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HI Connect® Designer Spotlight - Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative

Today we speak with designers from Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative as part of our series focusing on the hospitality designers, architects and purchasing pros participating in HI Connect® 2015.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
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HI Connect®®
HI Connect®
Experience a Design Revolution

We’re getting ready for our BIG HI Connect® event coming this March 25-27, 2015 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. Act Now and register to be a part of this amazing event now in its fourth year!

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

HI Connect® offers attendees an incredible opportunity to view, first hand, original concepts designed by industry designers, architects and purchasing companies in collaboration with suppliers shown in context within a real environment. You’ll see guest rooms, bathrooms, 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® 2015 we’re interviewing the people that are bringing their creative vision to life. Read the story below, or listen to their story.

Act now to be a part of this game changing event. For more information relating to this unique and dramatic experience at HI Connect® experience March 25-27, 2015, visit our dedicated website to learn more. Register now for this unique event setting a new standard for hospitality tradeshows. Or call 631-424-7755 x150 for an immediate response.

For today’s interview, Editor-In-Chief Glenn Haussman speaks with Brenda Amsberry and Christine Clippinger who are creating a Wellness Suite during the three days of HI Connect®.

Glenn Haussman: You know, Brenda, I'm kind of getting the sense that wellness has really started to coalesce and come together in the last five years or so. How do you see it?

Brenda Amsberry: It really has. There's no doubt that there's a huge shift in awareness and Christine's going to talk a little bit more about that. Exactly why we're seeing that shift. So, Christine.

Christine Clippinger: There's a couple of major factors from a societal standpoint that go into the embracing of wellness and fitness as a lifestyle. The first and foremost being the advent of Health Care Reform in the form of the Affordable Care Act and a accountable care organizations. From a health care standpoint this puts the onus for health back onto the patient and the doctor.

Insurance requirements frequently allow, in an accountable care organization, allow only a certain amount of money per patient allocated to that health care group. So with a number amount of money it behooves the health care organization for that patient to stay well and be fit instead of waiting until they are sick and require care.

So having that upfront well has really been a major shift as more doctors, more hospitals embrace the concept of exercise as medicine.

Glenn Haussman: Right. I agree with you. And I think you're a hundred percent on that end of it, and then I also see more of an awakening amongst the people in general. I think that the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s and stuff we got all consumed with this modern society. Where we didn't really have to take care of ourselves spiritually or physically, what would just happen is, well, modern science would take care of everything.

And now we realize, I think that in order to stay healthy, we can't depend on modern science, but we need to take care of ourselves in the say that we did decades ago and hundreds of years ago, right?

Christine Clippinger: That's right. And I really feel like people of all ages have come to realize that their health and wellness is crucial to their vitality throughout their youth and into older age. I think a lot of the wellness facilities that we see are frequented not just by those young buff people, but also be people in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond who want to live a long and healthy life and be around for their children, and their grandchildren, and they know that they have to take control of their wellness in order to do that.

Glenn Haussman: You're absolutely right.

Brenda Amsberry: You know what, Glenn – What's interesting about this as it relates to the hospitality and also, for example, the food and service and hospitality, I remember days of going to a nice four-, five-star hotel and it certainly was luxury. It was rich meals. It was a luxurious room, but it really had no function other than it was really luxurious and nice. And it really catered to this kind of laziness and overindulgence [laughs].

Glenn Haussman: Right.

Brenda Amsbury: If anything. And so you know the hotels, obviously, the hospitality market is seeing, is making a big shift even in their food service offering. So I think it started with food options and this whole focus on GMOs and what we're putting into our bodies. And it has expanded even from there to include many other things in our lifestyles.

Glenn Haussman: I agree a hundred percent, Brenda. I really feel like the American public in general is starting to focus more on what they put into their bodies. I see that with the whole foods revolution that's taking out there. People are more focused on organic products. They're focused on putting things into their body that will take care of them, while simultaneously they're realizing that they need to put the work in, too.

So when you say that hotels started putting in better foods, I'm starting to think that they were ahead of the curve, and now their guests are starting to eat those healthier foods, too, and participate in behaviors that make them a lot more health overall. I think the funny thing is, I'm seeing a lot less people at the bar at 2:00 AM and a lot more of them in the gym at 6:30 AM.

Christine Clippinger: Great point.

Brenda Amsberry: Absolutely. And to that point, I think there are hospitality groups and health care groups that are working together to create wellness destinations. You know it used to be if you wanted to go to a destination resort you were going for your family, and you were going to do all sorts of fun outdoor stuff, or you were going to a spa and you were going to relax and be pampered and take a lot of naps and leisurely walks.

And now you have groups like even the Biggest Loser from TV that they have now I think five different wellness based resorts. Instead of paying, you know, $2,000.00 or $4,000.00 to go for a few days at a spa, you're paying to go to a boot camp and get worked out and learn new fitness techniques and nutrition habits, and get on the road to wellness. And people are paying for that.

Glenn Haussman: Right. And I think it's also becoming more a part of mainstream culture where, you know what, I don't want to go away specifically for five days of regimen, but I am going to be on the road for one or two days, and I want to be able to continue the habits that I've created that are healthy at home, while maintaining that on the road.

And I think that's really where your wellness suite comes into play, that's going to be featured at HI Connect® March 25th through March 27th down in Nashville, Tennessee. And for you guys listening out there, check out HIConnectEvents.com for more information.

Tell us a little bit about the thought process of what you're doing to create a wellness suite that is really hitting on these trends and helps the guests maintain their regimen, and maybe add some new things to them that then they can in turn, take back home with them.

Brenda Amsberry: Okay. Well we look at wellness, some people say that there are seven to eight circles of wellness, which really creates overall health and wellness within a person. You know going way beyond just the physical wellness, spiritual, mental, which most people are very familiar with those three. But this goes on to include intellectual, environmental, occupational, financial, so that there's an entire circle.

So what we've done with this suite is to design it in a way that the materials appeal to some of the environmental concerns, with natural materials, no off gassing, things of that nature. Good lighting, nice lighting that is easy on the eyes. Physical wellness we've incorporated a kinesis piece of equipment into the suite.

So we actually have an active and passive part of the suite. Where the active portion of the suite is focused on occupational, intellectual, and physical wellness. And then the passive side of the suite is more focused on the emotional, spiritual, knowledge, creates a space to relax, reconnect, recharge, become centered.

So that allows the occupant of the suite to really nurture their entire bodies and souls, and still get their work done and maintain a bit of activity and without having to go outside of their room for that.
Glenn Haussman: Right. And I love the idea of doing it in the room, because you know a lot of people don't feel comfortable necessarily going to the gym. I'm one of those guys. I still feel like that gangly 10-year-old, who's getting picked last for the kickball team, you know what I mean.

So that carries over into the whole gym thing. So I don't want to feel like I'm being judged, so to be able to have that in my room in a comfortable atmosphere I think is really, really a cool idea, too.

Christine Clippinger: It is, and we have a video screen, which this unique piece of equipment, for example, will show exercises that can be done with this equipment for those that are not familiar with it. We'll have a spot for yoga. Along with the opportunity that a video can be played on the TV as a yoga instructor leads through this.

So it's almost like having your own private little workout zone, where you don't have to worry about walking down the hall in your gym clothes, and then coming back to your room sweaty and unattractive. And almost a sense of having a personal trainer in your very own room.

Glenn Haussman: And that I think is really pretty cool, too. So what you're saying is, you can get that exercise done, maybe learn some new types of things that you could really incorporate into your regimen once you leave that particular suite and go back to your day-to-day life. Really interesting idea there.

So, ladies, what is the deal with wellness? Is this a fad? Is it just the way things are going to be going forward? How do you see it?

Christine Clippinger: Absolutely not, this is a trend that is here to stay among all generations. What we see is older people embracing something maybe that they weren't so comfortable with but creating some longevity and wellbeing for themselves. All the way down to the younger generation, Generation Y who accepts fitness and wellness as an integral part of their daily life.

And that you have in that Generation Y, a lot more people who eat healthy, not because they have to, but because just know that to be the right thing and the way that they want to do it. And knowing that they need to work out in order to stay healthy and accepting that as just a part of their everyday life and not something special.

So that is I think across every generation and wellness is effecting in a different way.

Brenda Amsberry: You know, it's interesting, Glenn, I know at the last BITAC® I attended, you were talking about the – was it the digital natives, is what you called them, the –

Glenn Haussman: Yes, digital native verse digital immigrants.

Brenda Amsberry: Well these are the –

Christine Clippinger: They're wellness natives.

Brenda Amsberry: They're wellness natives. [Laughs]

Glenn Haussman: Yes. [Laughs]

Brenda Amsberry: So that's instinctive as the digital natives are to when they're two years old and knew how to operate the remote and do all these things on the computer. It's just a – it's definitely a different generation and it's going to lead future generations I think along that same lines.

Glenn Haussman: I think you're right. And to bring the listeners up to speed, the whole idea behind digital natives verse digital immigrants, is the concept that immigrants are older folks that have to learn to use new technologies. Where digital immigrants are kind of born with that. So putting it into your wellness example, I think you're absolutely right.

Because the way that I see it is, these people are learning those effective habits when they're younger. My generation, Generation X, and I think the Baby Boomers, are a generation that resulted in, "Hey, again, we're going to make your lives easier because of modern technology." And leaving out the critical part that we still have to take care of our bodies in a fundamental way.

Now the younger folks totally get that, right.

Christine Clippinger: Absolutely. In fact, both of my stepchildren, one of my sons and his fiancée are all vegetarians or vegans. I certainly didn't embrace that particular lifestyle growing up. But they have just come to accept that meat is one of those things that isn't particular healthy. And a plant-based diet is the way to go. And they don't balk at it. They embrace it, and accept it, and cook and learn new things. And it's really an incredible thing to watch.

Glenn Haussman: Yes. And it also really annoys me a lot, because they're really doing the right thing and they don't have to struggle for it, like I do every single day. Where I have to – the hamburger place across the street from my office mocking me, every single day.

Brenda Amsberry: Yes. I know we have to force ourselves. No, I'm not going to go to Dunkin Donuts. And for them they like, "I won't even look at that."

Christine Clippinger: I want that steak. I want that baked potato with the cheese and the butter. I don't embrace broccoli like they do. So it's a generational thing. And certainly I can see the lifestyle statistics greatly improving for Generation Y as compared to you know the Baby Boomers.

Glenn Haussman: Yeah. I agree. And that is besides the face that technology is going to help people survive. But speaking of types of technology that help people survive, these health wearables that I think we're seeing now, is also helping to push –

Brenda Amsberry: Oh, right.

Glenn Haussman: – people forward, right?

Brenda Amsberry: ___ steps and –

Christine Clippinger: Fitbit and Jawbone and I think there's several of them. And you know I think embracing that technology and using it for wellness, is something that we can all learn from. And it's nice to know that you can incorporate those same types of technology into a hotel room, so that you can have access to that no matter where you go.

Brenda Amsberry: Absolutely.

Glenn Haussman: Great. And I love that you brought it back to the hotel room. So what else do we need to know about the Wellness Suite experience. Now don't share too much. We want to have some surprises. But what's the overall thought of what they're going to be able to see and experience. I know you had gone a little bit over that, when they do come to HI Connect®.

Brenda Amsberry: Well I think they'll be surprised that at the layouts, the materials, the combination of things we have in there is very unique. I know I have not seen it any place else. And it's a 360 degree wellness. It's not just wellness based on, for example, the senses, the food. It really encompasses everything.

And that's going to very interesting, I think to the owners and developers there, is they will get a chance to really stand there thinking about 360 degree wellness, and how they might incorporate that into their properties.

Glenn Haussman: Right. And I think that's really what the whole goal of HI Connect® is all about. Instead of a tradeshow where you go and you see little items here, and you have to try to visualize how they'll all work together. Instead you walk into this great room that Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative is doing, and you can really be able to see, touch, and understand how everything works in a contextual kind of a way.

And I know for a guy like me, I get it when I see it. But I would not be able to visualize it otherwise. And when we’re talking about something so critical as a wellness suite, and not understanding how everything relates to each other in the space of the room, being able to see this model room vignette come to life, I think is a great opportunity.

Anything else that you ladies want to add before we wrap up?

Brenda Amsberry: To say we are so excited to be part of it. And, again, as you said, where else do you get to see an entire operable vignette that's fully powered and functional. It's not just a design board. It's not just a rendering. But the chance to actually experience it. So great job even developing this whole concept. And we look forward to seeing everybody in Nashville.

Act now to be a part of this game changing event. For more information relating to this unique and dramatic experience at HI Connect® experience March 25-27, 2015, visit our dedicated website to learn more. Register now for this unique event setting a new standard for hospitality tradeshows. Or call 631-424-7755 x150 for an immediate response.

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