What is a hotel soft opening?

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Gary France
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Dear Planners,

I have heard the term "Soft Opening" in relation to a hotel. Can anybody advise what this means?

Many thanks.

Gary France
The Planning Engineers Organsation
www.planningengineers.org

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Mike Testro
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This must be the record for a long delay reply. 13 years lapse. And Mr France retired from head of planning at Mace many years ago.

Gert NOORDZY, MBA...
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Dear Gary France, thank you very much for your question. I am a hotel hotel opening specialist and Northside Consulting specializes in hotel opening processes. 

There are different levels of “open”…

•Simulation.

•Soft opening.

•Partial opening.

•Full opening.

•Grand opening.

 I have recently defined these terms term as follows:

Simulation. A pre-opening training exercise using non-paying guests to test and validate the quality and effectiveness of the departmental training efforts.

Soft opening. The hotel is technically, operationally and commercially only partially ready, therefore little to no media awareness is created.

Partial opening. The hotel is technically, operationally and commercially fully ready, but only part of the guest rooms, food and beverage outlets and facilities are operational (planned, based on forecasted business ramp-up or seasonality). 

Full opening. The hotel is technically, operationally and commercially fully ready. 

Grand opening. A ceremonial and media event. The date may coincide with the full opening, but could take place at a later day, e.g. auspicious date, public or religious holiday.

Please feel free to email me at gert.noordzy@northside-consulting.com if you would like to receive the full description.

Best regards, Gert.

 

 

 

Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear smridhi,

I am not sure if your comment is to start this thread again or just for fun.

But usually hotels will require several months of commissioning and testing. During this time, the operator will work at discounted prices to check all the facilities and operations. Snags are completed, and modifications are made as necessary until the operator decides that all systems are good to go. Subsequently, the Grand/ official opening is schedule.

With kind regards,

Samer

Ahmed Elassal
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they are calling a partial handover that you can operate this hotel but not with full capacity a soft opening .

Naveed Tariq, PE,...
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Making the hotel functional before cutting the ribbon is soft opening. This term is used some times when hotel is commissioned and proper opening ceremony is delayed due to any reason. (CEO of company is out of country for couple of months)
Steven Oliver
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I believe that the terms "beneficial use" and "practical completion" are similar to "soft opening".

i.e Construction isnt complete, but the client is able to make use of some of the facility.

Jaco Stadler
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Well as usual it is not an easy answer.

It is depended on the owner.

The soft opening you would expect everything to working. In Some hotels only 50 % is operational the remainder is still under "Construction".

In other cases it is the "Commisioning / Training Period"

In Other Cases it is depended on who is available when.

So in short it can be anything From 1 Month to 4 Months depended on the client requirement.

Also beware of Location due to level of training.

Please note I am not an expert on this subject.
Gary France
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Thanks Jaco,

Can I assume that guests are using the hotel between the soft opening and the grand opening? Presumably at reduced room rates? Also, what would you suggest is the period between the soft opening and the grand opening? The hotel I am looking at is about 300 rooms, 5 star.

Gary France
The Planning Engineers Organisation
www.planningengineers.org
Jaco Stadler
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It can mean a lot of things. But I think it is the unofficial opening of the hotel. (Before the Grand Opening)