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 September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.