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Starting Small and the Outdoor Hospitality Approach

Words from the 2023 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference by BLLA In the independent and boutique hospitality industry, entrepreneurs and profession...

Words from the 2023 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference by BLLA

In the independent and boutique hospitality industry, entrepreneurs and professionals are increasingly recognizing the value of innovative design and outdoor experiences. This article delves into insights from industry experts who gathered at a recent BLLA conference, The Boutique Hotel Investment Conference by BLLA, to discuss the significance of starting small, embracing outdoor hospitality, and crafting extraordinary travel encounters.

The Start-Small Approach

Rod Clough, President Americas of HVS and Dan Peek, President & COO at Hodges Ward Elliott, both advocates for entrepreneurship, emphasize the importance of beginning with small-scale projects when venturing into the world of innovative design. They suggest that initiatives like airstream accommodations, glamping, and unique destination campgrounds provide a sturdy foundation for future growth. Starting with manageable projects allows entrepreneurs to test the waters, refine their concepts, and gain valuable experience before expanding further. Moreover, the liquidity advantage associated with smaller transactions provides flexibility, especially in fluctuating economic cycles.

The Allure of Outdoor Hospitality

Outdoor travel emerged as a central theme during the conference, captivating the attention of hoteliers and developers alike. Mark Keiser, Chief Development Officer of EOS Hospitality, highlighted the growing allure of vacation rentals and outdoor hospitality. In an era where people are increasingly seeking to disconnect from their routines, reconnect with nature, and explore their surroundings, outdoor hospitality presents a golden opportunity. Keiser noted that the appeal lies in the ability to redefine travel experiences by providing unique, nature-immersed accommodations and activities.

Crafting Extraordinary Outdoor Encounters

The sentiment toward outdoor experiences was echoed by the Pomeranc Brothers, who emphasized the importance of curating exceptional encounters in natural settings. In discussions with industry expert Channing Henry of PKF, the Pomeranc Brothers stressed that modern travelers are actively seeking extraordinary experiences outside the confines of urban environments. The appeal of being close to nature and immersing oneself in the local environment is undeniable. Whether it’s the vast landscapes of Wyoming, the rugged beauty of Alaska, or the serene deserts, travelers yearn for authentic experiences that connect them with their surroundings.

Capturing the Essence of Nature

A key aspect of creating unforgettable outdoor experiences lies in capturing the essence of the surrounding environment. The furniture, decor, and culinary offerings should seamlessly integrate with the natural landscape, offering guests a holistic sensory experience. This integration allows travelers to feel a profound connection with the location and fosters a sense of appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the world around them.

Post-Covid Travel Trends

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered travel trends, emphasizing the appeal of outdoor hospitality even further. Travelers now seek destinations that offer space, privacy, and opportunities for physical distancing. The outdoor hospitality sector, with its emphasis on open spaces and secluded accommodations, aligns perfectly with these evolving preferences.

As the hospitality industry continues to adapt to changing traveler expectations, the significance of innovative outdoor experiences becomes increasingly apparent. Entrepreneurs and industry leaders are embracing a start-small approach, capitalizing on the allure of outdoor hospitality, and crafting exceptional encounters that connect travelers with nature. By capturing the essence of diverse landscapes and catering to post-pandemic travel trends, the future of outdoor hospitality shines bright, promising unique and memorable adventures for years to come.

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