With lodging industry demand reaching new heights, architects and designers increasingly are seeing a blending of what previously had been mostly distinct real estate entities: hospitality and housing.

Two related demographic shifts have fueled the trend, according to session panelists. First is the rise in the number of high-worth individuals who want multiple residences. "These are people who may own homes in a number of desirable locations, both urban and resort, though no one home is their primary residence," explained Marriott Vacation Club International corporate VP Tim Levin. "Accordingly, they move back and forth between them."

o make this mobility practical, they don't have time to see to maintenance or upkeep. "They're really buying a lifestyle, one that ensures them the flexibility they're after. They want to be able to call up in advance and know all necessary arrangements have been made for them," added Exclusive Resorts, LLC, president, architecture and design, David Oswald.

The second demographic shift fueling the convergence has been the aging of the Baby Boom generation. The first Boomers turn 65 years old in 2011. "We expect to see this group morphing from owning a fractional share, used for vacation, to whole ownership, which they'll use as a retirement home," Levin said.

The power of lodging industry branding has proven to be a factor in the blending of luxury hotel and housing. The Ritz-Carlton brand, for example, is being used on a residential project in Jupiter, FL, that does not include any hotel rooms at all. "What it does include is the high level service delivery that owners have come to associate with--and expec--from the Ritz-Carlton brand," Levin noted.

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