Saturday, February 18, 2023

Columbia is Popping

Things that pop up:

A Jack-in-the-Box. The timer in a Butterball turkey. Old-school onscreen adverts from the 1990’s. 

But wait. There’s more.

Retail shops. Restaurants. Hotels.


Yep, this week I read an announcement describing Columbia’s first pop-up hotel.

WhyHotel by Placemakr Pop-Up Hotel Opens in Downtown Columbia, Maryland

Placemakr today announced the launch of its newest pop-up hotel WhyHotel by Placemakr, Columbia. The new pop-up is located in Marlow in Downtown Columbia and will begin welcoming guests in March. WhyHotel by Placemakr pop-ups are a limited-time-only chance for guests to book a room at a brand-new location.

In partnership with The Howard Hughes Corporation, this pop-up hotel will allow guests to experience hotel amenities and services, while staying in fully furnished, open-floor apartments featuring stainless steel appliances, full kitchens, and in-unit laundry. The property features a resort-style pool, co-working and conference spaces, a penthouse lounge, fitness center, and a rooftop terrace overlooking Color Burst Park. The pop-up will accommodate both short term rental, business travelers, and hotel guests alike.

Interesting. The space in Marlow is available. Howard Hughes would probably like to get more eyes on it, and it wouldn’t hurt if it were generating some money, either. So along comes a company which has the capability to operate the space as a hotel. Fascinating.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the Merriweather District? Now’s your chance to try it out without a big financial commitment. You can stand on the rooftop terrace overlooking Color Burst Park and imagine it all belongs to you. (I mean, if that’s your thing.) Perhaps you might enjoy having a bird’s eye view

I started doing some basic research last night into the whole “pop-up” phenomenon.

What is a pop up shop? Nicholas Moore, Storefront Magazine 

'What is a pop-up shop?' is a question we get asked frequently. Fortunately, the answer is simple. A pop-up shop is the term given to a shop or store that is deliberately temporary. It's a store that "pops-up" for a limited period of time to achieve a particular goal.

Overall, pop-up retail is becoming more and more common, challenging the traditional brick-and-mortar retail of long leases and large transaction-based flagship stores.

A pop-up store can look like a regular store, but many brands use them to create unique and engaging physical shopping experiences because they provide flexibility and the opportunity to experiment with less risk.

So how does that work in the case of a pop-up hotel? Well, there are articles about that too, of course.

Understanding the Pop-up Hotel: A Deeper Look at this Growing Trend, Pods for Business Blog

You won’t get far in this article before you run straight into Millennials.

Millennials Are Happy to Fork Out for Unique, Exclusive Experiences

Representing the largest group of consumers, Millennial spending patterns are dictating trends in the marketplace. So, it’s hardly surprising that pop-up hotels have emerged in response to Millennials’ desire for experiential spending. 

According to Amazon, more than three-quarters of millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying a desirable object, while 55% say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.

Something about that last paragraph made me smile. Amazon, a company heavily invested in getting people to purchase physical objects, has done the research that shows that Millennials would rather spend money on experiences. Hmm.

The article about pop-up hotels is fun. It’s easy to get excited about staying in ice hotels, glamorous retrofitted shipping containers, or luxurious tents and domes in exotic locations. The Merriweather District? I’m not seeing it, but I’d be happy to be wrong. I’m confident that there’s plenty of vision and market research behind this venture. 

So what’s your opinion on pop-ups? Pop on over to the comments section and let me know.

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