Quick Q&A: Sam Nazarian, sbe

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Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of sbe talks to SAN about launching the Hyde Living aparthotel brand in Europe, and what the Coronavirus pandemic has taught him.

• Why did you decide to debut Hyde Living at the the Munich LabCampus rather than in a city centre location?

"The Munich LabCampus is an ideal destination for our Hyde Living debut. The extended stay hotel is a perfect addition to the infrastructure of the LabCampus at Munich Airport: guests, who work on a project basis at the campus will be offered short to long-term opportunities to stay on site. The result is a vibrant campus situated directly at the airport, where inventing, testing and networking takes place. Consequently, LabCampus was looking to create a modern solution for the flexible accommodation of guests, who work within the complex for a limited period of time. The planned Hyde Living LabCampus Munich Airport fits particularly well into the overall concept of the campus because it is designed to be a place where digital nomads, visionaries, specialists and developers from different companies and industries come together. The maxim of the LabCampus 'Connect, Create, Collaborate' is continued here."

• What would you say are the hallmarks of the Hyde Living brand and what are your plans for its roll out?

"Hyde is based on a series of seven brand truths, but a few come to mind particularly for the Hyde Living brand and its debut at LabCampus Munich Airport:
1. A Tribe Called Hyde, this speaks to our community of like-minded people unified by taste, sensibility and lifestyle – our tribe is always building and reinventing its own culture.
2. Welcome Home, this speaks to the sense of belonging and feeling of being right at home that the brand was founded on. Hyde Living will command a sense of arrival for its guests, that they have arrived at a cultural hub environment of like-minded individuals. As a home base, Hyde stands for modern, high-quality and inviting aesthetics, which not only applies for the rooms, but also the bar and fitness area. The aim of the design is to make guests feel at home throughout their stay – not only for a short visit, but also for as a temporary home.
3. Anything Can Happen, this speaks to the sense of discovery and delight that will surround each stay, particularly for the LabCampus guest that is innovative by nature."

"Hyde is also set to grow tremendously over the next five years with more than 15 properties set to open across our Hotels, Resorts and Residences and Hyde Living brands."

• sbe is well known for its lifestyle brands - do you expect a different clientele for Hyde Living?

"LabCampus at Munich Airport is a symbiosis of international corporations, medium-sized companies and outstanding start-ups for cross-industry innovation – in short they are the forward thinking people and that is exactly what the Hyde brand has always been all about."

• What has the Coronavirus crisis taught you about yourself, your business and the wider hospitality industry?

"Covid-19 has obviously affected the hospitality and travel industry in an extraordinary way and has left some time for introspection. It has also allowed us the time to focus on things that we wouldn’t normally have time to focus on while running hotels. We can think about what we can do to make the experience better for our guests and for our team members."

"I have been working around the clock to ensure our properties and team members have been cared for – whether that is providing care packages to our affected team members or ensuring that one of our hotels, Hudson New York, is made available to local healthcare workers through a collaboration with the New York State Office of Emergency Management and the Governor’s Office. As of today, we have delivered more than 1800 care packages to affected team members in Los Angeles, Miami and Vegas, and will be soon delivering care packages in Chicago and San Francisco."

• What advice would you give to hospitality professionals who are struggling at the moment?

"The hospitality industry will recover, hotels will reopen and people around the world will begin traveling at some point. Our industry is strong. Our industry is resilient. Have faith that we will be back to our normal jobs in the not too distant future. It is easy to worry about things, which can create a negative mindset and exacerbate issues. Rather than worrying every day about when properties may reopen, take the time now to think about how you can innovate to enhance the customer experience. How can you offer something new and exciting when things reopen? And if you are able, do what you can for your colleagues and/or employees. Now is the time for us to band together to help each other out and show the best side of all of us."

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