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Market Update: Nashville Hotel Market – Part Five – Hotel Renovations, a Nip and a Tuck

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Nashville’s ever-changing hotel landscape has created a need for established hotels to continue to retain relevancy in the marketplace while staying competitive in with the new supply.

New properties are challenged with establishing a new brand in a developing market, lack of an online reputation for the new property, as well as operational challenges. That said, existing properties can face the perception that they are not the new, shiny, hotspot on the block. In an effort to combat flat or negative RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) growth, many existing properties and ownership groups will often invest in marketing and renovations. On the blog today we will be focusing on some of the Nashville properties undergoing renovations.

Union Station Hotel

Built in 1900 as a train station, the hotel came into being in the mid-1980’s. For decades it was the spot for Music City visitors, train enthusiasts, and home to one of two fine dining restaurants in Nashville – Author’s. Embodying a repurposed historic structure, the unique elements of the hotel cannot be ignored or replicated. This feature alone is why the hotel has always been one of the top venues for engagements, weddings, and other special events in the city. The most recent renovation, completed in 2016 by Gobbell Hays Partners brings the property to a new level of elegance and modern style. The highlights of the renovation include:

  1. Original, commissioned art and recycled steel sculptures.

  2. Interior re-design of the 125 guestrooms that include: walnut feature walls, cowhide headboards, wine chandeliers, all creating an atmosphere of approachable luxury.

  3. A recreation of the meeting and event space, continuing the modern look and feel combined with historic elements.

  4. New Bar & Restaurant – Carters. Offering a vibrant atmosphere with cozy, private nooks serving locally inspired food and drinks.

Hutton Hotel

Opened in 2009, the Hutton Hotel burst on to the scene as a new, modern boutique hotel in Music City. With innovative design and a focus on eco-friendly interiors and amenities, the Hutton has been a go to spot for modern Nashville travelers as well as celebrities visiting the city. Acting as an anchor for the bustling midtown district of Nashville, the Hutton recognized the opportunity to update its look and feel while continuing to offer an authentic Nashville experience. Renovations have allowed the Hutton to further compete in an increasingly competitive market. The highlights of the renovation include:

  1. Refreshed, vibrant guestrooms adding modern pops of color.

  2. A newly renovated lobby allowing for a smooth guest experience.

  3. Renovation of the popular 1808 Grille.

  4. Expansion of the bar into the lobby space to create a lounge feel for guests, which has grown in popularity in the past few years.

The Renaissance Hotel

As the longest running hotel on the list today, the Renaissance Hotel has seen the market grow and change and is acting nimbly to respond to those changes. Originally a Stouffer hotel, the Renaissance has been the headquarter hotel for the city’s citywide conventions for decades. After the move of the main convention center to the Music City Center, a reinvention (read: demolition) of much of the old convention center to create a multi-use retail and museum space is now under way.  While, the Renaissance Hotel's current renovation is in its third phase, the first two phases included a modernization of the interiors and amenities of the guestrooms, completed in 2015, and a painting of the exterior, completed in 2016. This most recent renovation includes adding and updating meeting and events space as well as additional outlets. The highlights of the renovation include:

  1. 70,000 square feet of meeting and event space. This will include updating the current space as well as adding more space to the Renaissance.

  2. A new, first floor, restaurant and bar.

  3. An expansive market for grab and go items serving hotel guests and the downtown business community.

While timing for the renovations may also coincide with scheduled PIPs (Property Improvement Plans) and cyclical renovation plans, these properties will be setting themselves up for success in this evolving market. For instance, the Hutton Hotel and the Union Station both fall into the 7-8 year renovation cycle. The Hutton Hotel and Union Station properties are also creatively activating their lobbies to produce a living room or hang out space for guests, which falls within current trends.  However, regardless of current trends, the properties highlighted today are all taking the initiative to remain relevant in an ever growing market.

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