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A rebounding economy, increased U.S. travel, and the growing importance of online reviews are driving hotels to redesign and gain popularity among design-conscious digital-savvy millennial travelers — hotels’ largest customer base for the coming decade.
New York hotels are at the forefront of a boom in complete makeovers, after years of lower capital spending caused by the steep economic downturn. Nationwide, the United States hotel industry is expected to spend $5.6 billion on capital expenditures this year, exceeding the most recent record of $5.5 billion set in 2008.
Spurring the extensive remodeling is a mix of factors. For one, Mr. Hanson said, investors and management companies that waived spending to offset lower profits in a weak economy are now looking at projections showing a much healthier outlook over all.
…Mr. Hanson said he saw evidence that the myriad travel review sites on the Web, as well as on Facebook or through other social media, were influencing companies’ decisions to approve rather lavish outlays of capital for enhancements.