ULI members and non-members gathered at Studio Theater on Monday, May 9th to discuss the dynamic new micro-hotel trend and how the new concept is quickly shaping the Washington, DC area. The intriguing discussion was led by Jim Abdo, President and CEO of Abdo Development, Michael Lastoria, CEO of &Pizza, and Vanessa Sinders, SVP and Head of Government Affairs for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Each of the speakers brought a unique perspective and provided insightful, relevant feedback.
Ms. Sinders, a lodging and hospitality industry expert, began the discussion with providing an update on how millennials are reshaping the hospitality market. She discussed the challenges that the hotel industry is currently facing and what tactics brands are taking to respond to the ever changing market. Mr. Abdo, who is currently developing Hotel Hive in the Foggy Bottom submarket, Washington, DC’s first micro-hotel, then discussed the details of what the repositioning of a former outdated hotel into a new micro-hotel entails. To conclude the panel, Mr. Lastoria, who is working on the food programming for the Hotel Hive, discussed what his new concept will bring to the property and how he looks to not only serve the hotel guests, but also shape the entire neighborhood.
All three speakers not only provided an outstanding outlook on the new concept of micro-hotels, but also shared their own real-time thoughts on how Washington, DC is responding to the shifting marketing dynamics, new micro-hotel trends and the various challenges associated with branding such an innovative concept. Overall the event was well-attended and received extremely positive feedback.
Event recap written by Will Harvey