BITAC attendees were split, with 36 percent citing the lobby, 20 percent choosing the entire guest room for an upgrade, and 35 percent saying that owners can get away with a soft goods renovation. “It’s the first impression,” said Paula Azevedo, design director at The Gettys Group, of the lobby. “The brands are demanding that. The whole living room, great room concept – we’ve seen it at all levels. They want that interactivity, whether it’s select service up to five stars.” The nature of the lobby has changed because of technology, according to Deborah Herman, president of Fabric Innovations. “The lobby was a dead space before the Internet,” she said. “When the Internet moved into the lobby, you had to make it a grab-and-go, have a glass of wine [space]. If a woman traveler is in the lobby, she wants to sit downstairs, not sit at a desk. The lobby has become a profit center for many brands. It’s become very interactive and changed the way people have looked at lobby. The point of contact and point of entrance became very important.” Get the full story at Hotel Interactive