Hotel & Resort Pre- Opening Challenges for Owners new to the Hospitality Sector

Selection and Role of Interior Designers, Project Managers and Contractors.


You will normally have by this stage have appointed a suitably qualified Building Architect and gone through the statutory planning process, however the selection of an Interior Designer with a track record of having completed similar projects is also critical to ensure that the project is delivered to match your vision of the property and the design and brand standards of the operator/ brand.


Once you have agreed the concept and decided upon the facilities for your new hotel, it is essential that you appoint a specialised Project Management company. They should also have experience of successfully delivering like projects and will assist and support you and your team with both the strategic and on-going detailed planning as well as tendering the project to the Contractor/s and any sub-contractors.



They would also normally advise you on the most suitable basis for your contractual relationship such as Turnkey, Design & Build or Lump Sum etc.


Once the tender documents have been received the Project Manager will assist you in reviewing them and selecting the most suitable Contractor/s along with negotiating the best value proposal.


Ensuring the Project is delivered on Budget, on Specification and On Time


Once the contracts are signed with the main Contractor, the Project Management team will produce a Critical Path study outlining the milestones of the project and are expected to strive continuously to ensure that the procurement and deadlines for each building activity/trade are followed up and met. The Critical Paths will be required to be updated constantly so the Contractors and sub-contractors are properly supervised and any problems or surprises highlighted at an early stage. It is important that recorded weekly meetings take place with all stakeholders to co-ordinate and ensure timely completion of tasks as well resolving complex issues that may arise during the construction process.


It is important that you, the Owner, also map out a critical path for your activities and ensure that your team are co-ordinating regularly with the Contractors to ensure your activities are aligned and on target.


Taking account of Brand/Operator specifications


If you have engaged a Brand/Operator, you will have normally signed a Technical Services Agreement that requires them to visit at the property at the various critical stages of construction to ensure standards are being met from their perspective.




The Brand/Operator should also have a Preopening Checklist/ Critical Path to ensure their activities are aligned with yours and the Project Managers. Both the Owner and Brand/Operator should have senior representation at the Weekly Construction meeting to monitor timeliness, building standards and unresolved and/or newly arising critical issues to ensure that the project will be delivered on time.


In the next Newsletter, David & James will outline their experience and viewpoints in the actual Pre-opening Phase itself.