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2010 Hospitality Giants
October 29, 2010
There are more than a few reasons for the top 75 Interior Design Giants in hospitality to be op­timistic as they slog out of the Great Recession. Although­ fees in the sector were down 21 percent compared to the previous reporting period, more projects were completed than were canceled or postponed. That added up to a net gain approaching $43 million. Currently, 69 percent of the firms are predicting that hospitality will soon stabilize or improve. That's especially good news, since more than half of these Giants reaped 90-plus percent of their fees from hospitality.

Growth may be less likely, however, to come from the category's mainstay, hotels. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary added the word staycation in 2009, and the hospitality Giants have felt the effects of that trend. The travel business was down by 4 percent in fiscal year 2010, with luxury hotels taking the biggest hit. Casino operators also seem unwilling to roll the dice. Cruise lines appear more confident. Design fees for ships went up to 2 percent, a huge jump from 2006, when that segment barely made the list. Also on the bright side, res­taurant work is up—to 12 percent of income. Bars, lounges, and nightclubs are also on the rise.

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Steelman Partners is consistently ranked as one of the top 300 largest architectural firms by Architectural Record Magazine and is on Engineering News-Record's Top 500 Design Firm list.

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