Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 36

perspectives interview

Jim Merkel

Founder and CEO, Rockbridge
On recovery

The biggest challenge with the business is that there is no business. We
have to be safe, but we have to open up the economy. One challenge the
market will face over the next 24 months is lack of historical performance
to underwrite. That impacts the market on the credit side because the
banks get all the downside and none of the upside. As lenders and investors
look at underwriting and try to determine value, the market will be more
conservative than it has been in the last four to five years.
We have to learn to live with this virus, and the government cannot
support a $24 trillion economy with stimulus. For all the jobs our industry
supports, it is important we get rebooted, because the economy will take
some time to get back to where it was pre-COVID-19.

On reopening

On longterm thinking

We're not making drastic permanent decisions but being responsive to
what the customer wants. We see this as very dynamic. [People want]
social spaces and strong F&B areas, but right now, there's a bit more fear
in the air. We are paying close attention to what is value added to the
customer, but it's too soon to determine what will matter. Some of the
things we're thinking about today people won't care about, while other
things we will learn from our customers as they return. The industry is
nimble, and we're paying attention and trying to capture any information
we can that can provide a value-added service to our customer.

Photos courtesy of ROCKBRIDGE and SEUSS MOMENTS

Right away, we did a deep dive into operations. Like other owners,
we needed to preserve as much cash as we could given that demand

evaporated. We closed 11 hotels out of 72 (four were in development) and
by July, we will have 70 properties open (two remain in development).
Our projects under construction have been a bright spot because we
haven't lost the operating income yet. We're optimistic about getting all
properties open, but challenges will continue for a while.
There's not much of a cost difference between being closed or
slightly opened. When a hotel is closed, it's not free. There's a lot of fixed
costs associated with the real estate, protecting the asset, and you must
maintain five to eight employees even in a closed hotel.

036

June 2020 hospitalitydesign.com


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Hospitality Design - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - June 2020

Hospitality Design - June 2020
contents
from the editor
behind the design
sketchbook
business sense: state of the industry
interview: chip conley
interview: owners’ roundtable
interview: hoteliers
brand identity: rosewood hotels & resorts
places: nashville
places: malaysia
profile: andrew zuckerman
from spain
furniture
fabrics
made in america
surfaces
hotel hot list
aman new york
nomad london
the londoner
surety hotel
one&only portonovi
pendry west hollywood
virgin las vegas
the rockaway hotel
luxury spinoffs
projects
hualuxe xi’an hi-tech zone
casa cook el gouna
nômade tulum
meehotel
ad index
back space: richard and sara combs
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - Intro
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - Hospitality Design - June 2020
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 1
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 2
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 3
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 4
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - contents
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 6
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 7
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - from the editor
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 9
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 10
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 11
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - behind the design
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 13
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 14
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 15
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 16
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - sketchbook
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 18
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 19
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 20
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 21
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - business sense: state of the industry
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 23
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 24
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 25
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 26
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 27
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 28
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 29
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 30
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 31
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - interview: chip conley
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 33
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - interview: owners’ roundtable
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 35
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 36
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 37
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 38
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - interview: hoteliers
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 40
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 41
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 42
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 43
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 44
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 45
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - brand identity: rosewood hotels & resorts
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 47
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 48
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 49
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 50
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - places: nashville
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 52
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 53
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - places: malaysia
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 55
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 56
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 57
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 58
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - profile: andrew zuckerman
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - from spain
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 61
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 62
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - furniture
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 64
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 65
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 66
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 67
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 68
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 69
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 70
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - fabrics
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 72
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 73
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 74
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - made in america
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 76
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 77
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 78
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - surfaces
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 80
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 81
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 82
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - hotel hot list
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - aman new york
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - nomad london
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - the londoner
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 87
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - surety hotel
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - one&only portonovi
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - pendry west hollywood
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - virgin las vegas
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - the rockaway hotel
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - luxury spinoffs
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 94
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 95
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 96
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - projects
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - hualuxe xi’an hi-tech zone
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 99
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 100
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 101
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 102
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 103
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - casa cook el gouna
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 105
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 106
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 107
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - nômade tulum
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 109
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 110
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 111
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 112
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 113
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - meehotel
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 115
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 116
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 117
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - ad index
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - 119
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - back space: richard and sara combs
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - June 2020 - Cover4
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