Many commercial spaces, including restaurants, hotels, apartments and event venues, are embracing outdoor entertainment areas that cultivate the same activities guests would expect indoors.
Commercial building owners are finding renovations that meet popular outdoor trends and enable year-round enjoyment to be a win-win—it’s fun for visitors and profitable for owners. And by powering these amenities with propane, building owners can enjoy efficient, reliable power no matter where the building is located—even if it’s off the natural gas line.
Here are five popular outdoor amenity trends that can be powered by, and benefit from, propane:
Firepits and Fireplaces
Fire features can completely transform a building’s outdoor space, creating a focal point for outdoor gatherings at restaurants, hotels, apartments and many other commercial spaces—especially in cooler weather. They provide heat and light, allowing customers to use an outdoor space longer and for more of the year.
Propane firepits and fireplaces offer real flame and warmth, without the drawbacks of wood and charcoal, like smoke in your eyes and the smell of campfire on your clothes. Propane fire features operate at the flip of a switch. And if buildings are located in an area with restrictions on burning wood, propane enables users to safely enjoy the relaxation of a real flame while following local air-quality regulations. Plus, propane fireplaces and firepits offer a variety of styles to fit any building and help create a cohesive look, whether it be a clean, minimalist design or a rustic, stone or brick design.
The addition of an outdoor kitchen can expand a restaurant’s seating capacity—and its appeal. And in summer months, outdoor cooking helps reduce indoor heat gain and associated energy use for ventilation and cooling.
Full outdoor kitchens can be powered by a business’ main propane supply and provide the ultimate outdoor cooking experience with flexibility, convenience, fast heat-up times and quick cleanup.
Outdoor heaters can help extend a building’s outdoor season, allowing customers to use the outdoor space three, if not four, seasons of the year in some places. For hospitality businesses, like restaurants and hotels, the heating trend is all about maximizing revenue. For example, hotels can capture more money from business travelers by keeping them on their property.
Propane patio heaters can sometimes cost more upfront but are oftentimes much less expensive to operate, especially in areas with high electricity rates, so their payback period is quick. Propane patio heaters raise the outdoor air temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically mushroom or umbrella-shaped, they radiate heat downward to warm a 12- to 20-foot area. With portable propane tanks of 20 pounds or less capacity, patio heaters can be located almost anywhere, and they come in every shape and style—standing, pyramid and cylinder—to match other outdoor decor.
Flame lighting can help provide light to any outdoor entertainment area or entryway. And integrating materials, like cast bronze and wrought iron, can help make any walkway feel upscale, too. Custom lanterns, modern chandeliers, statement pendants and even tabletop units are a great addition to any design.
Propane-powered lighting fixtures can be wall-mounted, pillar-mounted, suspended from ceilings or mounted in-ground. For convenience, building owners can use photosensors or timers to automatically turn lights on when the sun goes down or at a preset time.
Pool and Spa Heaters
Installing, and even maintaining, a pool or spa is an investment, so why not use it for as much of the year as possible? With pool and spa heaters, building owners can extend the swimming season for its customers and visitors.
Propane pool and spa heaters help maintain the water temperature at the optimum setpoint regardless of outdoor conditions and do so at up to 95 percent energy efficiency, providing more than twice the heating rate as electric heat-pump water heaters at a lower first cost. They can easily be integrated with the pool’s pump and filtration system and sized to fit any pool or spa.
Visit Propane.com/Outdoor-Living to learn more.