Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Shuster

Marc Stephen Shuster

Partner, Berger Singerman

Marc Stephen Shuster is a partner in the Miami office of Berger Singerman, Florida’s business law firm. Mr. Shuster is a business attorney with extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions, both healthy and distressed, and corporate M&A deal work, with an emphasis on the hotel and hospitality industry. He advises both traditional hospitality conglomerates and Internet advertising sites serving the industry. He has extensive experience in serving as local counsel for international law firms on real estate issues, and in representing out-of-state funds and companies in their opportunistic acquisitions or sales of real property, as well as in working on Caribbean and other cross-border transactions, including representing clients involved in hotel, port, retail, restaurant, and marina development. Representative clients for whom Mr. Shuster has had extensive involvement include Starwood, P&M Management, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Mr. Shuster has represented Banco Inbursa in acquisitions and loans for development of resorts and hotels including the Four Seasons and the Gansevoort Hotel in Miami Beach. He has served as counsel to numerous international law firms, banks, and hedge funds in evaluating Florida issues pertaining to the acquisition and financing of hotel properties. Mr. Shuster is a former Director & Associate Counsel for Royal Caribbean Cruises. In the outside counsel role he now fulfills for the cruise line, he has represented Royal Caribbean in: a $200 million development of new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica. Acquiring development and long-term lease rights in St. Maarten port valued at over $50 million, and negotiating with ports of Galveston, Texas, Ketchikan, Alaska, Colon, Panama, Marseilles, France, and Cozumel, Mexico in connection with securing various preferential berthing rights He has also represented an international client in negotiating a $200 million transaction with Port Everglades County Government to deliver berthing of the world's largest passenger vessel. As a part of the transaction, Mr. Shuster negotiated the construction of a new, state-of-the-art 150,000 square foot terminal. In addition, he has served as counsel to a Florida-based emergency management/services conglomerate in negotiating for disaster relief work throughout the Caribbean. Mr. Shuster speaks and writes on novel issues affecting the hotel and hospitality space, serves on various community boards, and has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, such as his recognition by Chambers & Partners USA (Real Estate), Super Lawyers, and the South Florida Business Journal. He was nominated by the Daily Business Review as one of three finalists for their 2013 Top Dealmakers of the Year Award. A summa cum laude graduate of The George Washington University, with a BA in Religion, Mr. Shuster earned his J.D., with honors, from the University of Florida.

Mr. Shuster can be contacted at 305-982-4080 or mshuster@bergersingerman.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.