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  • Amerail Systems

Tips on Keeping Your Hotel Open During a PIP or Remodel

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Keep reading for Q&A on the topic that will help you with your next renovation.

Why are you remodeling?

Whether your remodel/renovation is because of a PIP, flag change, disaster repair or brand repositioning, being prepared for everything is essential for hotel owners that plan to keep their properties open during renovations. Throughout this article we will outline the possible issues & how to navigate them.

Possible Issues:

Knowing the possible issues that could arise before & during a renovation is important to any hotelier so that they can prepare themselves & their budgets for the unexpected. Here we will list possible issues that could arise and next we will discuss how to navigate them.

  • Construction delays

  • Guest complaints

  • Weather 

  • Miscommunication 

  • Issues with the structure/design

  • Periodic shutdowns

  • Lack of subs

  • Strict PIP

  • Cost of materials

  • Learning new brand standards

Navigating the Issues:

Now that we know the issues that can arise we can delve into how to prevent or be prepared for them. 

  • Plan ahead to avoid tight deadlines

  • Pick a company who will plan your renovation around your guests and values their satisfaction.

  • Work with a brand experienced contractor

    • A contractor who has worked with multiple hotel brands will know how to manage your budget and provide the best results. They will have experience with issues that arise and know how to navigate them, know the best subcontractors and will know when schedules and designs are realistic.

  • Maintain constant contact with the project team to keep work-flow moving while minimizing surprises and cost.

    • Remember when one group makes a decision it can affect the budget and possibly the timeline.

  • Know what issues may already be on property so you can allocate so much of your budget beforehand to fix them and not have the deadline or schedule take a hit

  • Maintain good communication with your construction manager

  • Know what type of contractor do you want/need

    • Recommended Characteristics: Design-build, turnkey, value engineering

  • Take into consideration designers are busier than ever - make sure extra time they may need won’t push your deadline back.

  • Know how long it takes to get approval for the design/get permits and include that into your timeline.

  • Choose a company who has experience saving hotels money with value engineering.

    • Ask yourself: Will the renovation firm value engineer your project? (save you money by stripping unnecessary costs)


What is a realistic time frame for completion of a renovation and satisfaction of the PIP?

Depending on how quickly ownership can process the PIP, from the initial call with Amerail to the completion of the exterior renovation we would suggest scheduling six to nine months depending on how long it takes to receive brand approval and the building permit.

How to use Value Engineering to make your PIP more affordable:

Amerail Specializes in value engineering for our clients. We will look high and low for ways to save money. If it is finding similar design products at a lower cost or designing the construction in a way to use less materials, Amerail is constantly searching for ways to save you money.

How we can keep your hotel operational and profitable during your PIP renovation:

While completing an Exterior renovation with Amerail you will be able to keep your property open and running with little to no impact. We utilize our guest sensitive crews that work from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm six days a week.

How to keep guest satisfaction high during a PIP related renovation:

During our renovations, we work with the properties management to schedule our work and layout a renovation plan that the GM can follow to try and keep guests away from where our crews working, limiting any noise complaints. Our crews keep a clean work site and always put your guest first.

Setting realistic expectations for your PIP upgrade to stay on schedule and within budget: 

Working with Amerail we layout realistic expectations to our customers. Our time spent on construction is normally between 120-160 days depending on weather. We work as fast as you will allow us to. Normally we have two to four months of administrative type work before construction and that is dictated by the brands response time as well as the local building department.

What are common issues that come up during exterior renovations?

The most common issue we are seeing now is that the time to get building permits is increasing significantly depending on the local building departments. Some small towns only take a few days while larger cities in the northeast can take 3-6 months to receive proper permit.  

What should hotel GMs be prepared for before the renovation starts?

We like to meet with the properties general manager beforehand to walk through our building schedule and make them aware of where we will be on the property and when. We also like to let the GM know of what we may need from the property, if we have to close off an entrance for a few hours or have some furniture moved in a room while we are replacing windows, we like to work proactively when it comes to communicating what we will need and when with the property.

Why do projects get delayed and what could’ve been done to prevent the delay?

Projects get delayed for many reasons but we mostly see it due to the local building department taking longer than they originally estimated to review the plans and issue the permit. To prevent this issue from setting your deadline back, make sure to plan for unexpected delays such as this.

What would’ve made projects go smoother in the past? 

Communication is key in advance of a project and during the project. 

Amerail does our best to work with the property to accommodate all needs.

What’s the most common unexpected cost of renovation? 

Water Damage, when completing a full exterior renovation it is hard to find all latent conditions. Normally if we find additional damage it is caused by leaking windows that have allowed water to infiltrate the EIFS and damage the substrate. 

When Amerail comes across this we notify ownership immediately and will repair the damage at a time and material rate so we can continue on the renovation. 


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