EisnerAmper Q&A with Alessandro Zampedri, Co-Owner, Bowery House
November 22, 2019
The Bowery House is a historic hotel located on the Bowery in New York City that preserves its unique 1940s cabin craftsmanship to provide historic accommodations to travelers from around the world. EisnerAmper sat down with Co-Owner Alessandro Zampedri who shared its unique history and gave insight into the outlook for the property and the hotel industry going forward.
EISNERAMPER:Tell us about the Bowery House and how its unique history still defines what it currently is today.
ZAMPEDRI:The building was constructed in 1927 as a lodging house and, as with many others in the same area, the main character was high density cabins, lattice ceilings and shared bathrooms. They were all built with no interior design, as they were mere accommodations for transient people on a very low budget. We kept the structure but applied our own design and features that can appeal to the modern traveler, doing a very cool modern version of a hostel.
EISNERAMPER:Can you discuss why its Lower East Side location currently makes it an attractive location for lodgers?
ZAMPEDRI:220 Bowery is actually in Nolita but sits very centrally for all the cool and trendy downtown neighborhoods of SoHo, Nolita, NoHo, the Lower East Side and Chinatown --all at a few blocks reach. Every young and trendy traveler wants to be in the middle of the action.
EISNERAMPER:Alessandro, you have a unique background as a competitive racecar driver. Discuss how you got into the hospitality industry.
ZAMPEDRI: Being a racing driver, I was basically living in hotels around the world for years, and I always had a passion for architecture and design. I was for years an investor in some developments so when racing was not my profession anymore, and family business was sold, I got full speed into real estate and hospitality was a natural branch.
EISNERAMPER:What are your future plans for the Bowery House?
ZAMPEDRI:Our plan is to build a brand that includes distinct hotel experiences focused on meeting the needs of the demanding traveler. We are looking for the right opportunities to complement our existing assets in specific locations. We will not compromise.
EISNERAMPER:What are the biggest challenges you face?
ZAMPEDRI: Being a small and independent hotel/hostel, we have limited resources to challenge the constant changing booking habits and channels the market is experiencing. And of course the number of rooms in New York City, which are growing at an unparallel rate.
EISNERAMPER:What is your outlook overall for the hotel industry? How can hotels stay competitive amid the increasing competition?
ZAMPEDRI: It’s a very challenging environment but also very exciting. Finding the right location is critical. It’s a very crowded place nowadays, so the size and the concept for that location are key, and building and delivering is a very crucial part of your success. Staffing and staff loyalty is basically an Indy 500 every day!!
EISNERAMPER:Any final thoughts you would like to share?
ZAMPEDRI: Travelers have higher and higher expectations as they are very informed. The offering is growing across all segments of the market and online travel agents are dominating the bookings and driving the price war in certain markets. Operators are struggling to find a qualified workforce to deliver on their promise. If the economy slows down, so will the travelling and it will be an interesting environment to watch.