HBG Design Excited to be a Part of the Hotel Boom in Downtown Memphis

Hotel boom continues in Downtown Memphis with more than 2,000 rooms planned

See article in The Commercial Appeal

Desiree Stennett, Memphis Commercial Appeal Published June 27, 2019

While most conversation about Downtown hotel development seems to focus on the court battle being waged over the planned 550-room convention center hotel to be built by Loews, Memphis' core is seeing an explosion of hotel projects.

In Downtown and Midtown Memphis, there are more than 2,000 hotel rooms in various stages of development from the recently completed to the newly announced.

Here are the hotel projects big and small that have gotten the most attention in Downtown and the surrounding area.

After decades of delays, One Beale, the longtime dream development for the Carlisle family — a major franchisee of the fast-food chain Wendy's, is finally happening.

The $111 million project will stretch two blocks down Front Street from Beale Street to Pontotoc Avenue and back toward the riverfront. The project will include a 227-room Hyatt Centric planned to open in 2020.

The hotel will be at Beale Street and Front Street.


Canopy by Hilton

While one Hilton project is already complete, another one is underway at the former site of the long-blighted Benchmark Hotel at 164 Union Ave.

The Canopy promises to be an upscale boutique hotel with 174 rooms across the street from The Peabody in Downtown.

Developers at Magna Hospitality Group of Rhode Island also promised a first-floor restaurant, bar and coffee shop.

Graceland Exhibition Center Opens

Graceland Exhibition Center opens Saturday with exhibits on Ali, Earth and motorcycles

See article in Daily Memphian

By Wayne Risher

Updated: May 23, 2019 1:56 PM CT

The new Graceland Exhibition Center opens Saturday, May 25 with exhibits on Muhammad Ali, Planet Earth and American motorcycles. Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Graceland’s new exhibition center will open Saturday with exhibits on Muhammad Ali, Planet Earth and American motorcycles.

The Graceland Exhibition Center is the latest addition to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, more than 200,000 square feet of entertainment, exhibit and dining space across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the late entertainer’s mansion.

Inaugural exhibits are:

“National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers,” May 25-Sept. 9

“Muhammad Ali: Greatest of All Time,” May 25-Sept. 15

“Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum Presents: A Century of the American Motorcycle,” May 25-Nov. 23

Next up is “Space: An Out-Of-Gravity Experience,” Oct. 11-Jan. 5, 2020.

“We are thrilled to be opening the new Exhibition Center that will be a fun and educational experience for Memphians and their families to enjoy,” said Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, in a release.

National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers" runs May 25-Sept. 9 at Graceland Exhibition Center.</strong>&nbsp;(Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

“National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers" runs May 25-Sept. 9 at Graceland Exhibition Center. (Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

“We designed the center with the local community top of mind. Each rotating exhibit will offer Memphians and Graceland visitors an opportunity to explore new worlds,” Weinshanker said.

“We will also work closely with Whitehaven and all Shelby County schools to ensure students have the chance to use the center as a learning tool,” Weinshanker said.

Graceland’s new offerings bring to mind the Memphis exhibitions that began with “Ramses The Great” in 1987 and continued with Wonders: The Memphis International Cultural Series, starting in 1989.

Weinshanker said the exhibition hall combined Graceland’s need for more space with ambitions to continue “these amazing exhibitions” of 20-plus years ago.

“We have a desire for more space, but we wanted to bring world class exhibitions to Memphis, a lot of which have an educational element,” he said.

The 80,000-square-foot exhibition center will be open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Muhammad Ali: Greatest of All Time" runs May 25-Sept. 15 at the Graceland Exhibition Center. (Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Tickets for each exhibit cost $16 for adults, $14.40 for seniors and students, $8 for children 7-12, $5 for children 3-6 and free for 2 and under. Tickets are available online, at the exhibition center or Graceland Ticketing Plaza.

Discounts are available to guests who are touring Graceland, those who want to see more than one exhibit and for family groups.

Exhibit visitors will have access to dining options in the TCB Food Hall and The Jungle Room Bar.

“Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum Presents: A Century of the American Motorcycle” runs May 25-Nov. 23 at Graceland Exhibition Center. (Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

The exhibition is part of a $40 million continuation of a master plan for Graceland redevelopment that Weinshanker has led since 2013, aided by public incentives including a tourism development zone and tax increment financing.

Previous phases have included the $95 million Guest House at Graceland hotel and a $45 million Elvis Presley’s Memphis complex to house exhibits on Elvis and related topics.


Bill Dries contributed to this story.

Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Named AZ Biggest Construction Project in 2019

AZ Big Media

5 of Arizona’s biggest construction projects in 2019

See Full List Here


2019 looks to be a packed year for Arizona developers and construction crews, as well as the residents and visitors who get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. With plenty of new and exciting developments to look forward to, you’re probably curious about the biggest construction projects that are ongoing or soon to break ground. Here are a few major developments you should know about:

  1. Desert Diamond West Valley Casino

Glendale’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino is a $400 million project that should be finished by the end of 2019. Though it only broke ground in December 2017, this drastic overhaul will double the size of the casino and has been over nine years in the making!

This new casino is being constructed adjacent to the existing temporary casino that opened its doors in 2015. The goal is to transform the full 135-acre property into a full-fledged casino, spa, and resort. Vacationers and Arizona staycationers alike are sure to enjoy this luxurious addition to the West Valley’s leisure offerings.

So what can you expect if you decide to hit Desert Diamond in 2020? In addition to classic table games like poker and blackjack, slots, and live bingo; and guests will be able to enjoy the sprawling 75,000-square-foot casino’s five brand new unique restaurants and two new parking garages. Spa and resort components will come in a future phase of construction.

HBG Design Principal, Dike Bacon, speaks at the UNLV Gaming & Hospitality Education Series


HBG Design Principal, Dike Bacon, was a speaker on a session panel called ‘Expand or Die: Non-Gaming Amenities’ at the UNLV Gaming & Hospitality Education Series produced by Global Gaming Business. Held at Morongo Casino Resort on May 21, the ongoing speaker series will keep tribal gaming executives informed about the topics that will define Indian gaming over the next decade.Read more

HBG Design Largest Firm in Memphis-Area

Memphis Business Journal

How local architects are redefining Memphis and the metro area

By Jason Bolton  – Data Editor, Memphis Business Journal

See Memphis Business Journal Book of Lists

Read more

Global Gaming Business Names Emily Marshall Emerging Leader

All in the Design

By Michael Vanaskie  Mon, Apr 22, 2019

See full article in Global Gaming Business Magazine

Emily Marshall, IIDA, Interior Design Discipline Leader, HBG Design

Casinos and integrated resort developments are among of the most iconic architectural buildings in the world. It’s easy to recognize this looking at the Las Vegas skyline or the seminal steel structure of Marina Bay Sands.

While the exteriors sometimes create iconic attractions, what lies inside is critical to creating memorable guest experiences. Emily Marshall appreciates this notion. As leader of the Interior Design Group at HBG Design, she’s an expert on the design nuances necessary to create environments that leave a lasting impression.

“Interior design for the hospitality and gaming industry is all about creating vibrant experiences for guests,” Marshall explains. “This has always intrigued me—the drama and excitement that physical spaces can impart, the thoughtfulness that’s put into how guests use and experience a space.”

The nuances of both the business goals and guest desires in gaming and hospitality originally attracted Marshall, and keeps her pushing forward. “There’s a psychological element to it, paired with the fantasy of escapism. That’s kept me challenged and passionate about my career.”

While Marshall could be a considered a design veteran with 14 years of experience, her interest in and experience with art and design began well before her professional career. The daughter of a prominent Memphis architect, she developed an eye for design at an early age. Professionally, she points to her first mentor as having the most impact on her career trajectory.

The Spa at Cache Creek Resort

“The influence of my dad notwithstanding, my first mentor, Jacques Coetzee, taught me how to truly be a designer,” Marshall says. “He helped me understand the importance collaboration plays in the role of an interior designer, while also teaching me how to push the boundaries of design and to be bold in my expression of interior spaces.

For young design professionals, Marshall has advice on ways to grow both professionally and personally. “Broaden your perspective. Travel! Go see as much of the world as you can. The challenges we face when designing very complex experiences have existed before, so it’s important to see how other designers dealt with them."

“Every project has issues, some more visible than others, so seeing details in real time is important,” she adds. “I believe in complete immersion into places whose cultures and traditions affect their visual connection to the built environment.”

VIP Lounge at Winstar World Casino Resort

For someone whose livelihood revolves around creating memorable experiences for others, Marshall says the projects have had just as much of an experiential impact on her. “Seeing these gaming and resort projects come to life has given me indescribable and unforgettable experiences of my own.”

This year, she looks forward to seeing three major projects come to fruition and open. “These large-scale projects have been years in the making,” she says. Be on the lookout for Marshall’s latest imprints on the gaming and hospitality industries.

The Star Named an Award of Merit Winner in the 2019 Gold Nugget Awards

The Star Luxury Apartments at the Historic Texaco Building received an Award of Merit from the Gold Nugget Awards, which now in it’s 56th year, is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the nation. It honors design and planning achievements in community and home design, green-built housing, site planning, commercial, retail, mixed-use development and specialty housing categories. Winners this year were chosen from over 600 entries from around the world.

HBG Design Weighs in on Market Growth in Global Gaming Business


Global Gaming Business MagazineRead more