Every Hospitality Space Starts with a Story

July 7, 2016 / Adam Stover

How do you communicate the soul of a place, be it a restaurant, club or other hospitality area? It might sound corny, but it all starts with a story. The funny thing about stories is they usually hide in plain sight. They’re a conversation, visit or research click away.

Unearthing the story is only half the battle we face as designers. We have to translate them through a dynamic blend of architecture, interior design and brand activation. A brand’s aesthetic and character come to life through carefully placed touch points, developed through an understanding of the history and heritage unique to a place. The key to a successful hospitality space is a story of place that is uniquely yours and will not work anywhere else.

We constantly monitor and study the ever-changing trends across all platforms of design. Here’s a look at three of the top trends we see prominent in sports hospitality today.


In an age of flexibility and identity, the ability to express a brand in real-time and create a new experience each visit has come center stage. The best experiences engage all senses. Aromas, for example, draw people in and carry with them strong emotions, so we turn to technology to infuse scents into the air.

The fear of missing out is real for millennials and younger generations, so we focus on mobile engagement to provide fans instant access to live stats, replays and player tracking from their seat. Projections, holograms and interactive walls create real time authenticity and an ever-changing experience.

Lighting is one of the most powerful and effective elements as well. Color changing LEDs can shift the mood of a space add to its flexible use. Connected to the video components, we use lighting to connect the fan back to live experience. The list of new opportunities around interactivity and technology is loaded, but one thing is for sure, the best is yet to come as we explore new ways to complement your guests’ experiences.


Considered the driver of business and profitability, the culinary experience in sports is bigger than ever. Guests come for the restaurant and stay for the game. Live cooking, action stations, small bites and guest chefs are among the current trends woven into our experiences.

Local and regional fares create a true sense of place for the out-of-towners who visit our facilities. With skyrocketing interest in craft breweries and knowledge that beverage carries the highest sales percentage, we look at self-serve stations to engage the guest and increase sales. Layered on top of all these strategies is a focus on color to direct the experience.


A venue may have a set number of sporting events and concerts, but the trend lines are clear: operators expect clubs and other hospitality spaces to be used year-round. Strategically positioned food and beverage components create dynamic and open spaces for events like banquets, conferences, weddings and parties.

While we continue to minimize storage, we look to new adaptable furniture solutions to create flexibility while protecting precious storage needs. We also use technology to create experiences adaptable and unique to every client and setting. At the end of the day, the more flexible the space, the greater the return on investment.

The hospitality industry continues to evolve and be influenced by surrounding markets. While the trends steadily shift, one constant remains: the most successful spaces all start with a story. What’s yours?


Meet the author

Adam Stover

Senior Principal, Senior Interior Designer / Kansas City


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *