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 November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.