Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Allen

J.Carter Allen

Managing Director, HVS Houston

J. Carter Allen, MAI, is the Managing Director of the Houston office of HVS, a Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), and a state-certified general appraiser. While Mr. Allen's expertise is focused on markets in Texas and the Southeast, he has consulted on hundreds of hotels and resorts throughout the country.

Mr. Allen graduated from the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management with an emphasis on Hospitality Finance and Development and a minor in Finance from the university's Bauer School of Business. He has also completed an advanced set of courses in the analysis and valuation of real estate through the Appraisal Institute.

As an undergrad, he served as President of the University of Houston's student chapter of Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals. Mr. Allen also served as President of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and went on to consult for Pi Kappa Phi Properties in Charlotte, North Carolina, before joining HVS.

His experience also spans front-line work at The Houstonian hotel and operations and management internships with JW Marriott and CenterPointe Hotels. As part of The Abilities Experience, Pi Kappa Phi's philanthropic arm, Mr. Allen biked 4,000 miles across the country in 2007 to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. He continues to support the charity and has since run the Marine Corp Marathon and participated in Summit Vision, a four-day excursion in the mountains of Colorado focused on reaching some the highest peaks in the state and proving the inability to see does not affect one's vision of possibility.

Mr. Allen can be contacted at 713-252-5595 or callen@hvs.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.