The John Nicolls Group, LLC


John Nicolls

Career Experience


Jan 2010-Present               Principal - John Nicolls Group, LLC                                                                             

In January 2010 I re-established The John Nicolls Group and Strategic Hotels remains one of my principal clients.

Nov 2007 - Dec 2009          Vice President - Capital Projects - Strategic Hotels & Resorts                                                           

As VP of Capital Projects for Strategic I oversaw the budgeting, design, construction and completion turnover of all major capital projects including new construction, major renovation, cosmetic renovation and MEP upgrades at all of Strategics hotels and resorts. While in this position I oversaw the design and construction of a $40 million expansion and renovation of the Four Seasons Washington, Expansion and renovation of the 600 room Fairmont Scottsdale, the 2009 renovation of the guest rooms at the Marriott Champs Elysees, the Marriott Grosvenor Square London, and the Intercontinental Prague, among others.

Feb 2005 - Nov 2007           Principal - John NicollsGroup,LLC                                                                             

Following my retirement from Hyatt in 2005 I established a small consulting practice to provide my hospitality facilities planning and design expertise to a broad group of owners of hospitality facilities. Clients included The Irvine Company, Kor (now Viceroy) Hospitality, Wilmorite Inc, Baha Mar Development Company Ltd. The project for Baha Mar was particularly interesting as it was to include four guest room towers on a common podium of public areas and back of house facilities. Each of the towers was to have a separate operator (St Regis, Westin, W and Harrahs) with separate public and back of house facilities, supported by a common recreational, utility and service infrastructure.

Nov 1979 - Feb 2005          Sr VP -  Architecture & Design - Hyatt Hotels & Resorts                                                       

For 26 years at Hyatt, while I progressed through several titles and saw my responsibilities expand, my fundamental job was to bridge the gap between the people that operate hotels and those who own and develop them. Trained at Cornell both as an architect and in hotel management I have a deep interest and enthusiasm for both professions. What made my roll important was that the interests and concerns of operations vs.: development are usually quite different. The design and construction team are generally most interested in designing a product that will be impressive on opening day, but within a budget that the developer thinks he can support. The operator also wants an impressive facility, but is at least as interested in the long term functionality and durability of the facility - both from facilities and aesthetic standpoint. though these goals don't appear, at first, to be far apart, in practice they can be. Because of my deep knowledge of operations as well as design and construction I made it my mission, on each project, to craft a compromise that, in so far as possible, meets both sides' expectations. In almost 60 hotels ranging in size from 120 room to 1264 guestrooms throughout North America, the Caribbean and Hawaii, I was usually successful.

Because Hyatt has a number of brands ranging from limited service to full luxury resorts, I became sensitive to the importance of the needs of each brand - careful not to over - invest in one nor under - investing in another. Also, because many of Hyatt's hotels aged during my tenure, I had many opportunities to update and adapt properties to meet competitive pressures and always raising guest expectations.

During my tenure, Hyatt expanded into Vacation Clubs and Gaming operations. Each time I took advantage of the opportunity to learn a new business and help different operating groups meet their needs - always with the project budget and keeping Hyatt's product standards firmly in mind. The vacation clubs varied in size from 25 units to more than 125 and the casinos from 300 to more than 2500 gaming positions.

My last major project for Hyatt was participating in the design by Pei Cobb Fried of a new Pritzker - owned office building in downtown Chicago. I also oversaw the design and construction of Hyatt's new corporate offices within the building. Unique features include walnut clad coffee bars and state of the art meeting facilities clustered around a 7 story atrium with glass staircases.

June 1977 - Nov 1979         VP Operations & Marketing International Systems Inc.                                                        

Managed design and operations for the manufacturer of a modular concrete building system specially tailored to the construction of hotels, dormitories and hospitals. During my tenure ISI manufactured the modules, erected and commissioned 7 dormitory projects for Aramco in the Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia and three hotels including the Hyatt Regency Jedda


Degrees                    Bachelor of Architecture - Cornell University                                                                                                                     

                                Masters of Hotel Administration - Cornell University


Activities                   Active as a member of the Alumni Advisory Council of the College of Architecture at Cornell

                                Member of Cornell's University - wide University Council

                                Member of the American Institute of Architects as well as several industry organizations


References                Available on request



                                T: 773-281-7400