Hotels should be using the current down time amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to plan and execute construction projects, in particular refurbishment and renovation objectives, says a leading project management firm, arguing that when the market bounces back, properties will want to be putting their best product into action.
Vertex Project Management Director, Aaron Lawrence, who has managed new build and refurbishment projects for a number of QT Hotels & Resorts properties throughout Australia and NZ, says that with the majority of hotels either closed or operating at extremely low occupancy, guest interference is low to non-existent, meaning project work can be carried out faster and more efficiently.
Whether a property is looking to upgrade its restaurant, bar, lobby, guestrooms, deliver a new colour scheme, upgrade facilities or deliver an entirely new guest experience, Vertex says teams of builders, designers and suppliers can presently be mobilised at short notice.
“A lot of hotels in the Australian landscape do need some form of work so it’s an opportunity for those hotels to take advantage of this down time and give their hotel a facelift,” Lawrence said.
With staff either on furlough or being supported through government assistance programs for the short-term, projects such as refurbishments should be either delivered or brought forward to take advantage of fast track opportunities, added Lawrence.
“Staying viable is very important and I completely understand and appreciate that. It’s taking advantage of the low period and when the bounce does happen, they are geared up and ready to go and tackle the market with a product that’s the best it can be.”
Depending on the hotel and its location, it’s likely that a hotel will be able to carry out internal works under a minor approval such as a Complying Development Certificate (NSW) or Building Permit (Victoria), meaning authority approvals may be obtained in a matter of weeks rather than months for a full DA through council. For cosmetic enhancements such as new carpets, paint, furniture replacement, which are considered soft refurbishments, these works can often be carried out without needing authority approval. These are among the services available from a qualified and experienced project manager working to help you maximise the capital expenditure works within agreed time frames and budgets.
“Depending on the scope and how much work is involved, we’ve got a network of contacts that are ready to go. Especially given the downturn in the market, a lot of designers and builders have capacity to jump on to things immediately so we could establish a project and get a team ready to go very quickly,” Lawrence added.
For more information or to discuss your property’s refurbishment plans, please call Aaron Lawrence from Vertex Project Management on 0449 827 203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.