While Fort Worth booms as the nation’s second-fastest-growing city, there is no surprise it is home to an innovator in the hospitality space.
Opened in late 2019, the Sinclair Hotel is the world’s first all-digital, truly low-voltage hotel. The Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriot is situated in downtown Fort Worth at the corner of West 5th and Main Street.
The Sinclair building, a historic marker and a City of Fort Worth Landmark, originally built in 1929, was purchased by Farukh Aslam in 2013 to create a LEED Gold certified building. However, he took that goal to the next level. Aslam and his team outfitted the Sinclair with systems that operate on 30% less energy than the hotel across the street. The Sinclair Hotel is the first hotel of its kind in more ways than one.
Utilizing the LG ESS system, the Sinclair is the first high rise in the world to use lithium-ion batteries for backup power generation instead of conventional diesel engine backup generators. Additionally, the Sinclair Hotel leads the way in innovative electrical and sensor technologies for the hospitality industry.
In my journey to learn more about the Sinclair Hotel, I stumbled upon an old concept, but through a new lens: POE, power over ethernet.
Who knew you could power a building via ethernet? We all have used a wired office phone powered by ethernet, but who would think to take that a step further to elevate the experience of hotel guests while minimizing energy consumption. This is the innovation happening in downtown Fort Worth. Aslam uses smart sensors, and DC-powered LED lighting to reduce electricity usage in the century-old art deco building.
Understanding the debate between what has become known as conventional AC power and the not-so-new DC power starts with understanding what went down between some guys named Edison and Tesla.
The Sinclair Hotel, “where technology and innovation meet in downtown Fort Worth” is the product of $15 million in renovations that started in 2013. Aslam attributes the success of this venture to the cooperation of both the public and private sectors. The City of Fort Worth’s willingness to bet on innovation as well as technological development and deployment by private companies (such as LG, Cisco, and Intel) allowed for the successful manifestation of this innovative vision. This project is an excellent example of how the future will be built on the innovation and collaboration of public-private partnerships.
Digital Features to be expected at the Sinclair Hotel:
In-room Network Presence-Sensing technology using Bluetooth mesh to automate and customize your in-room experiences including lighting, shades, locks, and the minibar.
Savvy™ Electric Mirrors in baths for unprecedented access to entertainment and the web.
Kohler Digital Showers in each bath to control temperature, lighting, water pressure, and sounds.
LG 8K Wallpaper TVs in rooms and public spaces, featuring Dolby Atmos® sound and more than one billion vibrant colors at 4mm.
Fiber GPON deployment throughout the hotel to deliver blazing-fast internet access.
Deployment of Cisco Digital Building Switches in each room to replace regular high-voltage electricity and power in-room technology.
Fit for a fun Friday or Saturday night, the 17th-floor is the tallest open-air public restaurant and bar in downtown Fort Worth, providing panoramic views of the city.
The Sinclair Hotel and its’ concept are an ode to the history, elegance, and edgy nature of the City of Fort Worth.
Check out Farukh Aslam’s two-part feature on the Fort Worth Innovates Podcast, recorded in the hotel’s podcast room, and hosted by Cameron Cushman, the Assistant Vice President of Innovation Ecosystems at HSC Fort Worth.