Tag: Hotel Remodelling Services

Evolution of Hospitality Industry_Blog_by Russell and Dawson

Evolution of Hospitality Industry

In the year 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization announced the day of September 27 as “World Tourism Day”. The idea of this celebration is to bring sustainability to the tourism sector all around the world. UN World Tourism Organization defines tourism as “Activities of persons traveling to and staying in different places for not more than a consecutive year for leisure, business or traveling purpose.” The inception of traveling is as old as mankind. Our ancient civilizations traveled great lengths in search of food and shelter. Over the period of time, the purpose of traveling changed. The mere act of traveling has now become a giant industry. The tourism industry is a collage of various services like transportation, food, and beverages, lodging, travel agencies, entertainment, etc… Back in the old times, land and water were the only means of transportation. And they were often considered risky. But as the innovations gave birth to more convenient and safer ways of transportation, the tourism industry saw humongous growth in the number of travelers all around the globe. The tourism industry that we see today is the product of evolution in the hospitality sector, Innovations in transportations, advancements in communication technology, etc.

The idea of hospitality is what lies in the center of the tourism industry. The term Hospitality has been derived from a French word “Hospice” which means “Taking care of the travelers”. In Old times, locals used to let the travelers rest on kitchen floors or other extra spaces during their journey. There were no purpose-built resting facilities for tourists until monasteries decided to build one. This gave birth to lodging services. In the late 1700s, Inns came into being. Inns were nothing but a shelter by the road where travelers can stop to take rest and get some food. They would also take care of traveler’s horses while they rest. This is the time when the seeds of the modern hospitality facility were planted. What we see today is the growth of the past two millennia. Here’s how the lodging facilities evolved with time.


In the early 1800s, “Inns” were the only lodging facility available for the tourists. A lot of Inns were established prior 19th century. But, lodging was not just about bedding and resting facility anymore. They started providing food and drinks to the travelers. And soon the element of luxury started to blend in. This gave birth to hotels. Hotels emerged as more sophisticated facilities which provided better rooms and dining areas. The year of 1829 is considered as a landmark in the timeline of the American hospitality industry. It was the year when an American architect Isaiah Rogers designed and constructed the first luxury hotel “Tremont Hotel” in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first hotel with private attached bathroom and lock on the doors. It used a steam-powered pump to lift up water to the storage tank on the roof. “Tremont Hotel” had set a benchmark for the luxurious hotels in those days. The hotels and Inns then on started giving more importance to services to stand out different than other hotels. They kept improving their services and facilities. At the later stage, hotels started to have bars. And soon the bars became an important selling point for the hotels. The architecture and aesthetics of the hotels were improving alongside. There were more multistory hotels and they had the beautiful exterior to stand out different from other hotels. Soon it was a trend for well-decorated ceilings and beautiful crystal chandeliers.


Hospitality, which was rather a part of the culture, emerged as a huge business opportunity. A lot of people are approaching Architectural Design Firm to change the Hotel Design Architecture by incorporating more and more facilities. Innovations in transportation systems enabled more and more people to travel. Some people saw the opportunity and jumped into the hotel business. That is why in the early to mid 20th Century, a lot of giant hotel chains started doing their business. The industry had become more competitive than ever. In the year 1919, Conard Hilton opened his first hotel in Texas. Later on, Conard also bought the Ellsworth Statler’s chain of hotels in the year 1954. Marriot (est. 1927), Sheraton (est. 1937) and Hyatt (est. in 1957) also emerged as giant players in the industry.

There is an interesting story behind why Kemmon Wilson started Holiday Inn series of hotels and inns. Once Kemmon Wilson had gone for a holiday to Washington DC with his family. He had to pay extra for his five children in all the hotels they stayed in. Kemmon found the accommodations very expensive and uncomfortable for families. So he decided to start his own hotel. That is how the first Holiday Inn started in the year 1952. Holiday Inn went on to set better hospitality standards. Their main focus was to build family-friendly hotels. With their first hotel built in 1952, Holiday group went on to build its 1000th Holiday Inn in the year 1968. It was indeed a phenomenal growth for any hotel brand in those days.

MGM-Grand-Vegas-Evolution of Hospitality Industry_Blog_Hotel Architecture Firms_by Russell and Dawson

Cars became extremely popular in the mid 20th century. Intercity traveling became more convenient because of the well-connected network of roads. These factors favored the growth of Motels. The word motel is made up of “Motor and Hotel”. Motels were small 10×10 Ft wooden cabins for the travelers to take rest during the night journeys. These motels were built alongside the main highways to host more and more people who might want to take rest for a few hours or stay overnight during their journey. The concept of the motel was well received and they grew exponentially in numbers in a later stage. The motels were affordable and convenient and that is the reason why the concept of Motels was well received.


While it all started with providing only a place for sleeping, the traditional hospitality industry has evolved to become what we see today. Despite all the changes the industry saw, the customer has always been the center. It is consistently evolving to become more advanced. In this new century, the hotels reached the new heights, literally. Some of the tallest hotels were built in the 21st century. The technological advancements in the Engineering Design Services made it all possible. Hotel Fairmont Makkah and Burj al Arab are some examples of it.

Founded in the year 2008, Airbnb opened up a new segment in the hospitality industry. It acts as a marketplace connecting people who wanted to rent their property with those who want to rent it. Since more and more people are traveling for business or for leisure, this gives them a very convenient and affordable option. Also, there has been seen a great hike in the number of solo travelers globally. These solo travelers not much bothered about the amenities. They don’t mind sharing spaces. They love meeting and interacting with locals as well as fellow travelers. And that is why concepts of youth hostels and home-hospitality have become new trends. The Internet helps a lot to such hospitality businesses. People can see the availability, photos, and reviews from other users. Today, we can browse through all our possible option for staying in any part of the world. We can know about services and amenities. Not only we can reserve our stay but we can also pay in advance. The recent trends in the evolution of hospitality industry favor the construction of hotels which has a classic historic touch integrated with modern services.

Evolution of Hospitality Industry_Blog_Hotel Architecture Firms_by Russell and Dawson
Evolution of Hospitality Industry_Blog_Hotel Architecture Firms_by Russell and Dawson

The hotel industry has always contributed largely in terms of revenue for any healthy economy. The modern hotel industry in 1960 valued around $3 Billion, which crossed the mark of $25 Billion in the year 1990. These numbers went down due to attacks of 9/11 and recession in the early 2000s. But the industry and its people stood strong and got back its lost pace soon in the new decade. Today, the hotel industry is worth more than $500 Billion providing jobs to 4.5 million people.

About Us

We at Russell and Dawson feel extremely proud of being associated with the hospitality industry. Founded in the year 1965, Russell and Dawson is a client-first company which has been providing architecture, engineering and construction services nationally and internationally for more than 50 years now. From the first hospitality project in the year 1982, we have provided various services to more than 245+ hospitality projects so far. Russell and Dawson has worked with hotel developers/owners for the new development, conversion or renovation projects for prestigious brands like IHG(30+ projects), Marriott(15+ projects), Hilton (55+ projects), Carlson Group(4 Projects), Best Western(14 projects), Hyatt and independent brands in the northeast region and overseas – India, UAE (Dubai), Sri Lanka, Egypt, Bahrain, and Brunei.

Since 1965, Russell and Dawson have been meeting and exceeding the expectations of our clients. If you would like to learn more about the incredible benefits of our hotel design-build service and connect with architectural experts regarding your next construction project, please call or contact us online today!

If you found this article informative, Please check our other blogs too.

Follow us on Linkedin for more updates:

Global Hotel Industry Value
570.18bn $
US Hotel Industry Revenue
208bn $
Avg ADR of US Hotels
129.83 $
Avg RevPAR of US Hotels
85.96 $

Top Hotel Construction Trends

According to the year-end U.S. Construction Pipeline Trend Report(Nov 2019) from Lodging Econometrics (LE),  hotel construction market in U.S. has grown up by 6% by projects and 8% by rooms year-over-year (YOY). With the emergence of a new booming economy, the pace of global growth is building momentum in coming years. The fourth quarter earnings reports by established brands Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt all show strong RevPAR and corroborate with the latest hotel construction trends.

New hotel openings in the LE forecast for 2020 stand at 1,112 new hotels/122,702 rooms followed by 1,126 new hotels/130,447 rooms scheduled to open in 2021.

Russell and Dawson recently added construction services to its portfolio of services, here is a video of one of the ongoing A/E/C projects – Construction of Fairfield Inn & Suites at Williamstown, MA and expect few more projects to start in Q1, 2020. As an AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) firm. These are the following hotel construction trends driving the US market.

1. Re-purpose History

Many of the recently developing projects are focused on converting historic properties into grand, five-star landmark hotels. Such trend is a key attraction area for guests to experience the royal historical experience. Moreover, most cities are offering additional incentives for redevelopment and historic tax credits enabling a smart investment for hotel chains.

One of our current project is about converting the building (known as gateway to East Boston for the local community) which was constructed in 1912 as a shoe factory into a hotel which will blend local and historic elements to create a familiar yet distinct hospitality offering for the area.

2. Design Renovation

One of the key strategies to staying competitive in the hotel industry is renovation by transforming existing infrastructure with modern amenities. Last year has recorded the highest number of hotel renovation projects in the U.S. Many leading brands are proactively changing their standards based on guest experience, and implementing design changes to the room layouts, guest bathrooms, and overall hospitality experience.

One of our ongoing project is about renovating and re-branding of Howard Johnson (built in 1969) to Aloft Hotel  – a five-story structure with a new retail use and site improvements such as additional parking space,  groundwater recharge, LED site lighting, energy improvements.

3. Mixed-use Development

Mixed-use development continues to be the trend since past 2 years. Hotel developers and real-estate investment firms are continue to see RFPs from municipalities to develop mixed-use project in their township or municipality. In such kind of projects, need is to combine hotel, retail and restaurants/bars since it benefits local patrons and visiting travelers as it provides a range of options.

Our Hospitality Projects includes renovation of old hotels into an upscale hotel with mixed-use development.

4. Aesthetic Integration – Patterns & Textures

Trend comes from “Showcasing Local”.  Hotels have responded by abiding town/city requirements called out by government officials to maintain town/city’s heritage or look. Fairfield Inn & Suites at Williamstown, MA changed its facade design to brick façade so it looks like a factory rather than a typical chain hotel and maintain Williamstown’s heritage as a town with brick factories and academic buildings. Russell and Dawson is a design-build contractor for this Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel project.


Hotel Remodeling, Rebranding, Renovation – Holiday Inn Express

Press Release



Hartford, Connecticut, July 25, 2018


Russell and Dawson, the Hartford-based Design-Build Contractor and one of the longest-serving architecture, engineering and construction firm in the history of Connecticut, is pleased to announce the completion of hotel remodeling and rebranding of a five-story 63,358 SQFT with 132 rooms Holiday Inn Express at Chelmsford, Massachusetts which got officially opened on July 20.


Hotel is owned by Lexington, Massachusetts based Jamsan Hotel Management who owns and operates over 60 hotels in the New England region. Russell and Dawson was selected to provide architecture, engineering and interior design services and Boston Trade International for the procurement & installation of FF&E. “We are thankful to Jamsan Hotel Management for continuing to put their trust in our expertise. This hotel refurbishment project was a unique transformation project for us where we not only repurposed the exterior but made significant changes such as addition of swimming pool, new heating and mechanical systems, décor, porte cochere, and life safety upgrades.” Said Chirag Thaker, President of Russell and Dawson.


“Russell and Dawson has been our go-to firm for the many hotel projects of ours. This was a bit challenging project where we wanted to remodel and rebrand this hotel from an existing Radisson hotel building by splitting the connected buildings into two different hotel brands. We are pleased with the work Russell and Dawson has done to capture our vision for the hotel and they completed as per the schedule, budget and brand specifications,” said Ashok Patel, VP Development of Jamsan Hotel Management.

Other ongoing hospitality renovation projects being done by Russell and Dawson for the Jamsan Hotel Management include:

  • Element Hotel, Chelmsford, MA – hotel remodeling and rebranding services for a 19-year old hotel
  • Aloft, Framingham, MA – redesign and rebranding (conversion) of hotel built in 1969
  • Boston Hotel, East Boston, MA – A building constructed in 1912 for a shoe factory getting converted into an upscale hotel by our firm.

Russell and Dawson LLC :

Russell and Dawson is a client-1st integrated A/E/C services firm based out of Hartford, Connecticut. Since 1965, Russell and Dawson has completed more than 10,000 projects involving architectural design, engineering and design-build contractor services for various verticals such as hotels, residential, commercial, healthcare, community and industrial across CT, MA, NH, RI, NY, NJ, ME, and VT states. For more info on our Projects, Visit Project Portfolio


Press release also available on PRWeb @ Press Release