Building Unparalleled Hospitality and Entertainment Experiences

by Balfour Beatty

The hospitality and entertainment industries strive to provide unforgettable guest experiences. Every dollar, design detail and amenity in a hotel, convention center or amusement attraction project serves this end.

In tourism hubs across the U.S., Balfour Beatty builds world-class establishments that drive community connection and economic growth. For major hospitality flags, boutique resorts and one-of-a-kind theme parks, our industry-leading hospitality and entertainment experts leverage our extensive trade networks, comprehensive preconstruction and enhanced communication to create facilities that redefine luxury destinations.

Assembling Expert Teams

The success of a hospitality or entertainment project, large or small, rests on the expertise of its team and quality trade partnerships. As a leading contractor for marquee destinations, Balfour Beatty has the breadth of project experience and the depth of seasoned professionals to ensure consistency with each client’s brand and ideal guest experience.

On flagship hospitality projects, Balfour Beatty leverages the experience and insights of our experts across the nation to ensure the right people are matched with the right mission. The career of Field Operations Director Michael Hite embodies this time-tested principle. Michael has led many of the largest hospitality projects in North Texas, including the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas and the Omni Dallas Convention Center and Hotel. He’s also currently leading the Broward County Convention Center and Omni Hotel Expansion project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, bringing decades of deep knowledge and experience with the Omni flag’s brand standards.

We also ensure success by engaging best-in-class trade partners that share our expertise and commitment to operational excellence.

For both boutique hotels and large-scale resorts, every facet of design and construction can enhance the guest experience. On projects like Mountain Shadows Resort and ADERO Scottsdale Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, Balfour Beatty engaged expert acoustical engineers to ensure that any potential paths for noise infiltration between rooms – electrical sockets, air gaps, television mounts and more – were staggered and appropriately insulated. Specialist consultants are similarly deployed for convention center sound engineering, resort swimming pool hydraulics and more on projects across Arizona, Texas and the Southeast.

Over a career of extensive attractions projects, Director Amy Kennedy has honed her expertise at managing teams of trade partners that can successfully execute a client’s vision for a thematically unified park. “Painters, electricians, and framers all serve any type of building construction, but the demands of theme park construction are unique and particular,” Amy affirms. “To build the best tourist attractions, we work hand-in-hand with our best, longstanding trade allies.”

On any hospitality or entertainment project, Balfour Beatty’s deep well of experts and extensive network of trade partners create community-anchoring establishments that maximize guest experiences and achieve a client’s vision for aesthetic unity and vital finish details.

Success Starts Early

Balfour Beatty approaches every hospitality and entertainment project with a similar formula for success: proactive design integration and enhanced preconstruction services to create cost and time savings at every opportunity. To accomplish this, we collaborate with design teams through a variety of contracting methods including construction manager (CM) at-Risk, design-assist and design-build.

Our teams understand that hospitality and entertainment projects require a meaningful partnership between all involved, including owners, operators, flag standards, designers and construction teams. Engaging all parties in the planning process as early as possible, a key component of Balfour Beatty’s proprietary SmartStart® process, helps ensure that all stakeholders’ goals for the project are realized.

Another critical element to Balfour Beatty’s success is employing lean tools and practices such as the construction of mock-ups. This lean approach informs design and construction decisions that maximize a project’s budget and keeps a project’s schedule on track.

On large-scale hotels and resorts like Omni Dallas or the Broward County Convention Center, our full-scale and fully detailed mock-ups of guest rooms provide clients the opportunity to experience their design choices and make changes before rooms are constructed by the hundreds. Mock-ups also enable earlier buyout of materials at competitive prices, further safeguarding the project schedule and budget.

“We provide early mock-up rooms that establish our level of quality work and demonstrate our understanding of the client’s program and target guest experience,” says Chad Brewer, operations director in Texas whose experience includes several flagship North Texas hotels and convention centers. “Mock-ups allow our clients to test the fit of their furniture and fixtures as early as possible.”

Balfour Beatty’s hospitality experts leverage mock-ups and prior experience to achieve substantial budget and space savings through efficient room layouts that streamline mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) utility conduits. Maximizing utility efficiency saves clients money in materials, but also provides opportunities to increase the usable space in each room, improving guest experiences in the process.

On entertainment projects, mock-ups similarly reinforce a client’s design decisions and enable our project teams to identify new opportunities for cost savings. On parks with pronounced immersive branding, mock-ups also demonstrate Balfour Beatty’s ability to create beautiful landscapes and buildings that enhance guests’ enjoyment of the park.

“Some parks like to conceal certain elements like speakers and light fixtures in the name of guest experience and immersion,” says Todd Stewart, operations director in Orlando, Florida. “On past projects, mock-ups of similar fixtures allowed us to create substantial savings, even reducing the sizes of fixtures and ultimately decreasing demolition and plaster costs.”

Other elements of themed materials and structures like stamped concrete, molded plaster, carvings and brand-specific building designs are often put to the mock-up test as well, ensuring all material and design choices bring the client’s vision to life and create a cohesive and engaging atmosphere.

Constant Communicators

Preconstruction planning is a critical driver of project success, but that’s only the beginning. Balfour Beatty teams employ proven solutions to the complex site logistics of managing renovations, expansions and additions to an existing facility in or around operational guest areas.

Over more than ten years, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort has engaged Balfour Beatty for a series of projects, including a 102-room guest wing expansion, the addition of 60,000 square feet of ballroom space, full-scale repainting of the entire resort and several swimming pool renovations, additions and expansions. Nearly all of these projects occurred alongside the resort’s daily operations and guest activity, necessitating constant communication with the client and strategies to ensure minimal disruptions and guest safety.

“The Fairmont Scottsdale trusts us and trusts our knowledge of the property,” says Ryan O’Donnell, operations director in Arizona. “On each phase, guest experience is always the driving force behind our operations, so we work closely with the resort to schedule construction activities, arrange our jobsite and provide sound and visual barriers to protect that experience.”

In Florida, our team often performs renovations to limited areas of active theme parks and resorts. While our work proceeds, guest traffic to other areas of the complex continues unimpacted by the nearby construction.

To further preserve the guest experience, project leaders like Todd and Amy work closely with the client to coordinate material deliveries and schedule potentially disruptive work outside of normal park hours. In some cases, active guest rides have even provided full views of our jobsites.

“Our entertainment project teams work vigilantly to keep the site clean at all times,” Todd adds. “Our clients ultimately want minimal disruptions and a reliable schedule, so park activities return to normal as quickly as possible.”

Another critical advantage Balfour Beatty provides is the ability to accelerate turnover and occupancy. Strategically completing and permitting individual phases of a project allows clients early access to critical areas for staff hiring and training, kitchen testing, and furniture and art installation.

“On the Omni Dallas project alone, we pursued 78 individual permits broken down into core and shell, individual floors, administrative office spaces, specific kitchens and many more” Chad recalls. “Through constant communication with our client, we maintained a working understanding of their business goals and how we could drive a more strategic permitting process.”

Mission-Aligned From Start to Finish

From team assembly to preconstruction to project coordination, every operational decision our teams make is laser-focused on the client’s mission to achieve an unsurpassed guest experience. Together, we create world-class destinations that unite our communities, drive economic growth and set a new bar for tourism hubs across the country.