & Resorts, most recently serving as Division President at Aimbridge Hospitality. Over his 15-year span with the organization, he was responsible for managing the operational performance of hundreds of properties across all the major brands within the United States. Prior to that, he spent eleven years in hotel operations of large convention hotels and resorts in General Manager and other director-level roles within operations at properties, including the Grand Hyatt New York, Hyatt Regency New Orleans at the Superdome, Marriott Suites Clearwater Beach, and Embassy Suites in Tampa.

“Ben shares our vision of offering a unique value proposition to our hotel owners and brings an entrepreneurial brand of leadership to the company,” said Robert Leven, Chief Investment Officer of Procaccianti Companies, the parent company of TPG Hotels & Resorts. “His track record of success and leadership makes him the right person as we continue our growth strategy.”?

Perelmuter graduated from State University of New York at Plattsburgh, earning a Bachelor in Hotel & Restaurant Management. He has served on a variety of boards, including the AHLA Management Company Board in addition to the franchisee advisory committees for both Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Marriott International.  www.tpghotelsandresorts.com/


Off The Walls Studio Gallery is an online gallery specifically for the film, print & media industry. Our gallery was founded by John Philpotts, a former set decorator in the entertainment industry. We are an online art gallery exhibiting abstract, photography, and contemporary art from emerging and established artists. All art work is available for purchase. We also offer short-term rental or long term leasing. All art has permission by the artist for use in motion picture, tv and commercials and beyond. www.otwsg.com


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Graphic Encounter Fine Art provides Custom Art Designs, which are Professionally Printed on a variety of Substrates, including Fine Art Paper, Fine Art Canvas, Di-Bond Metal, Wall Paper Murals, as well as Public Area Sculpture.

Graphic Encounter Fine Art’s In House, One-on-One Art Consulting services are provided to renowned Interior Design Groups and Architectural Firms, that specialize in the design of Guest Rooms / Guest Suites / and Public Areas of Hotels, Mega-Resorts, and other hospitality venues throughout North America.

Graphic Encounter Fine Art’s Creative Director, David Jordan Williams, together with his Studio Artists, will speak to your design team and yourself directly. Our Design team will custom design, modify, and color-enhance imagery that will set your project apart. As your dialogue unfolds, your choice of substrate and frame shapes and colors will be identified quickly to complete your specifications.

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You’ll often hear a business blog or investor piece talking about how the commercial laundromat industry is “dying.”

They’ll point to things like a lower number of new laundromats opening, or the preference of buyers and renters for in-unit washers and dryers as evidence that commercial laundry is on the way out.

But of course, extrapolating a small data set to prematurely declare an industry dead is a common pastime for business blogs. The fact is the laundromat industry not only isn’t dying but is projected to get even bigger in the coming years, and Laundry One is here to help make that happen.

Coin-Operated Laundry is a Great Investment and Projected to Grow
A 2020 study showed that the coin-operated laundry industry was a $14.6 billion industry in 2019, with the largest share of that being in North America.

And not only is that a massive industry already, but it was projected to grow at a whopping 9.4% between 2020 and 2027.

That’s a lot of potential for growth in the commercial laundry industry, and it remains a great investment with relatively little risk, as businesses go. Unlike many businesses, laundromats can be run relatively passively, even if you have no experience in the commercial laundry industry beforehand.

Because laundromats are primarily automated, this makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a business you can run without having to spend all your time there.

That doesn’t mean you can neglect it entirely – you still need to be on hand to make sure your laundry facility is clean and you’re quickly handling repairs. But compared to the 24/7 attention required by, say, a restaurant, new laundromats are much lower-maintenance and can be successfully run even by people with a different day job.

Barriers to entry are also relatively low, as the vast majority of laundromats are owned by mom-and-pop operations that own only one or two locations. The coin-op laundry industry doesn’t really have a major “Wal-Mart”-style force that dominates areas with name recognition and impossible price competition.

What that means is that running a coin-op laundry business is as much about people and personal connections as equipment and facilities. If you’re looking to get into the commercial laundry industry by setting up in a single location, you’ll be in good company. But that doesn’t mean everything comes easy.

Pitfalls to Joining the Coin-Op Laundry Industry
The laundromat industry isn’t dead, and it isn’t dying, but it IS changing.

You can’t simply open up a new laundromat on any old street corner and expect to start cashing in. The laundromat industry is often referred to as a “mature market.” What this means, in effect, is that there are not a lot of communities that need a laundromat that are not already being served by one.

That means your options, as a prospective new laundromat owner, include finding a newly-developed area that could use a laundromat (think new apartment communities without in-unit laundry facilities), or taking over an existing laundromat in a desirable area from someone looking to sell.

Your other big option when starting a laundromat is to change the game.

How the Coin-Op Laundry Industry is Evolving
Once upon a time, adding dry-cleaning services to a coin-operated laundry facility was a big deal.

Today, it’s a fairly common add-on service, but it’s not enough to make a new laundromat stand out. Today’s coin-op laundry facilities are evolving to become places where people want to spend their time.

The fact is, customers spend a majority of their time at laundromats simply waiting around. A vending machine and a TV in the corner set to a news channel isn’t really going to make it more fun for someone to hang out while they wait for their blue jeans to dry. Keeping your laundromat clean and equipping it with shiny new machines will help, but won’t make the experience stand out.

That’s why many new laundromats are making the experience more enjoyable by adding small coffee shops, free Wi-Fi, and even video games. These are all things that will increase your overhead, of course, but they are also huge differentiating factors in an industry where there aren’t very many of those to work with.

Some modern laundromats are also introducing drop-off/pick-up laundry services, where they can simply have staff take care of their laundry during a busy day.

These are all examples of how the coin-op laundry industry is evolving to thrive in changing times, rather than withering. With a good business plan, smart management, and a few edges to help you stand out from the competition, you can grab your piece of that growing $14.6 billion pie.

We can help! Contact Laundry One or check out our investment guide to see what opportunities are available to you! We can even help you put together a successful business plan. www.laundryone.com


Although Madrid, the second most populous city in the European Union, is recognized as a major tourist hub for its diverse gastronomic and cultural heritage, the city has no beach life. That until now, because on the outskirts of that city, Crystal Lagoons will build Alovera Beach, its first Public Access Lagoons™ project on the Iberian Peninsula. Elsewhere in Europe the company is already developing PAL™ projects in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Turkey, as well as having already developed two real estate complexes in Spain (Costa del Sol and Murcia).

What are the main characteristics of this iconic project?

Alovera Beach will be the largest artificial beach in Europe, located in a Mediterranean urban area less than 40 minutes from the center of Madrid. The centerpiece of this resort will be a 2.1-hectare turquoise lagoon that will be open to the general public for the price of an entrance fee.

What benefits will this new complex bring to the region?

The project is an innovative concept, which will transform the municipality of Alovera and boost tourism in the Guadalajara area, positioning itself on the European map of technology, innovation and sustainability and as a unique reference point in outdoor water sports. The complex will be open all year round and expects to receive around 350,000 visitors annually.

The project, which will be developed by Crystal Lagoons in partnership with Grupo Rayet, will become a model for urban regeneration that will change the local landscape in a revolutionary way, have a high social impact and generate more than 330 direct and indirect jobs.

How will local residents benefit with the project?

Public Access Lagoons™ projects, also known as PAL™ developments, drastically change people’s lifestyles. They bring beach life and water sports possible in a city context, making going to the beach as close and as normal as going to the local park is today.

The body of water will be surrounded by an extensive, 1.6-hectare, white sandy beach and include sports facilities, a water park with slides and children’s pools, a water sports school for kayaking and paddle boarding and gastronomic services.

How do you address the current need to be a sustainable amenity?

Like all of Crystal Lagoons projects, the Alovera Beach lagoon will include the multinational’s sustainable technology, which allows the use of any type of water, consumes 30 times less water than a golf course and only half that of a park of the same size. Its filtration system uses only 2% of the energy of a conventional system and up to 100 times less chemicals than a swimming pool.

What are the main projects of Crystal Lagoons in Spain and Europe?

Alovera is the firm’s third project in Spain, which include the Alcazaba Lagoon (Costa del Sol) and Santa Rosalía (Murcia) residential developments. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, Crystal Lagoons has just signed a master agreement to develop six PAL™ complexes in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest. The company also has a project in Turkey and is in advanced negotiations for projects in Italy (Milan, Verona, Rome and Naples), Portugal, Greece and Georgia. www.crystal-lagoons.com


April 11 to 14 saw Cvent, the largest provider of technology for planning and executing meetings and events, host more than 2,000 planner customers at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas for its annual Cvent Connect event. Another 10,000 customers and other meeting-industry members participated virtually. This was the second time Cvent Connect was held in a hybrid format, and just eight months after the first iteration. During a wrap-up series of interviews for the online audience on the last day, various members of the planning staff spoke to virtual-program emcee Courtney Stanley about their work.

David Heizer, team lead, professional services for Cvent, noted that “we learned a lot from last year’s event and since that time, too. For that first hybrid, we didn’t have a playbook, but this time we could take things from last year’s playbook and build on them.”

Specifically, “you have a lot of momentum out of the gate when it’s the second show with the same team. Just knowing the event’s audience and flow, being familiar with how everyone works, having the documentation—all of that was a big help for us coming back after just eight months.” Another big help: A full debriefing of the entire team after the 2021 event. “That’s what you want to do in order to optimize the things that worked, and keep everything getting better.”

To properly serve the virtual audience, Heizer advised planners to “test early and test often. Somebody told me that plan A is always a decoy, and that tends to be true. For most of our streaming stages, we had anywhere from three to seven backup plans so that if a given scenario happened, we knew exactly how to pivot.”

Cvent’s production partner for the event was Encore, and Rob Stout, the firm’s vice president of production operations, said that a hybrid event “boils down to this: It’s one event but two experiences. The people who are in person have the advantage of taking in the whole environment, while those watching on a screen are getting more of a broadcast dynamic, and you have to plan for that difference. There’s a little more staff talent that’s needed—the broadcast requires more of a technical toolkit to really make the experience for remote attendees engaging, like a sporting event. I think that kind of investment is key, and it’s worth it in order to get a high degree of remote-attendee engagement. It’s not the same show for each audience.”

Kayla Sommers, CMP, senior meetings and events planner for Cvent and production lead for Connect, said that the team worked especially hard on making the opening entertainment segment a great hybrid experience. “The focus was not just on the people watching the performance on the stage in front of them; we really tried to choose something that would come across through the camera to all those desktops incredibly well.”

For other planners to do this, Sommers suggested that they “ask more questions of your suppliers than you ever have before. If you don’t know what exists out there, you don’t know what you could potentially do for your event. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

CventConnectStanleyGiusti.pngPaulina Giusti (in photo, wearing black), senior meetings and events manager for Cvent who oversaw the planning team with Sommers, added that “now’s the time” to stretch what you do with your events, perhaps even “take some risks. We’re all making our way back into in-person events, and I think this is the opportunity to give something a go that you’ve never done before. We did a lot of that with this year’s programming, including creating a lot more networking opportunities. And we’re ready to take some more chances with some other programs we’ve got coming up,” including Cvent Connect Europe taking place October 4 to 6.

In his keynote on day one, Cvent founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal emphasized that hybrid events will continue long after the Covid pandemic ends. As for the efforts that corporate, association, and third-party planners made to get up to speed technologically during the pandemic, “I want to thank all of you for your grit and your determination for adapting and embracing digitization so that our industry can move forward,” he said. “Just remember, technology is here to stay. It’s accelerating and it is now pervasive across the entire event lifecycle, and you’ve got to embrace it as a core competency.”

www.cvent.com