Guest rooms will change the most since the removal of cathode ray televisions and armoires because of shifting priorities in capital expenditures, according to a study from Bjorn Hanson, a veteran lodging industry consultant and researcher who is currently a director with Summit Hotel Properties. The total amount of capital expenditures (“cap ex”) for the US lodging industry is forecast to exceed the 2018 record level of an estimated $7.05 billion, increasing between 2.5 and 3 percent to an estimated $7.3 billion in 2019.

Capital expenditures for 2019 will be approximately $1,325 per available room, slightly less than for 2018, despite general increases in the costs of labor and materials for capital projects. Priorities for 2019 are: “panic buttons” for selected staff positions to alert management of a risk or accident; software and technology upgrades to protect guest and employee information; in-room technology, including connectivity between personal devices and in-room entertainment systems; enhanced and sometimes larger fitness centers; increased high-speed Internet capability; replacement of tub/shower units with walk-in showers; and new room designs, with many properties replacing carpeting with hard-surface flooring.