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Hospitality Design Magazine > More From The Magazine > 5 Questions for Larry Traxler

More From The Magazine

You just launched Made Market. Tell us about it.

It was created specifically for DoubleTree by Hilton, crafted to be synonymous with the brand: fun, approachable, and convenient. Guests don’t always have time to sit down for table service. This all-day eatery combines the ease of a market with the allure of a brick-oven gastropub. The first one debuted in January at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown.
You travel constantly for your job. Which destinations do you have your eye on?
Istanbul is one of my favorite cities; it has become an incredible magnet for great food and design, and always provides a richly diverse cultural experience. We actually just placed a Turkish design director there to handle new activity in the region. I also spent some time in St. Petersburg, Russia, where we have exciting new-build projects under construction. I was pleasantly surprised to see a restaurant, nightlife, and cultural vibe coursing through this magnificently scaled city. 
How has the mid-market hotel segment changed?

Guests want a hotel that embraces the local culture of their destination. We are rolling out our mid-market brands to new parts of the world, and we spend a lot of time custom tailoring the brand design narratives to be relevant and achievable.
How many projects do you have in the pipeline?

We have an incredible number of projects occurring at the same time. Our global new construction pipeline includes nearly one thousand hotels and many are in locations that are both exciting and pioneering, so they demand a lot of time and energy to get opened. In terms of renovations, just in North America last year, our design team conducted over three thousand design reviews for renovations, conversions, and changes in ownership.

Is there one project you recently opened you are excited about?

Opening new luxury projects around the world is always an exciting event, and we have just completed the Waldorf Astoria in Berlin (shown). I love Berlin, and this Waldorf will certainly make an impact on the future growth of the brand throughout Europe. The recently opened Hilton Columbus Downtown in Ohio (see pages 86 and 124) is another important one because it is a paradigm shift for this type of hotel (much like our new airport hotels around the world), completely changing the level of design, service, and guest experience for these previously overlooked segments. It has a locavore dining experience and guestrooms with artwork located in some unexpected places, so it is not your typical ho-hum convention center experience.


hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
Nielsen      Contract Design | Hospitality Design | K+BB | DDI

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