Boutique Design - June 2017 - 41
When it comes to earth-shaking
hospitality concepts, it's less
about face melting and more
about technical chops for
companies out to make a lasting
impression. Just ask the creative
forces behind 21c Museum
Hotels and Getaway.
BY ORIANA LERNER
COURTESY OF 21c MUSEUM HOTEL S
A sINgLE hOtEL can ride the eye of the
perfect storm-the right neighborhood, the
right design, the right timing or even just
the right influencers checking it out. Maybe
a second outpost can tag along on that vibe.
But how do designers and owners keep
making an impact beyond that?
It's a question more and more flags need
to answer if they want to thrive in an
economy where recession looks set to come
sooner rather than later, and key U.S.
markets might not be the hottest deals
going. Whether world domination or local
superstardom is on the agenda, taking the
easy way out (in design, operations or
branding) is, well, out.
Steve Wilson, who co-founded 21c
Museum hotels with his wife, Laura Lee
Brown, never thought he'd need to think
about what happens when hoteliers try to
re-create their own magic. The couple just
wanted a way to marry their love of art and
the need to repurpose historic buildings as
part of a downtown revitalization.
"We opened the first 21c in 2007 in our
hometown, Louisville, Kentucky," he says.
"We weren't planning to start a hotel
company and weren't thinking about what
june 2017 boutiquedesign.com