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 September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.