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Blog Article

Partner Q&A with James Scaife

May 28, 2022

Davidson Hospitality Group Corporate Director of Engineering Chris Richardson recently connected with James Scaife, President, Cotton USA. Here are excerpts from the interview:

CR: Tell me about Cotton’s core offerings.

JS: Whether faced with a devastating fire, building maintenance issue, environmental mishap, high-impact weather event, or other disaster – natural or man-made – Cotton is your one source for total recovery. We accomplish that mission through a variety of services offered by our in-house divisions that include Disaster Restoration, Construction, Roofing, Logistics, Environmental Response, Culinary and Consulting. Cotton can provide turnkey and innovative solutions for the most complex projects and evolving scenarios.

CR: What is the first thing hotels should think about when they experience an event that causes major damage to the asset?

JS: The safety of their own personnel as well as their guests. Second to that would be the condition and integrity of the building and structure. This will help you when you start making decisions regarding you restoration game plan to get back in business swiftly.

CR: What are some common obstacles hotels face during a recovery effort?

JS: Loss of staff and loss of revenue. Commitments to guests cannot be honored, reservations for future bookings must be canceled until a reopening date is set, valuable staff may seek employment at other properties, and revenues from rooms, events, and food and beverage services are lost. These kinds of issues can be make-or-break for a hospitality enterprise, and it is essential that both property management and their restoration partner understand this from the start.

CR: What can hotels do to avoid damage that would require remediation?

JS: It can be very difficult to avoid damages from an area-wide event such as a hurricane, flood or a no-notice event like a tornado or earthquake. Those events are going to happen, and you need to be prepared with a game plan for when they do and a strategy to minimize the damages when given the time. Having a plan and being prepared to execute the plan efficiently is the best way to minimize damages after an event. This starts with walking your properties – especially the coastal properties – identifying your evacuation procedures, recognizing emergency power requirments, developing a communication plan, spotting board-up needs, and ultimately beginning the mitigation as quickly as it is safely possible to so immediately following the event. Day-to-day losses such as fire and water cannot completely be avoided, however common maintenance and frequent inspections of things like plumbing lines, faucets, sprinkler systems, etc. can go a long way in preventing the day-to-day occurrences that may occur.

CR: How do you define success?

JS: Being there for our client and putting them back in business as efficiently, effectively and safely as possible following a day to day water/fire loss or an area-wide event. We are in the business of putting our clients back in business – we want to be your partner and not just a vendor.

CR: What are the advantages of working with a remediation partner like Cotton?

JS: Cotton has decades of experience and track record of operational excellence in the hospitality restoration industry. It takes experienced commercial restoration technicians like Cotton GDS to rebuild hotels, restaurants, training facilities, and more. We acknowledge the importance of getting you back to full operational capacity quickly, while minimizing customer and staff disturbances. Cotton also considers the significance of finishing work on schedule and on budget. Our turnkey capabilities enable us to manage several projects at once, making us the only partner that our clients will ever need.