Hadsten Solvang: Hotel Transformation in the Heart of Wine Country

The Hadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, is a charming 69-guestroom, 5-suite, two-story boutique hotel property located in the heart of Solvang, California, a Danish-inspired village in the Santa Ynez Valley just north of Santa Barbara. The area is known for its wine country tourism and delicious food and beverage offerings. Read more below about the HBG's Hadsten Solvang Hotel Transformation.

Previously known as Hadsten House, this 1970’s era motel-style property underwent a thoughtful renovation and a rebranding under the ownership of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, in collaboration with Direct Investment Capital Enterprise.

HBG Design led architecture, interior design/FF&E design, and construction administration for the extensive 33,413 square-foot transformation of the property to achieve a unique hotel concept geared towards group lifestyle travelers.

Book your getaway here.

Hadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Read more about and download project information about the Hadsten Solvang Hotel Transformation here.

Hadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

The Hadsten Solvang project is a transformation of a 1970’s Old Danish style hotel in wine country into a ‘Danish Modern’ boutique hospitality experience, featuring new indoor-outdoor bar and lounge amenities.

Hadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by HiltonHadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Tapestry Collection by Hilton represents an upscale portfolio of hotels that offer guests unique style and vibrant personality. Each handpicked property encourages guests to explore their local area, seek their adventurous side and create an authentic connection with the destination. The Hadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by Hilton brings a cool vibe to its authentic ambiance enabling guests to create their own travel story by immersing themselves in the hotel’s on-property food and beverage, fitness, and leisure offerings, or travel off the beaten path to explore the local wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms.

Read about another HBG-designed Hilton property: the Canopy by Hilton Downtown Memphis Hotel.


Announcing Our New Senior Associates and Associates!

Announcing our new 2023 staff promotions! HBG Design is proud to announce that seven established HBG employees have been elevated to the positions of Associate and Senior Associate at the firm. This announcement marks another step forward in HBG Design’s strategic plan to grow its next generation of leaders, ensuring our practice's longevity far into the future.

These seven individuals have each demonstrated leadership, not only in their role but, perhaps most importantly --- in the way they create an environment where others in the firm can learn, grow, and contribute great things.

These newly elevated employees foster ingenuity; they listen, teach, and invest in themselves to grow and develop those who work with them. That is the truest mark of a leader – to heed the calling not only to reach for excellence on your own but to have the desire and ability to create opportunities for others to thrive.

Announcing our new 2023 Promotions
Announcing Our New Senior Associates and Associates!

Announcing our new Associates:

Thor Harland - Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsThor Harland, AIA, Associate / Lead Architectural Designer
Thor has created a significant impact on the design narrative at HBG Design. Inspired design is at the heart of our purpose; Thor embodies this ethos with a depth that resonates. Thor's distinctive, lyrical approach to design serves as a pivotal force. His work embodies elegance and simplicity; it is fluid and graceful, rich in concept, and steeped in contextual relationships that evoke a sense of place. Thor communicates design by telling visual stories, helping clients embrace the vision behind the design through artfully nuanced drawings and conceptual diagrams. He doesn't merely present design, he encapsulates a thoughtful dialogue that resonates with both architects and clients alike.

Wielding vision, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to advancing HBG’s position as an industry leader, Thor’s passion for design, spanning architecture to interiors, injects a holistic perspective into every project. What distinguishes him most is his ability to navigate beyond design constraints, composing solutions that are not only cost-effective but remain true to the overarching vision. Thor has been promoted to Associate at HBG Design. Congratulations, Thor!

 

Nathan Blair- Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsNathan Blair, AIA, Associate / Lead Architectural Designer
An integral part of our success, Nathan is expanding horizons in our San Diego office. Bringing people together while demonstrating an unwavering passion for design execution are Nathan’s superpowers. He’s helped transcend the miles between teams in different office locations by aligning everyone together and uniting our project teams across the continent.

Under pressure, he's the embodiment of professionalism and leads teams with contagious positivity. His influence doesn't stop at the end of the workday; Nathan represents HBG at local business and design community events participating in after-hours gatherings supporting The Downtown San Diego Partnership and Friends of San Diego Architecture. Nathan has been promoted to Associate at HBG Design. Cheers to Nathan's Achievements!

 

Tava Frazier- Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsTava Frazier, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP, Associate / Interior Designer
Tava Frazier has been promoted to Associate at HBG Design. She’s not only a highly skilled leader, but she has an extraordinary ability to adapt to a variety of project roles and responsibilities quickly. She has a gift to see beyond the strict definition of a project role, and adjust her focus on what the project needs to be successful. One moment, Tava may be an Interior Design Project Architect, who takes the reins and leads as the project manager. Or, her role might be Interior Design Project Manager, who also juggles the responsibilities of a project architect.

Without exception, Tava always brings exceptional efficiency and commitment to her projects. A dedicated mentor, Tava advocates for those she sponsors, seeking out opportunities for junior staff to learn new skills, build deep industry knowledge, and shape an immersive career experience at HBG. Congratulations, Tava!

 

Morgan Streitmatter- Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsMorgan Streitmatter, Associate / Human Resources Manager and Memphis Office Manager
Morgan is the epitome of designing a career experience, showcasing versatility and excellence in diverse facets of operations, office management, and communications. Morgan's career journey has touched various aspects of our operations, and her impact has been transformative. As the senior member of our Office Management team, Morgan played a pivotal role in creating a unified "One HBG" office structure. Her dedication led to the implementation of consistent operating procedures and standards across all three nationwide HBG locations.

Morgan's shining moments come to life in her role as Human Resources Manager. Her business acumen and steadfast work ethic have not only helped foster a more positive work environment, but her empathetic leadership has also elevated each employee’s experience with Human Resources. Morgan's journey from being a part of the team to leading it is nothing short of inspiring. Her dedication, strategic vision, and commitment to excellence have propelled her into a leadership role where she continues to make a profound impact on our organization. Congratulations, Morgan!

 

Announcing our new Senior Associates:

Ferran Espin- Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsFerran Espin, AIA, NCARB, Senior Associate / Project Architect 
As a Project Architect at HBG Design, Ferran leads many of the firm’s largest and most complex entertainment and hospitality projects. He conveys intricate concepts straightforwardly, instantly instilling confidence among his peers, clients, and consultant/contractor teams. Ferran has exceptional character and has earned the trust and attention of HBG clients due to his direct, composed communication and his prolific technical acumen. He is a driving force behind the delivery of recent large-scale HBG projects.

Ferran exemplifies project and people leadership at HBG. He has a flair for making personal connections and is a passionate, committed advocate for the growth of his team members. As a trusted mentor, Ferran is always seeking to educate and inspire others with wisdom imparted in a direct and soothing communication style. Congratulations, Ferran!

 

Dana Ramsey- Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsDana Ramsey, CPSM, Senior Associate / Director of Marketing 
With 10 national SMPS Marketing Communication Awards and 2 regional ADDY Awards under her belt, Dana contributes her 25 years of marketing and communication experience, insight, and creativity to HBG. Her strategic thinking and talent for creating compelling content and messaging have made a lasting impact on the firm.

Dana is infinitely curious and instigates meaningful change, perpetually seeking ways that add value to HBG’s processes. An intuitive, empathetic listener, her 18-year journey at HBG has been marked by an intense spirit of teamwork and collaboration as she guides the marketing team in the creation of high-impact promotional campaigns and effective project pursuit messaging. Congratulations, Dana!

 

Jeff Phipps- Announcing our new 2023 PromotionsJeff Phipps, Senior Associate / IT Director 
Jeff Phipps began his journey at HBG supporting a single office. Today, he's the backbone of three thriving offices nationwide, supporting over 100 team members. His leadership across all aspects of IT influences everyone and everything at HBG - from hardware to software, connectivity to cybersecurity. He's not just a troubleshooter; he's a strategic thinker, meticulously planning budgets, maintaining equipment, and ensuring our technology and infrastructure advance and are seamlessly integrated into our workflow.

Sometimes IT can seem like a never-ending rollercoaster, but Jeff maintains his signature calm, positive and helpful attitude every day. He’s our IT symphony leader, ensuring every HBG employee has the tools they need to excel in their own role.  Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Jeff is how he leads through service and support. He embodies the spirit of HBG – thriving on collaboration, innovation, and unwavering support for the collective HBG team.

We are so proud of this group and the entire team of HBG next-generation leaders who continue to raise the bar and move the firm to new heights.

Nathan Peak, AIA, LEED GA
Practice Leader
HBG Design


Carpenter Art Garden, HBG, Collaborators Create Neighborhood Impact

Carpenter Art Garden and Local Collaborators Transform Binghampton Lot in Memphis into The Tillman Sculpture Park, an Artistic Urban Greenspace

Tillman Sculpture Garden Phase 1
Tillman Sculpture Park begins to take shape with curving retaining walls, new soil, sod, mulch, and plantings.

Memphis, TN - Carpenter Art Garden, and a team of local artists and residents, HBG Design architects, landscape designer Greg Touliatos, and Montgomery Martin contractors, are working together to revitalize urban greenspace in Memphis' Binghampton neighborhood as the vibrant, new Tillman Sculpture Park. The greenspace will be located at the corner of Princeton and Tillman. It is just one block away from Sam Cooper Blvd. and next to the Collage Dance Center. The park will transform a neglected lot--previously obtained by Carpenter Art Garden. It will be a creative and family-friendly space to bring a sense of artistic pride to the neighborhood.

“When complete in the spring of 2024, the park will come alive with winding paths, colorful blooms, unique handmade art sculptures, and an intricate mosaic art tile wall,” says Jazmin Miller, Executive Director of the Carpenter Art Garden, “all crafted by a committed volunteer team of local artists, students, designers, contractors, landscaping volunteers, and Binghampton residents.”

About the new Tillman Sculpture Park

The Tillman Sculpture Park is envisioned as a community-driven public art project: a space, a statement, and an environmental symbol of neighborhood growth.

The project directly resonates with the Carpenter Art Garden's mission of growing young creatives through art education, intervention, and therapy programs, while creating an inhabitable space that negates blight, while birthing creativity and culture.

Design and Construction Collaborators

HBG Design architects, Greg Touliatos Landscape Design, and Montgomery Martin Contractors have joined forces to complete the Tillman Sculpture Garden project, providing design and construction services and materials. Montgomery Martin has been integral in several Carpenter Art Garden projects including the Mosaic Park and its ‘Welcome to Binghampton’ sign.

HBG Design Principal Danny Valle, AIA, has played a key role in leading HBG's design and landscaping volunteers for the Tillman park project through the firm's Kirk Bobo Creating Impact Initiative (KBCI). HBG's KBCI program stems from the ongoing philanthropic advocacy of firm co-founder Kirk Bobo, a proponent of channeling HBG’s specialized skills for the betterment of Memphis.

“HBG Design believes in building a better and stronger Memphis by creating uplifting and inspiring places and spaces,” says Valle. “The Tillman Sculpture Garden project is one example of how beautification projects sponsored by our KBCI program can strengthen neighborhoods and create a more vibrant, livable city.”

Tillman Sculpture Garden Phase 1
HBG Design December 1 work day volunteer team

The first step in creating the Tillman Sculpture Park was designing a sustainable site plan and landscape design by HBG Design and Greg Touliatos that could be easily constructed on a small budget with mostly volunteer labor. Montgomery Martin prepared the overgrown site and constructed the concrete path and retaining wall designs. On December 1, a group of 30 volunteers from all organizations came out to implement the landscape design by laying mulch, soil, and sod, and planting bushes around the curving sidewalks before the winter season begins.

“The art and the color will emerge in the spring during the project’s next phase,” says Miller, “adding an even greater metaphorical sense of reawakening, of the site and this meaningful project.” 

Art Installations by The Mosaic Arts Apprenticeship Program

Art sculptures, to be placed on cement podiums throughout the park, are being created through the Mosaic Arts Apprenticeship Program at Carpenter Art Garden. under the tutelage of professional artist Suzy Hendricks and professional artist and University of Memphis sculpture professor, Kelsey Harrison. The Mosaic Arts Apprenticeship Program offers Binghampton neighborhood middle and high school students apprenticeship opportunities in mosaic design and construction. Students learn the profession, explore specific ways to approach design, and then begin creating their works of art. In addition to learning a creative skill, students also explore the business aspects of a creative career. The objective is to bolster college and career readiness regardless of their chosen field. Additionally, Binghampton teens and residents will be assisting in making art tiles that will be installed over the curving retaining walls. Art collaborators will also include Art Garden youth and University of Memphis art students.

Project Funding

The project brings together community stakeholders across institutions, sectors, and neighborhoods in a significant collaboration. This project is made possible by the following funders: the Kresge Foundation, HBG Design (in kind), Greg Touliatos (in-kind), Montgomery Martin (in kind), Urban Arts Commission, Moms Demand Action, Everytown, The Little Garden Club of Memphis, and Tennessee Art Commission.

The Binghampton Historical Site

Binghampton's geographical history began as a small town outside of the city of Memphis. Immersed in farmland and railroads, Binghampton resided south of the Pope Cotton Plantation. According to the 1900 U.S. Census, the neighborhood reflects early inhabitants of various backgrounds. More specifically, a Black collective of citizens who worked predominantly on farms and railroads.

We believe that from the complexities of history, a blossom of arts and culture emerged and continues to manifest on the landscapes of Binghampton and throughout the city. Through the birth of Tillman Sculpture Park, Carpenter Art Garden hopes to uncover more of Binghampton’s geographical and anthropological history as we pay homage to joy, wonder, and our creative identity as a neighborhood.

Future Project Phases

The Tillman Sculpture Park project will be phased over four cycles. Future generations of Carpenter Art Garden mosaic students will add to the “Art Garden” for community participation over time.

“We believe it is important for more groups of students to have access to such an incredible real-world collaborative public art project,” adds Miller. “In this way, we are creating a laboratory to home-grow site-specific public artists who are trained in cross-disciplinary collaboration and community-based work. We will also be able to draw on alumni from each group to take leadership roles in future building rounds on the site.”   

Visit carpenterartgarden.org.


HBG Design Careers: Why We Stand Out Among the Competition.

HBG Design is hiring for several design and project management positions across our Memphis, San Diego, and Dallas offices.

Discover the top reasons why our firm excels in providing exceptional leadership, professional growth, vibrant workplace culture, industry-leading benefits, and rewarding hospitality, entertainment and mixed-use projects.

Here are the Top 7 Reasons HBG Design Stands Out Among the Competition:

1. Career Advancement Opportunities.

Thor Harland, lead architectural designer for the new Canopy by Hilton Downtown Memphis, has been with the firm for 19 years.

HBG Design’s plan for ensuring the longevity of our firm includes identifying and elevating the talent already in place at HBG Design while guiding our next generation of leaders. Take for example, Kevin, Alexandra, and Chris. Our proactive approach to succession planning celebrates and recognizes excellence in leadership across all aspects of the firm, both on the project and corporate side of the business. Consider the fact that the average length of service of HBG Principals, Senior Associates, and Associates is 15 years. That’s pretty strong evidence of HBG's long-term commitment to developing strong employees and future leaders.

2. Exceptional Leadership.

Nathan Peak, AIA, Practice Leader and Emily Marshall, NCIDQ, IIDA, Interior Design Director

At HBG Design, we believe that exceptional and inspiring leadership is the key to a flourishing workplace. Joe is a great example of this.  So is Emily. HBG Design’s leadership team is dedicated to guiding motivated, proactive employees towards success, helping each staff member reach career fulfillment at the highest level. HBG Design fosters a high-performance culture where everyone is challenged to stretch themselves, understand and exceed expectations, and impart leadership in their everyday experiences.

“It’s always been at the core of our firm values to challenge each other to excel beyond what we think we can achieve. We like to say, ‘your path here is what you make of it’, and we aim to empower staff to design their career experience around their strengths and passions. That’s key to our culture; and I think it’s a big reason why we’ve come so far as a company,” says Nathan Peak, AIA, LEED GA, HBG Design Practice Leader.

3. Professional Development Commitment.

HBG Design is an AIA TN Emerging Professionals Friendly Firm

We’re serious about providing the good things that make our employees, and our firm, grow stronger - from helping our staff become better leaders, to initiating robust training curriculums, to finding the latest interactive technologies that help us work smarter. Our fully developed Sponsor Program is crafted to empower our team members to design their own unique career experiences. HBG is consistently honored as an Emerging Professionals Friendly Firm, championing the development of our EP Studio for both emerging interior designers and architects at the firm. Additionally, our leadership hosts firm-wide design-focused forums, morning Coffee Critiques at the crit wall, and activities to maintain a continuous inspirational buzz around the office, while inviting open and meaningful exchanges of ideas and maintaining top-of-mind focus on design excellence.

4. Vibrant Workplace Culture.

HBG Design culture supports and promotes a healthy, flexible, and fun work environment. In each of our Memphis, San Diego and Dallas office locations, we coordinate and host several key events and activities that give every employee the opportunity to interact with their “HBG Design family” inside and outside of working hours. From monthly HBGathers parties, organized community giving events through our Kirk Bobo Creating Impact Grant initiative, painting parties to kick-ball and indoor soccer teams, group nights at new restaurants, to family-centered outings - we believe supporting our community and exploring a variety of outside activities together helps make us a stronger, more dynamic organization.

5. Challenging and Fulfilling Projects.

We love what we do and so does the industry. HBG Design has consistently been ranked among the Top 5 Hospitality and Entertainment Design firms in the Nation by publications such as Hotel Business Magazine and Building Design+Construction. The firm’s 100 architects, interior designers, and project delivery professionals over our three offices are industry specialists who guide our approach to innovation and best practices in every programmatic hospitality, entertainment, and mixed-use design element--from the hotel to the gaming floor, spa, outdoor pool experiences, F&B venues, and event spaces. Our open studios naturally promote engagement and idea sharing and put senior staff in the midst of the design environment where they can teach best practices and impart knowledge to junior staff. Straight from one employee:

“HBG is a family of people who come together — some with a lot of experience and some with less experience; we collaborate, mentor, draw, and share ideas as we contribute our unique talents to the firm’s high-quality, high-caliber design projects.”

6. Industry-Leading Compensation and Benefits.

To encourage a healthy work/life blend across the firm, we offer a well-rounded benefits plan, year-round flexible hours for all employees, and a variety of programs designed to support the important blend between life, health, work, and play. HBG offers a flexible work week, industry-leading paid time off and holidays, a discretionary bonus plan, licensure/certification exam reimbursement, professional membership reimbursement, and more. The firm’s extensive benefits package includes medical, dental, vision, flexible spending account, 401k plan, and an employee assistance program. HBG Design has been lauded for its business approach and commitment to employee growth and development, winning 10+ ‘Top Workplace’, ‘Best Place to Work’ and ‘Hot Firm’ Awards, and four national awards for operations management and employee engagement.

7. Rewarding Outstanding Accomplishments.

HBG’s greatest strength is our people, those that drive both the creative and the business sides of our firm. We encourage a self-motivated spirit. Rewarding talented members of our team who have dedicated themselves to their and the firm’s success is an important aspect of our culture. We take pride in acknowledging the exceptional work of our employees. Through industry-wide recognition and our own internal awards, we celebrate your achievements and ensure your efforts are recognized.

So, what do our employees have to say about us?

Annually, our company conducts an all-encompassing employee engagement survey, offering vital insights that shape HBG Design's people-centered strategies. Here are select excerpts reflecting our employees' experiences at HBG Design:

If you have been yearning for a change that addresses these factors head-on, then now is the time to join our extraordinary team.

Apply today for our open architecture positions and embark on a fulfilling career journey at HBG Design!

Visit our Careers Page!

 


Design Thinking: Resort Experiences for the Group Traveler

6 Best Practices for the Design of conference event amenities influenced by the preferences of meeting planners, and the attendees they represent.

Designing Experiences for the Group Traveler,  By HBG Design, with insights from Conference & Meeting Planner, Grace L. Jan, CMP, CAE, Director, Sales Operations and Corporate Events, Supernus Pharmaceuticals. Jan is a Maryland-based conferences and meetings planner with 35 years in corporate events.

 

At HBG, we are designing experiences that extend the group traveler's resort journey beyond the conference/event center.

Designing Experiences Group Traveler - Oaklawn Event Center, Hot Springs, AR

Designing Experiences for the Group TravelerMulti-purpose convention, conference and performance event amenities have become important economic drivers for resort Owners looking to round out their revenue generating opportunities. After years of remote work and employee separation, businesses are starting to find ways to bring their employees together, and regional resorts can offer fun and convenient locations to host business gatherings and meetings. At HBG, our event amenity designs for the group traveler have garnered national recognition as being well-designed, exciting, and flexible spaces that are also operationally and financially successful. 

After we successfully completed the stunning designs of the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, and the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, TX, HBG Design adopted our guest-focused design philosophy. We create event amenities that cater to the needs of both meeting attendees and planners, focusing on seamless accessibility and easy navigation to a diverse range of revenue-generating experiences.

When it comes to hosting successful events of all sizes, the design of multi-purpose resort spaces that can "multi-task" between business and leisure resort guests is paramount. Group travelers typically visit resorts during mid-week for conferences, trade shows, and meetings. They want services and spaces that support networking, relationship-building, learning, entertainment, and relaxation, requiring a variety of amenity options and wayfinding clarity to allow the group traveler's experience to extend beyond the conference and event center.

When it comes to choosing a conference event resort for their attendees, meeting planners have specific preferences and “must-haves” on their checklists. These insights can help resort Owners and designers target experiences that resonate with event guests:

 

Designing Experiences Group Traveler - Oaklawn Event Center, Hot Springs, AR

Designing Experiences Group Traveler - Oaklawn Event Center, Hot Springs, AR

1. High-quality service and convenience.

Regardless of the age of the hotel, delivering exceptional service is crucial. The first impressions made by bellmen and front desk staff significantly impact attendees' experiences.

To aid service and guest convenience, many newer properties are facilitating faster check-ins through technology such as their hotel apps, allowing guests to use their smartphones as room keys. This streamlined process enhances efficiency and improves guests' overall experience. In-room iPads to help enhance on-demand service from the resort is also an important feature, as seen at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming Resort, Hot Springs, Arkansas (images at left and right).

2. Ease of wayfinding access between the hotel and the event amenities is a priority.

HBG designers often plan our clients' resorts so that the hotel elevator lobby is located at the central point between each amenity element, making use of horizontal and vertical circulation. For example, at Four Winds Casino Hotel and Spa in South Bend, Indiana, HBG designers situated the main elevator lobby between the hotel registration desk and the main escalator access to the Ribbon Town Conference and Event Center. The elevator also takes group travelers directly to the second level event pre-function lounge, and continues upward to the third floor hospitality suites and the hotel's Edgewater Café bar and restaurant. This third level was planned and designed as break-out reception and gathering space in support of the resort's event activities.

3. Approachable comfort and luxury.

To ensure the comfort of group travelers, guestroom designs should prioritize approachable luxury, offering a variety of room layouts, selections and premium amenities, including quality bedding, toiletries, and luxuriously appointed bathrooms. Features like choices of pillow types, and complimentary robes and bottles of water in guestrooms go a long way in enhancing comfort.

Designing Experiences for the Group Traveler4. Functional meeting spaces and audio-visual technology

To attract and retain repeat meeting planner business, your event amenities must offer well-designed, flexible meeting spaces of diverse sizes and configurations to cater to a range of meeting needs. Outdoor landscaped event patios, terraces or lawns also offer distinct areas for gathering, weather permitting.

The Ribbon Town Conference and Event Center at Four Winds South Bend has strategically utilized the entire second floor to cater to both informal and formal gatherings. This includes areas for networking before events, with seating groups, two bars and an outdoor terrace, as well as designated spaces for formal meetings. To allow for flexibility and accommodate multiple groups, the smaller meeting rooms are located at the opposite end of the conference and event center from the main 10,000 SF ballroom. Additionally, the ballroom can be divided to create smaller meeting room spaces when needed. The planning and design of all areas have been well thought out with integrated A/V technology to enhance the space's suitability for high-end conferences and events.

Designing Experiences Group Traveler - The Guest House at Graceland Resort Conference Center, Memphis, TNEstablishing a strong partnership with a resort's in-house AV is essential for meeting planners. Offering reasonable prices for audio-visual services and packages will make a resort stand out to obtain more group business. Additionally, addressing the basic need for complimentary Wi-Fi for all guests and groups will differentiate a resort and boost its appeal for group bookings. By organizing focus groups with experienced meeting planners, resorts can gather valuable insights on necessary improvements in service and for upcoming renovations or new build projects.

5. Enhanced food options.

Resorts are focusing on offering better food options in their outlets, catering to attendees' varying dietary preferences and needs for grab and go snacks, bars and lounges for informal F&B centered meetings, and higher end F&B for both intimate and group dining. Additionally, coffee break and break-out areas are crucial in providing attendees with private spaces for networking and respite between sessions. This helps create a more inclusive environment and enhances the overall satisfaction of meeting attendees.

The group traveler to Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs, Arkansas, can partake from a number of restaurant offerings within reach of the event space--from the food court concourse, to the high end Bugler restaurant and First Turn bar, and The OAK Room and Bar. Oaklawn, with its unique dining offerings, makes for a unique conference and meeting location due to its 100+ year history of thoroughbred racing, an upscale design with convenience on a walkable scale, and views to the racetrack and Hot Springs' beautiful landscape beyond.

6. Mindfulness and well-being amenities.

As more guests incorporate mindfulness into their lives, a resort’s event amenities must adapt by providing different spa offerings and promoting spaces for relaxation. On-site spas can provide much-needed relaxation experiences after long days of sessions and networking events. Features like healthy menus, spas and fitness classes, and even in-room yoga mats or Peloton bikes offer a touch of home while traveling. Oaklawn's Astral Spa and Four Winds South Bend's Cedar Spa are both luxuriously designed spas near to the conference/event center and hotel amenities of each resort, offering full spa services and relaxing aqua thermal and lounge spaces.

Understanding the top amenities desired by meeting planners and attendees is essential for both new resorts and established properties looking to attract and retain business. Resorts can secure a competitive edge in the convention/conferences/meetings market by prioritizing excellent service, well-designed meeting spaces, competitive AV services, and catering to emerging trends. By doing so, they can create a memorable experience for meeting attendees, encourage repeat visits, and foster a desire to recommend the resort to others, including other meeting planners.

Represented projects include:

The Event Center at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming Resort, Hot Springs, Arkansas, Photography © Dero Sanford/Think Dero Photography

Ribbon Town Conference and Event Center at Four Winds Casino Hotel and Spa, South Bend, Indiana, Photography © Dero Sanford/Think Dero Photography

The Guest House at Graceland Resort Conference and Event Center, Memphis, Tennessee, Photography © Jeffrey Jacobs Photography

The Conference and Event Center at Sycuan Casino Resort, El Cajon, California, Photography © Chad Mellon Photography


Kevin Burke Named a 2023 Influencer of Architecture & Design

Congratulations to HBG San Diego Architectural Designer, Kevin Burke, who was recently honored as a 2023 Influencer of Architecture and Design by the San Diego Business Journal!

Influencer of Architecture and Design

Kevin Burke, AIA, LEED AP, is Senior Associate / Senior Architectural Designer at HBG Design. An award-winning designer of national and regional projects, Kevin’s latest large-scale resort projects have been completed for Tribal Nations throughout California. Kevin’s passion extends into a deep understanding of hotel and casino operations and the business side of his clients' design investments. He participates in the Downtown San Diego Partnership and is a speaker at the Western Indian Gaming Conference.

 

SDBJ-Leaders-of-Influence-in-Architecture-Design-2023

Let's Shine a Brighter Spotlight on Kevin!

Kevin C. Burke, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is Senior Associate / Senior Architectural Designer at HBG Design. An award-winning hospitality and entertainment industry design leader, Kevin has a 25-year track record designing multi-million-dollar regional and national resort projects. His design passion extends into a deep understanding of casino and hotel operations and the business side of his clients' design investments.

Kevin BurkeDesign Leadership in Indian Gaming

Kevin has worked extensively throughout California for Tribal Nations/Native Californians designing large-scale resort legacy projects. Over 2022 and 2023, he completed master planning and architecture projects for the Tule River Tribe, Redding Rancheria, Karuk Tribe, and Elk Valley Rancheria, and previously completed an interior renovation for Agua Caliente. As lead architectural designer, he has enjoyed witnessing the stunning success of the Tule River Tribe’s Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, CA. He was also a designer for the PREMIER Rock & Brews Casino and restaurant, opened 2022 in Oklahoma.

Kevin is an instrumental leader in HBG’s Design+ initiative, spearheading the development of the ‘Hospitality Design Handbook’, a compilation of HBG Design's hospitality design best practices.

Kevin Burke, Western Indian Gaming SpeakerAn industry thought leader

Kevin was a featured design trends speaker at the 2023 Western Indian Gaming Conference in San Diego. His projects have been recognized with AIA Design Awards and American Gaming Association Casino Design Awards for Best Architectural & Interior Design. He was recognized by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission Architectural Design Excellence Awards and is an ENR Magazine ‘Top 20 Under 40’, Southwest USA – Top Young Professionals Award honoree.

Mentorship

Kevin’s influence as a firm mentor makes him an outstanding leader of HBG’s ‘Creating Impact Outreach Initiative’. Kevin served as design lead for HBG San Diego’s partnership with the Fred Finch Youth Center to create and implement a master beautification plan for their Lemon Grove, CA, residential treatment campus. Hands-on design, planting, and landscaping helped revitalize the Fred Finch grounds as a communal gathering space. HBG’s Creating Impact program is an immersive design and learning experience developed to enhance employee relationships and service to the San Diego community.

Organizational Involvement

Kevin is a firm member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and regularly attends meetings and events. He is a Member of the American Institute of Architects; a Member of National Council of Architectural Registration Boards; a Member of U.S. Green Building Council; and a Member of the USC Alumni Association and the USC Architecture Guild. Kevin received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles.


Joe Baruffaldi Named a 2023 Influencer of Architecture & Design

Congratulations to HBG San Diego Principal and Group Leader, Joe Baruffaldi, AIA, who was recently honored as a 2023 Influencer of Architecture and Design by the San Diego Business Journal!

Joe Baruffaldi

 

Joe Baruffaldi, Jr, AIA, Principal / Group Leader at HBG Design, the #2 hospitality and entertainment design firm in the U.S. With over 30 years of experience in collaborative architecture and interior design, Joe is responsible for the ground-up inception of HBG Design’s San Diego office, actively recruiting, cultivating, and leading a dynamic design team. He serves on the Downtown San Diego Partnership and is Board Chairman for the Design Institute of San Diego.

SDBJ-Leaders-of-Influence-in-Architecture-Design-2023

Let's Shine a Brighter Spotlight on Joe!

Joe Baruffaldi, Jr, AIA, Principal / Group Leader at HBG Design directs the firm’s San Diego office by prioritizing client relationships and team engagement. HBG Design is an active member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership; is the 34th largest architecture and design firm in San Diego; and is the #2 hospitality and entertainment design firm in the U.S. (by Hotel Business).

Responsible for the Ground Up Inception & Growth of HBG San Diego

Joe is responsible for the ground-up inception of HBG Design’s San Diego office. Since 2016, he has been actively recruiting, cultivating, and leading a dynamic team of architects and interior designers who are enthusiastic members of the San Diego design community. Joe effectively and enthusiastically translates HBG’s national culture of collaboration and innovation into his vibrant West Coast office. In 2022 and 2023, Joe achieved a 50% staff growth rate and promoted several San Diego staff members to Associate and Senior Associate positions.

Instilling HBG Design Culture in San Diego

As part of the firm’s ‘Kirk Bobo Creating Impact Outreach Initiative’, Joe has been instrumental in launching HBG San Diego’s partnership with the Fred Finch Youth Center to create and implement a master beautification plan for their Lemon Grove, CA, residential treatment campus. Hands-on design, planting, and landscaping helped revitalize the Fred Finch grounds as a communal gathering space. HBG’s Creating Impact program is an immersive design and learning experience developed to enhance employee relationships and service to the San Diego community.

Design Industry Involvement & Contributions

Joe serves on the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Planning and Public Policy Committee, where he contributes his extensive industry knowledge to help spur and evolve downtown planning initiatives. He formerly served on the Urban Design Sub-Committee.

Additionally, Joe has established partnerships with the Design Institute of San Diego, the NewSchool of Architecture & Design, and other local colleges, helping inspire career pathways for students from these prestigious institutions. He has also spearheaded the development of internship programs that create work experiences at HBG for students pursuing their architecture and interior design degrees.

He is Chairman of the Board of the Directors for the Design Institute of San Diego, a small, private college that has been devoted to preparing students for rewarding, innovative and socially responsible careers in interior design for more than 40 years. His previous affiliations include the Center City Advisory Committee, CCDC, San Diego, CA, and Design-Build Institute of America.

Design Leadership in Indian Gaming

Joe manages large-scale hospitality, entertainment and mixed-use design projects for HBG, including the acclaimed Desert Diamond West Valley Resort in Glendale, Arizona, and the newly opened Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, CA. He is a proud contributor to the dialogue on industry trends as a speaker for the Indian Gaming Association (IGA) and the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) conferences.


Resort Pools Enhance Guest Experiences: Design Thinking

Pools have long been an integral part of casino resorts, serving as a vital attraction that enhances their competitiveness. The pool environment within these properties acts as a haven for retreat and escapism. It contributes significantly to guest satisfaction and the overall resort experience.

A leader in designing exceptional resort environments, HBG Design has created stunning poolscapes, complete with lazy rivers, whirlpools, and man-made lakes. Each pool environment is specially designed to support other non-gaming experiences, such as the hotel, the event center, F&B, and spa.

The Spa Pool
One remarkable example of HBG Design’s expertise in crafting spa adjacent pools is the Astral Spa Pool at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, nestled in scenic Hot Springs, Arkansas. The design of this pool area perfectly combines tranquility and luxury, ensuring guests are able to unwind and rejuvenate in a serene setting, while providing spaces for active wellness such as yoga.

The Event Centered Pool Environment
HBG Design excels in creating captivating pool environments that are seamlessly connected to events and entertainment. For instance, the rooftop pool at Four Winds South Bend Casino in South Bend, Indiana, provides a stunning setting for guests to relax and enjoy breathtaking views from the resort hotel’s new third floor event suite/VIP suite level dedicated to smaller receptions and small group events.

Similarly, the indoor pool and event complex at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan, currently in the construction phase, promises to be an exceptional addition to the casino resort scene. This multifunctional venue will offer guests a delightful, year-round climate-controlled space to enjoy pool activities and large events and concerts, providing yet another reason for visitors to choose Gun Lake Casino Resort as their ultimate destination.

“Michigan receives a lot of lake effect snow and wind, and Gun Lake Casino’s new multipurpose indoor pool and events complex will become a resort oasis for guests, especially in winter months,” says Paul Bell, AIA, HBG Principal and Project Manager for the Gun Lake expansion.

The F&B Centered Pool Environment
HBG Design has designed pools that cater to events and enrich the food and beverage (F&B) opportunities within the resorts, thereby serving as separate revenue generators. The new Cascades pool complex at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma, is an excellent example of the synergy between the pool and F&B experience.

Spanning over 5 acres, this meticulously designed pool experience encompasses a series of six exquisite pools, varying types of private cabanas, and seven distinct buildings accommodating bars and lounges, food and beverage and guest services, and retail. Every amenity has been thoughtfully positioned to maximize sunlight and water access and lounging, while offering ample shaded space for social interaction and outdoor dining and bar lounging.

“Inspired by the mesmerizing forms of ocean currents and naturally shaped archipelagos, the design of the Cascades pool complex is formed by organic, curvilinear shapes that adjoin to provide intimate lounge and cabana spaces in between,” adds Jurbergs.

By offering these exceptional pool environments, casino resorts aim to create distinctive experiences that transcend mere accommodation and gaming. These carefully designed pools elevate the overall appeal of the resort, capturing the imagination of guests and ensuring they are presented with an unforgettable escapism experience. Such thoughtful integration of pools within the resort not only enhances guest satisfaction but also maximizes the revenue potential of the property.

Resort pool environments are much more than just recreational spaces; they are vital components of a successful casino resort. By understanding the value these pools bring to resort success, property owners and HBG Design designers are continuously pushing the boundaries to create captivating poolscapes that truly elevate the resort experience. Whether it is a tranquil spa pool or an exciting rooftop oasis, these carefully crafted environments contribute to making casino resorts destinations of choice for travelers seeking a remarkable and memorable stay.

Read more about each of these projects by flipping through the extended resort pool design release.

 


ULI: Embracing Memphis' Past and Present Through Urban Renewal and Hotel Design

ULI Urban Land Magazine

From Urban Land Magazine, Online Issue, July 2023

Located on the iconic bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, Memphis, Tennessee’s downtown district is a distinct representation of the city’s rich commercial and industrial legacy with rows of ornate 19th century buildings and warehouses lining the bustling urban thoroughfares. Even today, the river continues its steady stream of barge traffic, providing a mesmerizing backdrop to this cultural melting pot where the past—from the city’s legendary blues music heritage to Elvis Presley’s Graceland—rubs shoulders with the present.

The latest additions to downtown hospitality include the Canopy by Hilton Downtown Memphis, the Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, and the Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis. Each new high-profile hotel development integrates and transforms Memphis’ obsolete infrastructure for the benefit of Memphis tourism and contemporary livability.

“Adaptive use has become the cornerstone of redevelopment in downtown Memphis,” says Brandon Herrington, ULI Memphis Management Committee chair-elect and director of marketing and business development for Montgomery Martin Contractors in Memphis.  “The hospitality sector, especially, has embraced the wealth of historical structures across the central business district. Whether wholesale reuse of a building or the salvage of prominent historical elements, these hotels are now integral to Memphis’ historical fabric.”

Mark Weaver, FAIA, principal at HBG Design, the national hospitality design firm and architect of record for the three hotels says, “Lying vacant for 20 years, the site of the former 1940s era Benchmark hotel, a riverside lot and its adjacent 19th century machine shop were each initially viewed as being of limited interest to prospective tenants—some even considered them to be urban blight.”

Through a new lens, each hotel project unveiled opportunities to elaborate on existing site and infrastructure characteristics and iconic identifiers to create urban renewal that meets the community where it is now, Weaver explains.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE THE ULI ARTICLE

From Urban Land Magazine, Online Issue, July 2023

Read more about the Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Hotel

Read more about the Hyatt Centric Beale Street Hotel