Hotel Business Magazine’s 2018 Green Book interviewed Justin Beebe, VP Hospitality Division, along with four additional industry insiders on 2017’s growth and the expectations of 2018.
Construction companies had a good 2017 – and are expecting a good 2018, despite potential labor and supply issues. Justin R. Beebe, VP hospitality division, Integrated Construction spoke with Hotel Business about the state of hospitality construction.
Has 2017 lived up to your expectations? Why/Why not?
Beebe: 2017 has lived up to our expectations. We grew from completing three hotels in 2016 to eight under construction in 2017. This number could have been higher as we turned down many other opportunities. If the project location is not a fit or we don’t have the right team available to give 110% throughout the construction process, we will respectfully decline offers.
Has there been any changes in material or labor supply?
Beebe: Fortunately for us, the shortage of qualified labor has not affected our business. We are cautious about who we hire and have built a rapport with our subcontractors to assure this will not be a problem from the start. We do a lot of repeat work with the same firms, which means they know our expectations and we know what we will get from them.
Where are you finding new projects? What segments are they in?
Beebe: We have projects going on from the mid-Atlantic throughout the Southeast, and many in Florida. This region is still hot, but we see a lot of demand coming from out west. Our market segment focuses on extended-stay, mid and economy brands, which are performing well, and we see this continuing for years to come.
What is your forecast for the hotel construction industry in 2018?
Beebe: Hotel construction is up double digits year over year. This growth demand has created the same figures for building cost, which we’ll see continue into 2018. Good sites are becoming harder to find, more expensive to develop. We are always encouraging our clients to lock in deals and stay ahead of these curves. A strong economy presents its challenges, but also brings opportunity.