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HI Connect Spotlight - Gettys

Today we speak with Roger Hill, the chairman and CEO of Gettys and Ron Swidler, principle as part of our series focusing on the hospitality designers, architects and purchasing pros that are part of HI Connect Design 2014.

Saturday, January 25, 2014
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HI Connect Design
HI Connect Design
Experience a Design Revolution

We’re getting ready for our BIG event HI Connect Design coming this April 2-4, 2014 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN.

We’ve got dozens of built out fully constructed out vignettes created by the vision of leading hospitality designers, architects and purchasing pros. And those in attendance will get to step into their master creations, get a tour and see products in the content in which they belong; in a real hotel environment!

HI Connect Design offers attendees an incredible opportunity to view, first hand, original concepts designed by industry designers and purchasing companies in collaboration with suppliers shown in context within a real environment of a guest room, bathroom, and public spaces such as Bar/Lounge, Spa/Fitness to name a few. This is a truly the most collaborative effort ever at any hospitality event.

As part of our countdown to HI Connect 2014 we’re interviewing the people that are bringing their creative vision to life. Read the story below, or for a more fully in-depth interview listen to their story below.


For today’s interview, Editor-In-Chief Glenn Haussman speaks with Roger Hill, the chairman and CEO of Gettys and Ron Swidler, principle. Gettys is creating the café during the three days of HI Connect Design where folks will be negotiating deals over a latte or a cool cocktail.

We talk about the company’s 25 year history, how hotel design is changed and more important to how your customers are changing and how you can adapt.

Glenn: Before we get into it, Happy Anniversary. You are celebrating 25 years, that’s amazing.

Roger: Thank you Glenn, it is a pleasure to be here, always enjoy having a chance to catch up with you and it is an amazing milestone, incredibly proud of the fact that 25 years ago we started the company, five years before that I had the pleasure of meeting Arianna and Andrew and Julius at Cornell and it has been a great journey. Like any journey, there have been some ups and some downs, but the overall trajectory has been fantastic and really proud of where we are and what’s great about being here with Ron is he was the first team member that joined our company and so literally last week was his 25th anniversary.

Glenn: Hey congratulations!

Ron: Thank you very much.

Glenn: So tell me about those early days, what was it like putting the company together and what were you guys thinking when it came to overall design?

Roger: Well I am proud to say even back at Cornell when we were kicking around the idea of starting the business we really felt there was a unique opportunity to combine creativity with business. And even back then there were obviously a lot of world class architects, a lot of world class designers, a lot of incredible developers and I had had an experience working for Bear Stearns in their real estate practice doing a management training program and it really opened my eyes to seeing that a lot of people were spending money in design and it wasn’t being really appreciated and it seemed there was a real opportunity to bring our knowledge of the hospitality industry and combine that with trying to help people create as much value and incredible experiences for their guests and their team members and there was a real void in the marketplace so that was the vision, and of course nobody was kind enough to tell us about having any experience or branding ourselves, how hard it was going to be to start our business and you know, thank goodness they didn’t or we probably wouldn’t be here today.

Glenn: Yeah, I was just thinking that. So alright, so you know, Ron, you, this company starts, you are the first big hire, what made you want to get involved with this rough and tumble crew?

Ron: I liked these guys right away, that was part of it, I was just a waiter in the restaurant where they happened to come in and sit down at my table quite honestly Glenn. But I convinced them to hire me, take me on, I said I could do anything, draft, answer the phone.

Roger: Pour coffee.

Ron: Pour coffee, I was very good at pouring coffee.

Roger: Looked great in a Tuxedo too.

Ron: Well that’s because I worked at the restaurant downstairs in a tuxedo and came to work at a drafting table in a tux upstairs. But yeah, it’s been an incredible journey and honestly the answer is that we have always modeled ourselves after the kind of core values that Roger has talked about and that he practices and the firm practices, as just our Gettys culture is a unique culture and we are all kind of committed, almost like a family business, to one another and to our success.

Glenn: Now one of the things that you did when you first started is you were innovating, you were changing, you were making sure that you were doing something different that nobody else was doing in order to get everybody’s attention and win that future business. Now, 25 years later, how do you keep that innovation going so you are always fresh and relevant to not just today but the audience that you are going to be serving ten years from now?

Roger: Well I think what’s really exciting for Ron and I and I think our entire organization is we continue to have that innovative spirit yet today. And it is really quite honestly what excited all of us. I have a thirst to continue to learn and I am smart enough to recognize the best way to do that is to comb the internet, read voraciously, and surround yourself with really smart people and then we work incredibly collaboratively and we know at the end of the day by using collaboration we can be that much more successful. So we have accomplished a lot but the next 25 years just look out, because they are going to be even more exciting, more innovative.

Glenn: So Ron, how do you make sure that people stay innovative and fresh in your company? I think he said a lot, he is out there reading, he is researching, he is thinking and stuff, but I think human tendency is just to kind of get stuck where we are and not move forward and you guys have expanded a lot over 25 years, you have a lot of personnel, how do you get them to open up and share those great ideas and not be nervous to keep it to themselves.

Ron: I think we look for people initially when we hire them, with people who have curiosity. People who are looking to acquire experiences and honestly today’s kind of demographic is collecting experiences much less than collecting things. So part of what we do is starts with who we hire. We’re hiring people with curiosity and passion, we experience as much as we can, and to Roger’s point, that collaborative process is our clients so part of what we want to deliver to every project is some new insight, something that can perhaps allow our clients project to differentiate itself in the marketplace and that’s going to come not only from our thinking and experiences but also from the contributions of our clients and the entire project team.

Roger: That’s an incredible differentiator. A lot of people of our pedigree if you were interviewing us today part of what we say we do, not us but other firms, looking forward to working with you Glenn, we are going to go work in a vacuum, we are going to come back and show you something and if you like it, great, and if you don’t, well maybe we should move on because it is our way or the highway. That’s just not the way we work and it is not the way to be innovative and that’s not the way to understand and leverage off of all our experiences. And to Ron’s point, a big part of what we are doing and whatever part of our business that we are involved with is creating experiences and telling stories and telling stories that people are going to be attracted to and going to be buzz worthy and people are going to be talking about and that’s going to help the project we are involved with be successful. And help that environment work well for the team members that work in it and also for the investors that have given us the responsibility to invest that capital and make their projects in house.

Glenn: Alright, so speaking of those investors, if I was putting down a lot of money and there is a lot of old school owners out there that might also be kind of stuck in their ways, how do you bring them to where they need to be to be more receptive to your ideas and also help push boundaries once that product is open in the community.

Ron: Well we believe in the workshop methodology. It is something that you guys have even participated in with us, which has just been a great experience. We believe that if we can construct a process that allows and welcomes thoughts to kind of take both convergent and divergent thinking and put them together so gather up a lot of great ideas and then sort those ideas down to the ones that can be most impactful. That process allows for buy in from the outset, gives people an opportunity to contribute their thinking and then it finds a trajectory again to the project that can ultimately represent a collective mind power that’s even better than just the individuals who are around the table.

Roger: One of the fantastic things about that experience is the natural part investing that occurs from everybody that’s around the table and we… to your point earlier about how you set up the question relationship to a lot of these sophisticated people who we work with, they are incredibly busy, so having an opportunity to spend ideally two days with them, there is a lot of work but there is also a bonding that occurs and we are working on a really exciting project right now helping a developer take on an incredible vision of redeveloping downtown Pennsylvania, it is going to be a billion dollar project in total.

Yeah, it is amazing. And the granularity that we are involved in that but then also the high altitude that we are involved in that. It required us when we were going through this workshop to spend a night just touring multiple restaurants in the city of Chicago and then getting back together and continuing to go through this workshop and while all this was going on, we were videotaping this all because they are managing this incredible initiative, they wanted a way to be able to tell that story not only today but as they hire team members, and the project goes forward, they will be able to sort of look back on this history of what we were attempting to create and then bringing it to fruition and because today as you know with a lot of your listeners and all of us, so much of the information we get is fragmented in a very quick dose, if we can combine that sort of message with a great video message we found that to be incredibly successful in pushing stories forward and that’s part of our secret sauce.

Glenn: So you are saying you have got to engage the owners in the process and make them part of that creative journey, right? That way you will win them over early, and make them feel like they are a part of that decision making process.

Roger: Ultimately we want them to really feel like, and they are, the executive producer and we are just helping them write the screenplay and then bring the movie to fruition. And hopefully it is a blockbuster seller.

Glenn: Yeah, so great. Alright, so keeping with the innovation theme for a little bit right now, and tying it in to what’s going on in the hospitality business, what are consumers looking for today? What really resonates with them?

Ron: Well there is a lot of ways that we can try to address the consumer demands in a given market place and some of that ends up being informed by what’s already there. One of several projects we are doing where we immersed ourselves in the environment as well to understand what are the restaurants that are there, who are the hotels that are there, what is their kind of demographic that they are trying to appeal to, where is the market opportunity, where is that gap, right, for us to jump into and create something different. And so we can use lots of different tools to appeal to today’s consumer and find that unmet need, one quick example is a restaurant that we ate at recently where their differentiator is the iPad and the way the iPad was used as a menu and it was terrific because it allowed you to have the visual menu of what you might consider ordering prior to ordering it, but also a drill down to understand what were the ingredients in that dish including a recipe that you could email to yourself if you wanted to reproduce the same dish or try to at home so there is lots of different ways that technology can be used as another means of differentiation.

Glenn: I love that particular thing that you are saying because it is really quite the opposite of what we used to think, if there are pictures on the menu you want to avoid at the restaurant. But I guess our culture has changed, we have got that culture of yelp right now and everybody loves photographic food, I am probably as guilty as anybody on the planet for taking pictures of every single burger although I took a great shot of Five Guys burger the other day that I was really proud of, but so yeah. I guess people are more apt to that and because we are changing in all these different ways they want to interact with it which goes back to what you said a few minutes ago, it is about collecting experiences and having that intimate reaction I think with the food choices has helped prompt that and bring you forward.

Ron: Absolutely. And we have been very fortunate over the years to work with wonderful clients on projects and we are seeing a demand in the marketplace for unique experiences and where it happened to be fortunate enough to be working on several autograph collection hotels right now and each one of course is a brand of one and when you are dealing with a brand of one you really have to have an opportunity to differentiate those brands in the marketplace and appeal to that particular market and it’s really been a terrific experience to marry up our interior design capabilities with our brand design capabilities, our procurement capabilities, and deliver that experience all the way through, Glenn. So if you say people are collecting the experience it used to be when we were just in the interiors and procurement business, we could create a beautiful environment but if we could take it to the next level and we can design that app that runs on that iPad that is the menu or the uniforms or the soundtrack and create the rest of that immersive environment, it’s taking the experience all the way through to a multi sensory experience.

Glenn: Right Roger, it seems to me that over the years you guys have become more of a 360 degrees kind of a company, handling everything from idea innovation to that opening night ribbon is cut, so how is that changed the way you perceive things and do business?

Roger: It’s changed dramatically for us and probably what’s been the most exciting is we have really been gone to be viewed as a firm that’s strategic and strategy experts as it relates to our industry whether it be working on a hotel or working for a manufacturer or working for the creation of a particular brand and that’s put us in an interesting convergence between business with strategy along with brand design, interior design, and it has put us in a very unique place in the market place where we are very fortunate to have a seat at the table long before anybody else and we have earned that right at the table as though we really understand how to create value and we can quickly go through a filter of things that helps us understand the best way to meet the objectives of the clients that we serve and we have some clients that say I want to own this hotel for 100 years, we have other clients that are private equity shops that want to own hotels for three or five years, we have people that want to create brands and all of that information we can leverage off of our 25 years of experience to help them create as much value as quickly as possible and in today’s world, everybody’s time starved and us being able to offer that strategic thinking early on and then be held accountable to execute that, that’s what really differentiates us from some of the top strategy firms in the country. A lot of them can give advice but then they sort of put that plan on the shelf and check back in a year later. We can take that plan and be held accountable to bring it to fruition and are proud to do that in a way that none of our competition truly can in the United States.

Glenn: I like that attitude because most of my career I have been trying to avoid accountability, now I get it. By taking control of the situation, it will be much better. But I like what you said about the value quotient here. And to me that goes back to something that we were teasing actually before the mics went on, is finding out the unmet opportunity in the market run. So I want to talk a little bit about how you go ahead and figure out what that unmet opportunity is. Here in New York I can’t imagine there’s any of that but new hotels keep coming up with lots of creative ideas that seem to expand the customer experience and you are working on those three autograph collections you said, a Renaissance hotel, and you are kind of going through that same process for all of them, right?

Ron: Right, and what we do Glenn is we actually look at every guest journey point, is the way we refer to it. So we are looking at every step of the guest experience and within that area of the hotel experience we are looking for how the service is being delivered, what the environment feels like, what are the brand touch points, and really try to find where is the opportunity for a signature moment, it could be a service moment, it could be a different kind of brand touch point, but we are trying to identify where the opportunity is and we go with criteria in hand to all the other competitive hotels within that market and we are evaluating how well each of those hotels are delivering the unique experience in each guests journey point. We literally have a score card system. And then at the end of the day we say you know what? That hotel up the street has an amazing fitness experience, we are not going to beat them in the fitness experience. We only need to be a four out of five there, we don’t have to be a five out of five, let’s put our money instead in the experience in the lobby because that’s really due to the architectural configurations or whenever it might be, that we have the greatest opportunity to really differentiate our hotel, our project with a given area or a given guest experience point. So that’s how we do it, we identify what’s already out there, we look by guest journey point, we say what could be the signature service moment or signature element within each of those environments, that what are people going to talk about later Glenn. After they leave the hotel, what are they going to write on yelp and Facebook and trip advisor about their stay, and we try to focus in on those things.

Glenn: Not to be, I find again fascinating. Because it used to be again I feel like design ten years ago was put as much in of everything as you possibly can, to level yourself out with the competition and then what happened was we all hit this mushy middle and nobody stands out. Now I am seeing guys like you be innovative, to say you only need to have two or three things that really make your brand understandable to the consumer. Which makes sense because people are smart but they can’t really remember more than those two or three things because we are so fragmented in our way of life right now so that’s pretty cool. Roger, what else can you add to that?

Roger: I think what’s really exciting and we are so fortunate that we are doing multiple projects for Starwood right now, multiple projects for Intercontinental Hotel Group, multiple projects for Wyndham, and all of these guys and multiple projects for Hilton, everybody is doing a great job at defining the swim lanes that make up their brands so what’s terrific for consumer analysis since there is so much transparency out there, they can really understand what kind of experience they are going to get with whatever property they are going to, that’s affiliated with one of these brands, or if they decide to go for a complete independent experience or a partial independent experience as Ron was mentioning with the autograph brand where you are really a brand of one but connected to this pipe at Marriott, we are in an incredibly exciting period of time where the internet is truly the great equalizer. So that allows us an immense amount of ability to be creative but it is also from a competition perspective allows anybody with an iPad and a desk to be a competitor and be a disrupter and that also is what’s really exciting for us is that the speed of change and innovation is just incredibly rapid and that’s what gets us excited about getting up every day and that’s also where there’s so much opportunity because if you are willing to harness that, as a hotelier or manufacturer, there is just a ton of opportunity and you can either be afraid of that transparency and innovation, or you can say man I want to be a part of it and be a leader.

Glenn: So I think that the next question is if we are moving so fast, how do you make sure things are fresh by the time they open because you got to go through the design and creation process and you got to go through the building process and just then you are able to start hitting hopefully the cultural zeitgeist.

Ron: You know we track trends and that is a critical aspect of how we keep things fresh. We want to look for consumer behavior today and we want to be able to predict consumer demands in the future so part of the way we do that is we are tracking trends on a regular basis and we are looking for lots of new sources and including yours Glenn, that could inform us about what tomorrows consumer is going to be looking for in those environments and making sure we are designing for that to the degree we possibly can.

Glenn: I feel like the two of us talk about a lot of the same types of issues, at events. I swear when you spoke at one of our issues over the summer at our bitech global event, I am like yeah, I know that, I know that. I have been talking about that a lot, but his videos are a lot cooler than the stuff I am putting up there. So yeah, I really like your way of thinking. Obviously if it is the way I think. I like it! So I think we have really set the stage really well for what you guys do and how you are adapting to this massively changing marketplace but since you guys are doing the café at HI connect design, check it out at HIconnectdesign.com April 2nd through 4th, at the Gaylord Opryland Nashville, Tennessee, I want to talk a little bit about since you are doing that café, what are some of the trends out there that you are seeing in restaurants? Now we had talked about merging technology with the food a little bit, but you are starting to think a little bit forward now about how to really bring those two things together so I think the first question I have for you is what are consumer’s really craving in a restaurant experience, I know general casual-ish experience, and how are you bringing that to light through design and the merging of technology and design?

Ron: Well we are looking at some great models already out there where people like Starbucks are evolving the way that they are delivering their model so in Chicago for example, we have one of the new global prototypes where they transform that café from a coffee, third place coffee based kind of environment during the day, to a wine bar in the evening, and doing some small plate stuff.

Glenn: Starbucks is doing that?

Ron: Yeah, Starbucks is doing that. So as we look to consumer trends that are being informed around other experiences we say well that makes a lot of sense and so our hotel environments and some of the lobby spaces, look at the Ace hotel for example, up the street where I had some coffee this morning, that’s a highly active space all the time, that lobby has been activated through some food and beverage culture through all day parts so the solutions of how to activate spaces through all day parts, it could be a restaurant like a Starbucks or the café at HI connect, or it could be a hotel lobby experience like the Ace, but how do we keep those environments generating revenue, keeping them active, and looking like the kind of place where guests want to stay.

Glenn: Roger, he makes a lot of sense there about activating all of those spaces, keeping it action packed, but why is this idea new? Everybody loves hanging out and eating food and beverage but I only started to hear about this five years ago.

Roger: I think the new part about it is psychologically and particularly millennial’s, they like to have an opportunity to be alone but not be lonely and that’s what these environments are creating, places where they can work and focus but at the same time be connected to the people around them and as a hotelier or restaurateur, that is music to their ears because that’s a valuable piece of real estate that you ideally would like to be using 18 hours a day or 24 hours a day if you happen to be in Las Vegas or Times Square, so that’s really what’s been the impetus so now because we are so mobile, it’s really tipping your hat to those people and making it easy for them to be able to connect in those environments by being able to pay or opt in to paying for internet or having an easy way to charge your device etcetera, and have that experience be one that is simple and fluid, and allow you to be able to be productive but also at the same time get a small bite or glass of wine or invite someone to pop in and work with you so it’s been wonderful for the consumer and it’s really been terrific for hotel owners because a lot of people don’t really understand, believe it or not, that hotels are open to the public. So to layer on what Ron was saying in relationship to obviously what Starbucks has done so well in creating this third place, hoteliers and we are certainly working hard to help them communicate that message as well that you are welcome to come into this hotel, you don’t have to be a guest there and that’s some of the ways that hotels are incredibly successful in a community if people want to go there to dine, if they want to go there to celebrate a special occasion, they want to go for a nightcap after some social event. That is what helps a hotel fire in 24/7/365. So it is not just dependent on transient guests or business guests.

Glenn: So I think basically what you are really saying is it really comes down to figuring out exciting ways to steal that market share, right? Seems like a zero sum game out there, there’s not a lot of new people going out to restaurants, I think we are maxed out on that so you have got to steal from the competition. You got to keep coming up with new ideas and you guys are working on another really cool project that I heard about, this safe house thing that I think really gives people, that plays o that experienced sandbox and gives people an opportunity to engage in a new way. Ron?

Ron: Yeah, it is dialing up that experience to a different level. It is taking food and beverage and creating something that is highly memorable based on every experience that you have, this is a concept that we are developing on behalf of one of our clients and it is applying an existing brand and kind of redeveloping that brand for a more urban market that way now in Chicago, and it is highly experiential and it is utilizing technology to create kind of the level of experience that you are looking for. It is designed to be a speakeasy so you have to know where it is to get in, there is no sign outside.

Glenn: That’s a lot of fun.

Ron: Yeah it is, and you need the password, I might tell you later, Glenn, how to get in.

Glenn: He is going to give me the wrong password.

Ron: But using technology as an overlay for the experience allows people to either have just a great food and beverage experience in a nice environment or opt in to something that’s even more interactive. I had an opportunity to dine in at a fun restaurant with Roger while here in New York City, that transformed itself at the end of our meal into a much more of a nightclub and less of a restaurant and it became another reason for people to go to the place. So allowing that transformation to change a restaurant or change an experience over to appeal to the same demographic to keep them longer or appeal to a slightly different demographic to keep people coming there, is part of what we are looking at when we are looking at real estate and restaurants.

Glenn: Right, you are working on a project like that now in Hong Kong right? So people have always talked about changing places for day parts, but it has always been a little clunky, how is technology enabling you to make those projects more seamless and exciting overall?

Roger: Well this is a great example too where our brand design team, interior design team and design architecture team have worked together hand in hand and developer Ron can tell you about him, incredibly successful restaurateur, really challenged the team to come up with something that was extremely innovative and he like we were describing before, somebody who is very busy, short attention span, the piece we put together just resonated with them and the rest is history. I will turn it over to you Ron.

Ron: It is an exciting opportunity for us, Glenn. One of the ways that the technology is being utilized is to transform with lighting, lighting is becoming more affordable, it is becoming more dramatic, the incorporation of LED’s into spaces.

Glenn: Just one fixture could make millions of colors.

Ron: Absolutely. And we are using all kinds of interesting technology and effects to transform an exciting restaurant experience into an exciting nightclub experience in the evening. And we can actually hoist tables and chairs up to the ceiling to get them off of the dance floor when we go from a dining environment to a night club environment.

Glenn: That’s pretty neat.

Ron: Yeah it is, it is going to be pretty dramatic when you are in Hong Kong in about a year, you will be able to experience it.

Glenn: Great. I think I am going to book my flight right now, it sounds pretty good. I think we have covered a whole lot and believe it or not we are a half an hour into this. Anything else that you guys want to add before we get into some shameless plugs. Roger?

Roger: Well I guess I wanted to talk a little bit about HI connect in relationship to what’s happening this year. We have been really fortunate in that we have been involved from the beginning and I think that the evolution and trajectory that the entire team is on is fantastic and I really encourage listeners that haven’t experienced HI connect to come out and be a part of it. It is quite an unbelievable thing and once you have seen it and seen the quality and design and the quality of the educational panels that you guys put on, the people that are there together, and then the environments that are created, it is unbelievable, it is in essence a pop up design studio, it is a pop up hotel, it is pop up restaurants. It is pop up guest rooms. I mean the attention to detail and the ability to be inspired if you are a hotel owner, if you are a designer, if you are a manufacturer. There is just so much learning that can go on because f the three dimensional environment you are creating there. It is really complicated, executing it is very difficult. But I think as time goes on that’s getting better and better and it’s only like a great Bordeaux, only going to get better with time.

Glenn: Well thank you for saying all those kind words Roger, we are really, really not just proud of the effort that our whole team has put into it but all of the folks like you guys that are participating in the event that partner with the suppliers and create such amazing things. I remember walking around at last year’s edition going oh my god, I can’t believe there is so much amazing talent in this business, and it is all right here in one single place for you to explore whatever flavor of design you like. It was there. So Ron, anything you want to add?

Ron: No, I just want to thank you Glenn, for having us on your show, it is always a pleasure to see you and have an opportunity to share some insights from our world and hear insights from your world and like Roger, I just want to thank you and the rest of the hotel interactive team for your great support of us and putting on such a fantastic even.

Glenn: Thanks Ron, that’s very nice of you to say also, but I do want you guys to get out a good plug. Now we talked about all the different services that you do, Roger, give us 30 seconds on everything that you guys do, succinctly, and how do they find you?

Roger: Well thanks to technology today, it is amazing how many people find us going out and tapping into Google, something they might be interested in that relates to what we do and the next thing you know we get an email or a call but as I mentioned when we started, the beginning of the session, what’s really interesting for us is that more and more people are reaching out to us for our strategy work and our understanding of the industry that we serve and what’s really exciting, and I wish we had more time, is there are a lot of people that are reaching out to us and we have been engaged and hired by people that aren’t in the hospitality industry but want to bring hospitality into the environments that they have so that has been mind numbingly exciting for us and we are really proud that they are reaching out to us as experts in that arena, so it starts with our brand design group, it starts then to migrate typically to our interior design, design architecture group, it then will go to our procurement group, and then it could very well migrate to our development services team or they could be involved simultaneously with our strategy team and we are very fortunate that we have all these different centers of excellence so some people choose to use this from stem to stern, and other people just hire us for a unique portion of value creation and for us we are just in a very fortunate position that we have a lot of people that are enjoying working with us, we are enjoying working with them, and I think for the industry it is a terrific time and if I was to put on my hat in relationship to where we are what people don’t really recognize about the hotel industry versus sort of the housing market and the hangover that occurred in 2008-2009, because there were so many homes built for the wrong reasons and over leveraged, we didn’t really have any of that in the hotel industry so our recovery I think will last a lot longer because we went into that period of time in a much more disciplined way as it relates to lending and the lending today for full service hotels is very disciplined. So I think that barring any catastrophic event, the industry is in a great position to succeed and we are open throughout the globe working on multiple projects in the Middle East and Asia, now in Northern Africa and we love, we haven’t had a chance to talk about it but we are such a global society and interesting project we were talking about in Asia, our Chicago office, our Hong Kong office, we are basically working 24/7 on that project and we are able to work globally but think locally and that’s I think what travelers are looking for today and that’s allowed us to just be very fortunate to be in a position of an embarrassment of riches as it relates to the opportunities that we find ourselves working with today.

Glenn: Well it sounds like that’s going to be our next podcast, let’s get together at Alice in January and talk about that kind of stuff. So Gettys is Gettys.com and in case anyone wants to kick it old school, can they call you? What is your phone number?

Roger: I would love it, they can call me at (312) 832 2438.

Glenn: Excellent. Anything else you want to add?

Roger: No thanks a lot, it’s been great.

Glenn: Ron, you already added, but anything else? An addendum perhaps?

Ron: No, that’s great, thanks Glenn.

Glenn: Excellent, guys I want to thank you so much. Of course Ron Swiddler and Roger Hill of Gettys, you guys are absolutely awesome and make sure you check out HI connect design, HIconnectdesign.com. Registration is open, gotta see you there. Have a great day and thanks for listening to our focus on the architects, designers and purchasing pros at HI connect design.


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