Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suggs

Jim Suggs

Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL

Jim Suggs began his architectural career in 1978. He has amassed extensive experience in architectural design, interior design, historic preservation and master planning for private and public, commercial and institutional clients. His experience includes substantial work in the design and planning of courtrooms and courthouses including federal and county facilities, both newly built and historical properties. Highlights include the restoration of the 120 year old Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas incorporating cutting-edge courtroom technology while preserving the historical integrity of the interior, the design of courtroom facilities dedicated to child and family law as well as the St. Mary's University Moot Court Facility. Another area of expertise is in the planning and design of video, television and audio production facilities. Highlights include the design of Maverick Video Production Company headquarters including a full sound stage and two television studios as well as various university Radio/Television & Film facilities. But, Mr. Suggs' true passion, the planning and design of hotels has developed over the last 15 years. His work has included everything from roll-out programs for limited-service hotels, renovations, historic adaptive use, full service and upscale boutique properties. Highlights include full-service, independent high-rise boutique hotels in San Antonio, Texas and San Jose, California as well as Westin and Sheraton resorts in Maryland and the Bahamas respectively. Since joining RTKL in 2007 Mr. Suggs' experience has been focused on large scale hospitality and mixed-use projects expanding his expertise in the planning of hotels and hotel-driven environments. Recent projects include expansion of the Omaha Hilton Convention Center hotel, Lone Star Court (a boutique property) in Austin, TX and the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner in Tysons Corner, VA.

Please visit www.rtkl.com for more information.

Mr. Suggs can be contacted at 214-468-7698 or jsuggs@RTKL.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.