Encouraging Trends Toward a 3CFortress Complex

Introduction – Taking a moment to look at what could be called encouraging trends on continuity, sustainability and working towards a 3CFortress concept. The 3CFortress concept brings together three main components to a community or corporation.

Maybe an acronym will help. Let’s go with ORAH. Almost sounds like what Marines say, “Ourahh” but that’s another story.

Office tower – Retail stores; Apartments – Hotel tower. As I have stated may times there is no current structure that fits this 3CF model perfectly. The main web site shows a picture of Windsor Castle that comes pretty close.

Main Essay – The hotel “tower” is not a paradigm shift from current hotel motels. The encouraging trend is that more hotels are moving to providing a long-term stay capability.

The long-term stay is a fast growing trend offered by well-known brands and chains. Marriott has SpringHill and TownePlace. Hilton has Homewood Suites. IHG has Candlewood Suites. This is just a partial list. What they offer, to one degree or another, is a full kitchen and usually separate bedroom(s).

Keep in mind that the long-term stay set up is a big leap from the everyday traditional hotel stay. If you’ve tried to say more than three days in a traditional room you know what I mean. Having a small refrigerator and microwave just doesn’t cut it. While many offer a breakfast option you still have to fend for yourself for lunch and dinner in many cases.

This brings up a few flaws in the current long-term set up. The more you want to prepare and cook your own food makes this difference more dramatic. Not having an oven can make a big difference in a long-term stay.

The 3CFortress concept uses the hotel tower to function as long-term stay of thirty days or more for displaced persons caught up in a crisis or disaster. You would think that the businessperson’s needs would be the same as a displaced person but it doesn’t seem to work out that way.

Another reason the current long-term stay is flawed is rental alternatives are popping up. Companies such as AirBnB, HomeAway and FlipKey offer a “home” experience that no long-term stay hotel can offer.

As a side note, I have to wonder what the level of commitment of corporate executives. I frequently stay in a long-term stay hotel. My current stay is in a major metropolitan city. It still has a small, very small, microwave that doesn’t have a light so you can check on the food. The sofa has tears in the fabric. It doesn’t have an oven. Counter space in the kitchen area is limited. Everything is what I would call “dated” or should have been replaced by now.

It is little things (or perhaps you consider them big) that is driving many people to look for something else. If you find yourself unable to work from home in a crisis then a move to a typical long-term stay hotel could be a bridge too far. Too much change!

Are some of the long-term stay hotels making changes in this area? Sure. It seems that these changes are driving the price so high that rental home alternatives will only continue to grow. Some sort of happy medium needs to be found. Thinking about the level that fits with a 3CFortress can be this happy medium, in or out of a crisis or disaster.

What got me thinking on this topic was a USA TODAY article by Christopher Elliot on March 30, 2015. He makes a good point to think about things like daily room service and other meals (dinner) when comparing where to stay.

Another area to think about, no matter where you stay, is security. In our ever-changing world this is an area you can’t ignore. You will have to do you own checks on security. Forewarned is forearmed.

Whether you just want to get out or eat out it matters how far you need to travel. Can you walk to a restaurant, park or retail store? Most likely the answer is “No”. It could be that the hotel provided meals are not up to your healthy desires. As many fitness sites suggest, you need to get outside every day no matter what the season. Getting in a vehicle and driving to the desired location is not convenient and another situation that needs to improve.

Think about the “Living Triangle” idea of how far do you travel between Work – Play – Home. When you can walk between these three then you are living the 3CF life!

The 3CFortress concept uses the Living Triangle into this ORAH set up. Office tower – Retail stores; Apartment living – Hotel tower is the foundation but to make it a sustainable place it has to go much further. What retail stores can be a part of this complex to help it be resilient and sustaining? We talked above about how the hotel on site can contribute to surviving the crisis or disaster. How do the supplies and basic needs get to this complex? All good questions that will continue to be addressed.

Check It Out – http://permies.com/ has some great information on permaculture. The more I read about this I feel like it fits in with a 3CFortress complex and continuity.

Quick Tip – The Small Business Association (SBA) has a great site on disaster preparation. https://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-preparedness

If you are looking for a starting point or moving your organization further along this this SBA site is a good one to bookmark.

What Do You Think? – Feedback seems to go up and down on numbers but keep it coming!

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