With the rebound in ADR and occupancy underway in many USA lodging markets, a hotel asset manager is quickly turning their eyes to renovations that have been put on hold. Two new innovations on in-room design and equipment caught our attention in these articles at Hospitality World Network and Hotel Interactive. Here are excerpts and our overview about these new additions: Vertical HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) System “Hospitality designers deal with many challenges when putting together guestrooms, but one obstacle that has haunted them for many years is disappearing before their eyes, literally. At least that was the case at the Best Western Atrea Colonnade Parkway in Woodway, Texas, which decided to use VTACs, vertical terminal air conditioners, instead of traditional packaged terminal air conditioning units in its 82 guestrooms.” The biggest advantages we find to a “vertical system” versus either a central system or through-the wall unit are the initial renovation costs and proximity and convenience respectively. In the case of the “central” system, there is a significant cost for the rooftop unit, ducts and the individual room boosters. As to the “through-the-wall” units, which are installed on the exterior walls, this reduces the guestroom square footage and requires the guest to walk across the room to regulate the thermostat. Owners, investors and their hotel asset manager can read more here. In-Room Fitness Gear “During the recent $15 million renovation of Hotel 71 in Chicago, General Manager Steve Shern said he wanted to take advantage of “half-rooms” on several hotel floors. The solution was to create fitness suites by joining a king room with a separate parlor. The 600 square-foot fitness suites include the workout equipment, a 42-inch flat-screen TV and a wet bar with a glass-front refrigerator.” Incorporating fitness equipment as part of guestroom amenities gives a hotel another opportunity to get a higher average rate for those units. Hotel guests, who pay for the added cost of a suite or larger room, will also pay more for the convenience of not having to go find the hotel fitness facility, which could be clear across the property if it’s a large hotel or major resort. Read on here to add this to a business plan for hotel renovations and capital expenditures. Have other ideas to share that can enhance a property’s hotel management services? Please don’t hesitate to post any new innovations or ideas you or your hotel asset manager are including as part of your upcoming renovations and property upgrades on this blog.