2002 Hospitality Giants

This year's top Hospitality Giants earned $194,962,385. This was only 3 percent below the previous year despite an uncomfortably soft economy during the study period, October 1, 2000, through September 30, 2001. Of these 50 Giants, 10 earned all their fees from hospitality design, with another six earning 90 percent or more; only two of the top 10 earned less than half their fees from hospitality. On average, hospitality accounted for an average of 61.5 percent of all design fees earned by these Giants; the next closest project type was contract, at a distant 13.3 percent.


The fees reported for the current study period cover 74,288,466 square feet installed, up 2 percent from the previous year. The total value of fixtures, furnishings, and construction was $7,249,160,000, up 15.7 percent, beating the Top 100 Giants by 3.3 percent. (As usual, installation costs for hospitality were significantly higher than those for other types of design except residential.) New construction and renovations were almost equal, separated by only 1.4 percentage points in favor of new construction. Overseas work accounted for 13.8 percent of installations, compared to 7.5 percent for the Top 100 Giants, however the recent widespread reluctance to travel is likely to encourage an even greater emphasis on close-to-home hospitality projects over the next few years.


Hotel work continued to garner the largest portion of fees for Hospitality Giants, followed by restaurants, resorts and spas, country clubs, casinos, and cruise ships. However, the gaps both between hotels and restaurants and between country clubs and casinos had begun to narrow even before September 11. The largest number of restaurants designed by a single Hospitality Giant shot up 65 percent, and the number of seats per project rose from an average of 152 to an average of 163. The number of country-club projects almost quadrupled, and 18 percent of the Hospitality Giants moved into this arena.


Like last year, one Hospitality Giant billed every single hour—if the firm that billed every single hour last year had bothered to report this year, we might have had a 100 percent increase. The average was 81.4 hours, compared to 84 hours for the Top 100 Giants, and the minimum was seven, up from five last year.


During the study period, $340,000 was the highest annual Hospitality Giant fee earnings per employee; the average was $147,929, up a hair's breadth from the previous year.

50 Hospitality Giants:

2002 rank Firms, headquarters Hosp. fees (millions) Dollar value (millions) Sq. ft. (millions) 2001 rank
NR = Not Reported. All numbers are in millions.
01 Hirsch Bedner Associates, Santa Monica, Calif. 26.714 1,576.126 15.011 1
02 Wilson & Associates, Dallas 18.400 1,000.000 NR 2
03 DiLeonardo International, Warwick, R.I. 12.450 405.000 3.375 3
04 Fitch/AAD, Scottsdale, Ariz. 8.500 76.700 2.900 6
05 Concepts 4, Long Beach, Calif. 8.403 375.000 4.650 5
06 RTKL Associates, Baltimore 7.100 350.000 7.300 -
07 Callison Architecture, Seattle 6.300 170.000 1.250 8
08 BBGM/Interiors, New York 5.380 304.000 2.400 10
09 H. Chambers Company, Baltimore 5.100 53.000 0.600 12
10 Daroff Design & DDI Architects, Philadelphia 4.975 340.000 2.600 7
11 Barry Design Associates, Los Angeles 4.900 NR NR 11
12 Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Los Angeles 4.542 NR NR -
13 Aramark Design Solutions, Philadelphia 4.470 227.000 0.950 16
14 The Gettys Group, Chicago 4.200 385.000 NR 13
15 Bilkey Llinas Design Associates, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 4.076 40.000 3.000 -
16 Hochheiser Ross Design Group, Richmond, Va. 3.200 33.259 1.669 24
17 The Hillier Group, Princeton, N.J. 3.096 35.000 0.100 14
18 Hnedak Bobo Group, Memphis 2.919 NR NR 26
19 Elias Design Group, New York, 2.855 65.000 NR 17
20 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York 2.800 40.000 0.700 27
21 Design Development Co., Agoura Hills, Calif. 2.700 70.000 NR 20
22 Brayton & Hughes Design Studio, San Francisco 2.634 60.000 NR 18
23 Leo A Daly, Omaha 2.539 31.675 0.536 21
24 Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, Memphis 2.340 NR NR 44
25 Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio 2.250 40.000 0.600 45
26 Forrest Perkins, Washington, D.C. 2.108 40.000 1.150 35
27 RSP Architects, Minneapolis 2.100 85.000 0.920 30
28 ISI (Interior Space International), Chicago 2.070 18.000 0.350 46
29 AiGroup, Atlanta 2.007 150.000 1.800 37
30 Haverson Architecture and Design, Greenwich, Conn. 2.000 35.000 0.090 39
31 Shea Architects, Minneapolis 2.000 20.020 0.350 32
32 Hugh W. Dear & Associates, Williamsburg, Va. 1.998 20.000 NR 34
33 Avery Brooks & Associates, Las Vegas 1.950 100.000 1.200 49
34 Sue Firestone Associates, Santa Barbara, Calif. 1.900 NR NR -
35 Rowland Design, Indianapolis 1.869 NR NR -
36 Duncan & Miller Design, Dallas 1.854 81.000 3.860 22
37 Cuningham Group Architecture, Minneapolis 1.823 NR NR -
38 Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates, New York 1.800 NR NR -
39 Lieber Cooper Associates, Chicago 1.541 NR NR -
40 Judd Brown Designs, Warwick, R.I. 1.537 41.000 0.900 42
41 Cole Martinez Curtis and Associates, Marina Del Rey, Calif. 1.519 300.000 1.000 36
42 LS3P Associates, Charleston, S.C. 1.500 36.000 0.554 48
43 Vivian/Nichols Associates, Dallas 1.471 473.954 3.283 38
44 FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati 1.403 33.776 0.369 33
45 Babey Moulton Jue & Booth, San Francisco 1.355 NR NR -
46 Ahearn Schopfer and Associates, Boston 1.300 20.000 0.500 40
47 Design Directions, Marietta, Ga. 1.290 58.000 2.022 -
48 R.D. Jones & Associates, Baltimore 1.275 23.000 8.000 29
49 Butler Rogers Baskett Architects, New York 1.249 17.650 0.200 -
50 Indesign, Studio City, Calif. 1.200 20.000 0.100 31


Fastest-Growing Firms (by ranking)

Firm 2002 Rank 2001 Rank
Design Forum 25 45
Looney Ricks Kiss Architects 24 44
ISI (Interior Space International) 28 46
Avery Brooks & Associates 33 49
Haverson Architecture and Design 30 39
Forrest Perkins 26 35
Hochheiser Ross Design Group 16 24
Hnedak Bobo Group 18 26
AiGroup 29 37
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 20 27


Firms With Largest Hospitality Fee Increase (in dollars)

Firm 2002 Rank Fee Increase
Aramark Design Solutions 13 1,370,000
Design Forum 25 930,000
Looney Ricks Kiss Architects. 24 906,907
Avery Brooks & Associates 33 807,517
Hochheiser Ross Design Group 16 784,000
ISI (Interior Space International) 28 770,000
Hirsch Bedner Associates 1 707,440
Hnedak Bobo Group 18 698,000
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 20 625,000


Firms New to the Hospitality Listing in 2002
11 companies are new to the 2002 Hospitality Giants

Firm I.D. Fees 2002 Rank
RTKL Associates $7,100,000 6
Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo $4,542,300 12
Bilkey Llinas Design Associates $4,075,813 15
Sue Firestone Associates $1,900,000 34
Rowland Design $1,869,317 35
Cuningham Group Architecture $1,822,912 37
Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates $1,800,000 38
Lieber Cooper Associates $1,540,919 39
Babey Moulton Jue & Booth $1,355,000 45
Design Directions $1,290,000 47
Butler Rogers Baskett Architects $1,248,710 49


Top Firms Working Outside the U.S.

Firm 2002 Rank % Abroad
Indesign 50 100
Bilkey Llinas Design Associates 15 90
DiLeonardo International 3 60
Wilson & Associates 2 50
Hirsch Bedner Associates 1 45
Babey Moulton Jue & Booth 45 43
ISI (Interior Space International) 28 30


Hospitality Fees/Percentage of Work By Category

Project Type % Mean High Low
Hotel 31.7 $1,852,062 $8,280,000 $99,900
Resorts-Spa 19.7 $1,148,858 $6,440,000 $30,000
Restaurant 16.9 $986,913 $8,500,000 $19,498
Country Club 10.5 $614,019 $4,590,000 $32,000
Casino 8.4 $494,163 $996,000 $21,000
Cruise Ship 8.3 $485,975 $1,420,000 $112,500
Other 4.5 $261,187 $750,000 $19,499


Top 50 Hospitality Giants Fee Scales

Job Title Annual Salaries (Median) Hourly Rates (Median)
Principal, Partner $120,000 $175
Project Manager $72,000 $113
Designer $55,000 $90
CAD Operator $41,000 $71
Manual Drafter $45,000 $75
Other Billable $36,192 $55
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