Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Neal

Bob Neal

Principal, Cooper Carry

As a principal in Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio, Bob Neal has directed the design of hospitality-related projects in the United States, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Neal is particularly focused on the design of upper upscale and luxury properties and specializes in conference and convention hotels, boutique properties and resorts. He has practiced architecture for 39 years, specializing in hotel design since joining Cooper Carry in 1988. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the National Register of Historic Places as well as various other national and local associations for design excellence and urban responsibility.

In additional to the development of Columbia Place in Washington, D.C., Mr. Neal is responsible for leading recent projects including the 1,175-key Washington, D.C. Marriott Marquis Hotel & Convention Center; the 600-key Hilton Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio; the 217-key Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina; the 325-key Hotel at Avalon and Alpharetta Conference Center in Alpharetta, Georgia; the forthcoming 800-key Kansas City Loews Hotel designed for maximum connectivity to the new Kansas City Convention Center; and the historic renovation of the 88-year-old, art-deco style El Paso Plaza Hotel into a 131-room, upscale boutique travel destination in El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Neal received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and worked as a designer at Harry Weese & Associations and Clark Tribble Harris and Li prior to joining Cooper Carry. He is licensed in 21 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration.

Please visit http://www.coopercarry.com for more information.

Mr. Neal can be contacted at +1 404-240-9532 or bobneal@coopercarry.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.