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Bowling and a bed: Hotels vie for guests by offering entertainment

Based on a wave of new hotel amenities, ranging from bowling alleys to theaters, the future of hospitality looks a lot like the past when hotels were social hubs. Competitive forces and a basic business drive to boost revenue are producing a new class of hotels with entertainment features that go beyond the celebrity chef-run restaurant in the lobby.

Set to open in 2018, the Ramble Hotel in Denver will have a screening room showcasing the work of local filmmakers. The upcoming Omni Louisville Hotel, opening in Kentucky in March, will have a speakeasy that includes a bowling alley. The new Line DC hotel in Washington hosts a radio studio off the lobby where guests can listen to live podcast recordings.

The trend isn’t solely expressed in new openings. The venerable Pierre New York, a Taj Hotel on the Upper East Side, recently launched a cabaret series featuring intimate performances from Broadway singers. Fresh from a renovation, the Hutton Hotel in Nashville opened a music club this month.

The profit motive is one factor in the entertainment push.

“Hotels have learned that entertainment is more than just Wi-Fi and high-definition TV in the room with on-demand movies,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst and founder of the Atmosphere Research Group. “When you can get a customer out of their room and into a bar or bowling alley, the guest is not only hopefully having fun, but spending money in the process.”

Hoteliers say their motivations also lie in extending their hospitality to neighbors, a historic practice that has made hotels, from the Ritz Paris to the Plaza hotel in New York, magnets for nonguests.

“A great hotel has always manifested the social fabric of the city,” said Ian Schrager, who recently opened Public New York hotel, which includes a

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