Press > Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel

Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel

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Leaders In Hospitality & Design Share Unique Insights & Outline Key Performance Drivers For Successful Wellness Developments





On October 9, 2019, leading global architecture firm, OBM International (OBMI), hosted a Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel and art exhibition. Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon, Wonder Flower Principal and Founder, Marianne Canero, Alma Community Founder & Executive Director, and Giovanni Medina Marenco, OBMI Associate Senior Designer, participated in the conversation at the Sacred Space Miami. Together, with moderator, K. Denaye Hinds, OBMI Director of Corporate Sustainability, who led the panel, the four experts discussed their insider outlook on health and wellness in the hospitality and real-estate industry, the trends impacting its direction and the crucial elements to consider for successfully designing wellness developments.

The sold-out event gathered over 175 professionals across the hospitality, real estate, design, development and wellness industries to hear diverse perspectives and to be inspired by illustrations of wellness concepts in the elegant venue, The Sacred Space Miami. In line with the panel’s theme, experts advised the audience on the challenges and opportunities to successfully execute wellness offerings in developments, designing for wellness beyond the spa, and the importance of investing in human capital for wellness programs.

Referencing reports from the Global Wellness Institute, the experts relayed the international wellness market grew to $4.2 trillion in 2018, and that wellness-focused tourism is fast outpacing overall tourism growth. The panel also remarked how the hospitality sector has been highly motivated to keep up with today's wellness guest by evolving the scope of programs and developing key partnerships for membership models to deliver elevated and catered wellness activities as an opportunity for the hospitality industry to ensure a return on investment. An example shared was Hyatt’s clever acquisition of the Exhale spa chain.

Vivianne Garcia-Tunon and Giovanni Medina Marenco both remarked on the importance of weaving wellness into the design of the entire property, as well as factoring in space planning and offerings for various demographics of consumers and future generations. Both panelists agreed this all-inclusive approach would help in achieving a socially equitable and viable development.

Rika Lisslö and Marianne Canero remarked on the importance of cultivating the local labor pool and integrating the community into the wellness space when delivering a positive experience for end-users and ensuring a return on investment to stakeholders. Focusing on the wellbeing of your corporation’s employees resounded equally essential as training and educating in the wellness industry, according to panelists.

“When looking for revenue drivers, we must talk about the value proposition and take time to educate the room on how wellness will benefit the end user and the investor,”  noted Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development. “We see wellness the way we look at internet. Without it you’re obsolete. It’s where we are now and we’re baking it into proforma. The client is everyone, and wellness is in the overall experience.”

For more information, contact Marissa Howe: mhowe@obmi.com or (+1) 305-537-7100.


Press > The Future of Sustainable & Resilient Development​

The Future of Sustainable & Resilient Development​

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February 7th evening industry leaders gathered to discuss sustainable and resilient developments during an engaging panel discussion put on by local architecture firm OBM International (OBMI), Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean (ULI), Association of Architects Miami (AIA), U.S. Green Building Council Florida (USGBC) and the Dade County Bar Association.

The Future of Sustainable and Resilient Developments panel included Greg West, ZOM Living CEO; Mark Lunt, Ernst & Young Principal; Liora Haymann, OBMI Managing Director; and Alec Bogdanoff Ph.D., Brizaga President and Co-Founder. The evening was moderated by Jonathan Newberg, General Counsel, OBMI Architecture. The experts from leading companies shared their insights on the outlook on sustainability and resiliency in the hospitality and real estate industry, trends in resilient design, and institutional risks developing properties in coastal locations.  

The development-focused panel took a financial perspective to sustainability with Haymann commenting, “sustainability is a market driver and preserving the environment can bring in profit with proper planning and programming.”  Lunt added, “developments that have taken an interest in sustainability have turned out a higher level of volume.”
Further explaining developers’ interest in building sustainable hospitality projects, West added, “investors are concerned about sea level rise. They want to make sure the site is equitable for a long-term investment, and they want the community to take action towards a resilient future.”

The sold-out event gathered over 100 professionals spanning the real estate and land use industries to hear the expert perspectives. In line with the panel’s theme, experts advised the audience on the challenges and opportunities to bolster resilience in developments, preserve valuable ecosystems, enhance collaboration across consultants, and increase accountability in the tourism and real estate sectors. As stated during the discussion, Bogdanoff reminded the audience “that sustainability and resiliency is not a destination but a journey,” and that a solution for one location may not be appropriate for another location.

OBMI also announced the next event in their expert panel series to take place on October 9th and will focus on wellness in the hospitality and tourism industry. Confirmed panelists include Marianne Canero of Alma Community, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon of Wonder-Flower, and Kevin Fletcher of OBMI.

Thank you to our partners, and sponsors - Sequil Systems and MEP Consulting Engineers, for making this night possible.
For photos of the event visit our Facebook page!


Press > Invest St. Lucia to Develop Master Plan for Anse de Sable, Vieux-Fort

Invest St. Lucia to Develop Master Plan for Anse de Sable, Vieux-Fort

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Castries, Saint Lucia – January 28th 2019 – Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) is in the process of developing a master plan for the Anse de Sable area in Vieux-Fort, as part of the overall redevelopment plan for the southern town.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Roderick Cherry remarked, “Invest Saint Lucia owns a large portion of land in Vieux-Fort and it has always been the Corporation’s goal to enhance the area. From as far back as 2001, we had envisioned a mixed-use development for Anse de Sable."

Mr. Cherry continued, "Thus, the proposed redevelopment for Vieux-Fort, featuring the Hewanorra International Airport redesign and plans for homeporting at the Seaport, made this opportune for a renewal of the Corporation’s plans."

Following an international bidding process, Invest Saint Lucia approached the team of experts at renowned architectural firm OBM International (OBMI), to discuss the scope of the proposed master plan for Anse de Sable.

“OBMI’s expertise in designing successful destinations across the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East gives us complete confidence in the firm’s ability to execute a vision for Anse de Sable that promotes sustainable tourism enterprise and increases the opportunities for investment activities,” remarked Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Kulig.

OBMI representatives were on island in December 2018, holding consultations with ISL and other key stakeholders such as the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) and the Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA). Cherry confirmed that OBMI was indeed the right firm for the project based on extensive research conducted by the Corporation. He stated that Anse de Sable and the surrounding communities in Vieux-Fort will stand to benefit substantially from the proposed mixed-use development plan. Thus, as this project progresses, ISL will ensure transparency, hosting consultations with residents and interested parties.

“We envision an enhanced community that will encompass schools, health care facilities, retail, entertainment centers, as well as a host of other community-benefiting amenities. The idea is to have this master plan designed and use this proposal to seek out investors – both local and foreign – to capitalize on the available opportunities presented by this master plan.”

Cherry said that the architectural design for the master plan for Anse de Sable may be available as early as the first half of 2019, at which time investors will be invited to participate in the implementation of the physical structures for the area.

According to OBMI, it has managed to overcome challenges by ‘developing a proactive, nimble approach to problem-solving and is now leveraging those acquired skills to their clients’ advantage, presenting inspired solutions with flexible adaptability.’

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About INVEST SAINT LUCIA

INVEST SAINT LUCIA (formally the National Development Corporation) is charged with the responsibility to stimulate, facilitate, and promote the development of business and investment activities in selected sectors of the Saint Lucian economy. We offer a comprehensive knowledge of the processes to set up a business and information on available incentives to foster growth and to expand your business. INVEST SAINT LUCIA is a member of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA).

About OBMI
OBMI is a global architecture firm widely celebrated for creating distinctive designs for high-end hotels, luxury private residences, and engaging communities. Since 1936, our mission has been to collaborate with clients to transform their visions into three-dimensional forms that are authentic and incomparably marketable. Through global design studios, we offer an integrated approach that combines responsive design strategies, the latest innovations, and technical expertise to create experientially memorable, environmentally responsible, and financially successful destinations.

Press > An Architects View on the Sharing Economy and Diminishing Appeal of Timeshares

An Architects View on the Sharing Economy and Diminishing Appeal of Timeshares

Homepage, Design, Investment

OBMI Chairman and Architect, Tim Peck, recently shared his insights on the sharing economy and the diminishing appeal of timeshares with the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and Hotel News Resource.

What does the sharing economy have that timeshare doesn’t? Insights from ISHC members revolve around two common themes: flexibility and unique experiences.

ISHC’s Tim Peck, Chairman of OBM International Limited commented, “The sharing economy allows far more flexibility in being able to have your home away from home.”

“Why would a consumer want to lock into a particular exchange system when everything is easily available on Airbnb or VRBO?” added David Berins, ISHC, Owner of Berins & Co., LLC.

ISHC’s Christopher Henry, Co-Founder & CEO, Majestic Hospitality Group believes, “It has less to do with the sharing economy and more to do with changing demographics. While the model is still popular with baby boomers, the concept struggles to sell with millennials. This younger group prefers to spend their money on unique and authentic experiences while also not being tied down to commitments. Timeshares provide the exact opposite of this mindset.”

Hayden Pace, ISHC, CEO of Stokes Wagner, ALC agreed “Timeshares are being rendered obsolete by the availability of experience-driven local accommodations.”

31% of ISHC members surveyed believe the sharing economy is not diminishing the appeal of timeshare. Dan Larkin, ISHC, Partner, Bryan Cave maintained, “Branded timeshare offers features the sharing economy does not.”

With Marriott Vacations recent acquisition of Interval Leisure Group to unify the Marriott and Starwood timeshare brands, this move may prove to bolster the strength of vacation ownership.

ISHC’s Flo Lugli, Founder & Principal, NavesinkAdvisory Group, LLC weighed in on how she thinks timeshare can evolve to stay relevant, “Timeshare's value proposition now is more around points and pre-paying for great vacations rather than buying a specific unit in a specific location. To the extent that the exchange businesses can continue to support the exchange of points across multiple locations/resorts, then many will continue to see value.”

It seems ISHC’s Robin Hunden, President, Hunden Strategic Partners, Inc. prediction may be coming true with Marriott now experimenting with homesharing, “The rental home business is expanding in ways that will be hard to replicate unless the brands or management companies begin acquiring the management contracts for multiple homes in destination markets.”

Read original in Hotel News Resource.

Press > Local Schools Redesigned with Hurricane Preparedness in Mind

Local Schools Redesigned with Hurricane Preparedness in Mind

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Robinson O’Neal School Redesigned and Rebuilt

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands – Marking the continuation of BVI reconstruction efforts, Oil Nut Bay in conjunction with OBMI are taking the reins to re-envision and redesign the Robinson O’Neal School in Virgin Gorda. Mr. David Johnson, owner of Oil Nut Bay is funding the reconstruction, while OBMI is donating its time and resources for the architecture portion of the reconstruction. Cross Studios has generously donated time to help visualize OBMI’s architectural drawings into 3D renderings.

The school was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Irma, with ripped off roofs, blasted windows, and destroyed interiors. All due diligence and the site survey were provided by Oil Nut Bay, so OBMI could dive right in with the reconstruction drawings and architectural renderings, in order for building to begin as soon as possible.

All wood roof structures were removed and substituted by flat concrete roofs, up to Miami-Dade code standards, resistant to 180 mph hurricane winds. A second floor was added for two extra classrooms, following the same design guidelines of the original structure. OBMI and the building crew at Oil Nut Bay have worked on many projects together in the past, allowing for a challenge-free process till now.

The redesigned and renovated school will benefit from an improved structural integrity, up to Miami-Dade code, resistant to future hurricanes, providing a safe space for all students, and is set to be completed in time for the new school year in 2018. As construction develops, OBMI will keep on as a consultant for whatever is needed throughout.

“It was heartbreaking to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and what it did to the local community. When Oil Nut Bay reached out to us to help in this restoration effort, we jumped at the opportunity. Being able to give back to the community we’ve been working with for so long is something we are proud of. I’m extremely happy in having the opportunity to be a part of this project and am looking forward to the day when the students will be back in their classrooms, overlooking the beautiful views of the light blue Atlantic,” said James K. McDonald, Project Manager and Architectural Designer at OBMI.

OBMI is an architectural firm with a deep expertise designing for the world’s most storied destinations. With several prominent local architects in the British Virgin Islands and a long tradition of work and community in the BVI, it is thrilled to be a part of the redesign and reconstruction efforts.

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Press > OBMI Designs Largest Convention Center in Haiti

OBMI Designs Largest Convention Center in Haiti

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Réginald Boulos, the President of Société immobilière et financier S.A. (SIF), owner of El Rancho Hotel, has signed a $16.5 million contract with Manuel Genao, Vice President of the Dominican firm Estrella, for the construction of the largest Convention Center in Haiti as part of the Villa Creole master plan.

The Center, designed by the U.S. architectural firm OBM International, with a capacity of more than 1,300 people (in theater mode), will be modular and can be transformed as needed into smaller rooms from 100 to 500 places. It will also have a covered parking of 400 places.

Fully Haitian financing of this future convention center will be provided by shareholders of the CIF and financial institutions. The work should begin in February and last 18 months.

Reproduced for original article in ICI Haiti

 

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