In This Issue:
  • "The New CapEx Landscape" by Alan Benjamin, ISHC
  • Featured Employee: Leah Neumann - Senior Project Manager, Boulder Office
  • Featured Project & Cover Photo: Loews Kansas City Hotel - Kansas City, MO

"The New CapEx Landscape"
Alan Benjamin, ISHC

The second quarter of this year has literally been a breath of fresh air for us all. We have begun to see some significant changes from Q1 due to the much-welcomed speed of the vaccine roll-out, pent-up demand for travel, and the official return of in-person events and conferences. Just three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference in Atlanta where over 1,100 people attended in-person. This was our first major industry conference since COVID-19 and with many safety measures and protocols in place, the conference felt like a return to “normal.”

The positive vibe of the Hunter Conference at the Marriott Atlanta Marquis (one of our projects) showed that the need for human interaction remains very much a driving force for our industry. During the conference, I spoke on the panel Convert, Develop, Renovate, along with a great group of esteemed panelists, during which we touched on topics and challenges that owners will face as we begin to come out of this cycle. Some of these challenges are outlined in my recent publication in Hotel News Now: “CapEx Considerations for the COVID-19 Era".

Many hotels have their CapEx coming due in order to comply with guest expectations and brand standards. These owners will be faced with the decision either to invest money into their asset to remain competitive for another 5-7 years, or sell their asset. Owners selling hotels due to the PIP requirements will create change of ownership PIPs which tend to be larger in scope than the normal CapEx cycle PIPs. Given the market forces at play, the demand for CapEx is expected to reach an all-time high in 2022-2024.

Overall, we forecast renovations increasing and new development projects decreasing due to inflation in construction, materials and logistics costs. For example, a recent new build project in California had the overall construction budget increase over 30% in the last year from $21M to $29M. Owners will now have to face decisions on whether to go forward with a new development project, or look for another asset to acquire and renovate. On the other hand, if construction costs begin to stabilize and lumber costs come back down to reality, then we can expect to see the demand for new development return.

While supply chain uncertainty is not expected to dissipate immediately, demand for CapEx will remain strong. Leisure travel is already very strong as we all crave tangible analog experiences, and business travel demand may surprise to the upside.  

We look forward to seeing you in-person at one of the many upcoming industry events this summer.

Take care,

Featured Employee:
Leah Neumann 
Senior Project Manager, Boulder Office

Leah joined Benjamin West in May 2012 and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. Prior to Benjamin West, Leah worked as an Interior Designer in the Residential Healthcare/Senior Living, and Model Homes fields. It was when she was working as a residential designer that she began to purchase for her projects, which then led her to Benjamin West.

In her current role as Senior Project Manager, Leah uses her background as an Interior Designer to manage both the design and purchasing aspects of a project. Leah’s strong communication skills, and ability to manage multiple tasks and project timelines make her a valuable asset to the Benjamin West team. 

Leah's Favorites:
  • Favorite City  Boston, MA
  • Places I’d Love to Visit –  Italy
  • Favorite Comfort Food  Potato Dumplings
  • Current Read  Magic Tree House (reading with my son)
  • Last Movie I Saw – Little Mermaid
  • Favorite TV Show – The Great British Baking Show
  • Hobbies – Gardening, woodworking, and spending time with my kids

Featured Project:
Loews Kansas City Hotel
Kansas City, MO

The Loews Kansas City Hotellocated at 1515 Wynandotte Street in Kansas City, MO opened its doors on June 1, 2020. The hotel offers a breath of refreshing hospitality in the heart of the downtown district. The hotel features 800 guestrooms, a lobby bar, grab-and-go dining, a three-meal restaurant and an indoor lap pool and spa. It also features 60,000 square feet of column-free meeting and event space, along with the largest hotel ballroom in the city. 

Ideally located just steps away from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Power & Light District, and Sprint Center, the Loews Kansas City Hotel is the first full-service hotel to open downtown in more than 30 years. Loews Kansas City Hotel offers easy access to the Kansas City Convention Center via the sky bridge, and the hotel is the exclusive catering provider for the Convention Center Grand Ballroom.  

Developer/Owner: Loews Hotels and Inland Pacific Companies
Owner's Representative: Project Management Consultants 
Interior Design: Looney & Associates
FF&E Purchasing: Benjamin West

Lobby Lounge & Bar | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Check-In & Reception | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Suite Bedroom | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
King Bedroom | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Double Queen Bedroom | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Deluxe Studio Suite with Terrace Parlor | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Vice Presidential Suite Parlor | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
The Stilwell | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Indoor Lap Pool | Loews Kansas City Hotel | Kansas City, MO
Upcoming Events:
Boutique Design Summer Forum
July 21-23, 2021
Hotel Villagio at The Estate
Yountville, CA

ALIS - The Americas Lodging Investment Summit
July 26-28, 2021
JW Marriott at L.A. Live
Los Angeles, CA

Senior Lifestyle Design Match
August 1-3, 2021
Westin Portland Harborview
Portland, ME

HD Expo and Conference
August 24-25, 2021
Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas, NV
Employee Milestones:

Welcome to the Benjamin West Team:
Kassi Moy  Sr. Manager of Business Development, Boulder Office
Sharon Anderson  OS&E Project Manager, Boulder Office
Emily Simons  Project Coordinator, Dallas Office

Christina Esser  Director of Purchasing, Training and Development
Janice McNutt  Staff Accountant/Team Lead
Joe Beisner   Senior Project Manager
Erika Weston   Project Manager
Haley England   Project Manager

Gina Gordon  19 years
Rita Turbak –
 13 years
Kim Hartig –
 9 years
Lauren Trujillo –
 9 years
Leah Neumann –
 9 years
Kelsey Lange –
 8 years
Michelle Maggard –
 7 years
Rachael Gaytan 
 7 years
Ashley Reynolds  5 years
Michelle Liburdi  3 years
Tori Langley  2 years
Contact Our Team:

Alan Benjamin, ISHC

Europe, Middle East, Africa
Daniel Englender
Managing Director

Boulder    |     Chicago    |    Dallas    |    London  
Benjamin West has earned an unparalleled reputation for cost effective, industry-leading results. Benjamin West has provided purchasing services in 40 countries and 6 territories, for both renovations and new builds. Benjamin West’s average daily purchasing spend is about $1.5 million per business day. With six offices worldwide, Benjamin West has over 100 dedicated employees who are passionate about creating the best, most innovative FF&E and OS&E solutions for our clients around the globe.
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