Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa – Suffolk
As the facility management team settles into the new space, Suffolk debriefs on the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa’s completion.
June 18, 2020
As the renovation and expansion at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa winds down following substantial completion, the operations team prepares to manage the additional 200,000 square feet of space. The expansion centered around a new, 15 story tower that houses another 564 guest rooms, as well as a private gaming parlor on the top floor, and a new 120 seat bar and grill next to the lavish new outdoor pool.
“The schedule on this project has been very accelerated compared to other projects I’ve worked on,” shared Diego Avila, the Suffolk Project Manager overseeing the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa renovation and expansion project. “As we found opportunities to benefit the guest experience, such as completely finishing and turning over popular zones in the hotel before the rest is completed, we did it. It was great for the client, but it ultimately meant gathering all the documents and permits necessary to open these rooms as construction was continuing in other rooms.” Avila shared that he and his team needed to be as versatile as possible to manage closeout and build processes simultaneously, “and Pype Closeout is what helps us do that.”
“We started with Pype Closeout in early 2019, and we’re still using it today,” Avila said. “The build phase took priority as this was an occupied renovation, but now that the construction is complete and the building is fully re-occupied, the client is turning their attention to final turnover and documentation.” When asked how many documents they had left to collect, Avila quickly answered “45, which is not a lot given how many we’ve collected already.” The quick access to information and confidence in that data, Avila added, “is something else that our clients really like about Pype Closeout. We’re able to see on the dashboard and in the reports all of the information we need about our closeout progress and easily pass that on to the owners. Anytime they ask ‘how close are we to being done?’ I can quickly give them a concrete number.”
“During the height of the closeout process,” Avila continued, “we had three or four meetings a week with the design team and the owners, and we had to send a report of our progress before each meeting. Taking into account the additional random emails, phone calls, and texts from other curious design team members, it was incredibly helpful to always have that number on hand.”
Not only has compiling closeout status reports gotten easier for Avila, but so has tracking the status of each closeout requirement. “Traditionally in our industry, teams would maintain closeout checklists manually,” he said. “Sending various reports and documents through email was no longer efficient.” Avila also noted that the size and scale of the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa project made the closeout process even more critical. “For Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, we have eight projects open in Pype Closeout to track different zones separately, and we can share these projects with our clients through simple hyperlinks.”
As Avila and his team approached final delivery, he emphasized the importance of the turnover package. “We want to leave them with a turnover package that allows them to feel secure and confident managing and operating the hotel. When we give them that confidence, they know we’re a true long-term partner.” Avila is a firm believer that the condition of the turnover package has an incredible impact as the final handshake between contractor and client, and “Pype helps us ensure that final handshake is a positive experience for everyone.”