Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gassenheimer

James D. Gassenheimer

Partner, Berger Singerman

James D. Gassenheimer is a partner in the Miami office of Berger Singerman, Florida's business law firm. Mr. Gassenheimer is an acclaimed litigator whose practice areas include hospitality and leisure litigation, bankruptcy-related litigation, class action litigation, and complex commercial litigation, including in insurance, employment, aviation, real estate, tort and product liability, and franchise litigation. Mr. Gassenheimer has extensive jury and non-jury trial experience in State, Federal and Bankruptcy court, having tried over 100 cases to jury verdict or judgment. Mr. Gassenheimer advises one of the country's largest resort development and property management firms. He has served as lead counsel to the plan proponent in the reorganization of the largest hotel in Pittsburgh, including the successful six-day trial of contested matters against the secured lender. Mr. Gassenheimer also served as General Counsel to the Court Appointed Receiver in a $200 million real estate related receivership, handling complex commercial foreclosure litigation and bankruptcy matters, and prosecuting and defending fraud claims, lender liability, lien priority issues, and first and third party insurance claims involving over twenty separate affiliated developers. Mr. Gassenheimer has had extensive involvement in representative matters for Turnberry Ltd., Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Stiles Corporation, among others. Mr. Gassenheimer writes and speaks on novel issues affecting the hospitality industry and real estate. A graduate of Brown University with a BA in Economics, Mr. Gassenheimer earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law.

Mr. Gassenheimer can be contacted at 305-714-4383 or jgassenheimer@bergersingerman.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.