Editorial Board   

Mr. Spelts

Larry Spelts

Director of Asset Management, Charlestowne Hotels

Larry Spelts, Director of Asset Management for Charlestowne Hotels, has spent his 25 year career focused in the independent boutique hotel and inn segment of the hospitality industry. He is a past president of the Charleston, SC Hotel & Motel Association and a former Charleston Travel Council Governor. Mr. Spelts began his career in the hospitality industry while attending the College of Charleston (SC) in the 1980's working in various positions from bellman to concierge. He took his first management position in 1990 at the 43 room Kings Courtyard Inn of Charming Inns of Charleston, with whom he went on to open new properties in 1992 and 1994 - all boutique, Four Diamond rated properties. In November 1994, Mr. Spelts accepted the general manager position at the 64 room Planters Inn of Charleston, SC. Mr. Spelts led redevelopment of the property and repositioned it as Charleston's first Relais & Châteaux. Ten years later he took a position with the world-renowned Carlyle Hotel in New York City, where he oversaw various renovation projects and served as the hotel manager. While in New York, Mr. Spelts earned an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business while working as an independent consultant that included engagements with a variety of boutique and lifestyle businesses from the Hotel Roger Williams to the Core Club and David Barton Gyms. Mr. Spelts joined Charlestowne Hotels in September of 2009.

Mr. Spelts can be contacted at 843-972-1428 or lspelts@charlestownehotels.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.