Spring 2019 Barracuda Tank
May 8, 2019
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The following post was written by junior and Tisch Center social media student worker, Haley Park. 


It is the end of the spring semester, and that means the capstone presentations are upon us! Students in the B.S. Hotel and Tourism Management delivered their capstone presentations in Business Development III, part of a three course series that covers business principles, financial management and hotel development. In teams, led by Dr. Jukka Laitamaki and Professor Lakshmi Soundararajan, they prepare an investor pitch for a hotel concept, located at an actual development site in New York City. Their projects are judged in a ‘Barracuda Tank’ event with three industry judges: Jonathan Segal (Executive Chairman, The One Group Hospitality), Adam Sherer (SVP of Development for the Eastern Region, Marriott International) and Ryan Anderson (VP Global Brand Marketing, AC Hotels, Aloft, Element and Moxy).

In their pitches, students present their hotel concept and design, their targeted consumer segments and competitive sets, their marketing channels and financial projections. Six hotel concepts were presented in spring 2019, including:

  • A minimalist lifestyle concept that offers seamless connectivity and a focus on entrepreneurship via co-working spaces
  • An authentic NYC experience with entertainment packages and discounts for extended stays
  • An upper upscale concept that features cultural theming and events from around the world
  • A Zen-focused hotel experience that keeps rates affordable by eliminating room service and suites
  • An eco-hotel with a focus on sustainability against a backdrop of lush plants in a green wall
  • A productive and comfortable select-service hotel for value-conscious business travelers, that offers its own app

The judges were impressed with all the teams, and crowned the eco-concept ‘Eden’ the winner. Congratulations to all teams and thank you to our amazing judges!