Innovation That Matters

Hotel as retail space

Travel & Tourism

It’s been a full five years since we covered Westin Hotels’ Heavenly Bed program, through which it sells the same beds that guests sleep on in its rooms. Other hotel brands followed suit, selling selected products that are used in rooms, or that line up with their (boutique) style. Now, a hotel still in the planning stages aims to take the concept and apply it to everything on its eco-friendly premises. The Emerald 5 ShowTel and Conference Center is reportedly so named because it is meant to be a showcase of environmentally responsible products. Planned as part of Destiny USA’s self-named retail and entertainment complex in the works in Syracuse, N.Y., the USD 450 million hotel is designed to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards. Details are still scarce, but according to artist renderings the 1,300-room hotel will resemble a 39-story-tall patch of grass and feature a green facade that includes 400,000 square feet of solar panels. There will be preferred parking spots for guests who drive fuel-efficient cars, and each guest room will include low-flow showers and toilets; low-emission adhesives, paints, carpeting and composite woods; locally and sustainably sourced materials; and energy-efficient lighting and climate control. The most unique part, however, is that virtually everything a guest might see or touch in the hotel will be for sale. Destiny will work with brands to promote their products, and consumers will have the option of sleeping in a different room each night to be able to try out as many designs and combinations as possible. It’s a well-known fact that consumers like to try before they buy—see our sister site’s trysumers briefing for more—and using a hotel stay to let them do that thoroughly, for a wide range of products, makes sense. While some people might balk at the idea of having their hotel rooms turned into showrooms, especially if the sales element is overly present, retail isn’t just for stores anymore. Placing products in relevant settings, hybrid forms of retail like Showtel are on the rise. If you’re in hospitality of any kind—or sell furniture, bedding, cosmetics, food & beverages, appliances—you’ll want to explore this one. Spotted by: Pamela Brewer


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