Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara

Richard Barrett-Cuetara

Managing Member, Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC

Richard Barrett-Cuetara is the Managing Member of Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC. He has more than 25 years of trial law and transactional experience in complex commercial real estate transactions and sophisticated real estate disputes, with a special emphasis in the hospitality industry. Trial Law Experience - includes challenging constitutionality of municipal hotel ordinance, actions of inspectors, city manager and law enforcement; prevented condemnation of hotel by municipality; Special Litigation Counsel in $22M CMBS litigation against a REIT and Master/Special Servicers; Defended Price-Gouging lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General, State of Texas, with assistance from Texas Hotel & Lodging Association; prosecuted $27M complex arbitration proceeding regarding division of 6 hotels involving breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, breach of contract, disgorgement, accounting and mismanagement claims; Defended hotel owner in lender liability litigation against Wall Street Hedge Fund and FDIC regarding unlawful acceleration of debt, loan work-out and pre-bankruptcy strategy; jury trial verdict in ad valorem tax litigation against appraisal district; and jury verdict in complex partnership dispute concerning a business divorce of large retail shopping centers. Transactional Experience - includes closing a $60M acquisition of four mid-tiered hotels in Texas that were converted to “select-service” hotels and franchised with international hotel company; negotiating office and retail leases; preparing hotel lease and purchase sale agreements; and operational matters involving retail property management firms, asset managers and hotel operators. Prior Real Estate Experience - includes working in the Real Estate Investment Division of METLIFE, Dallas, Texas, as a Financial Analyst, Asset Manager, Loan Underwriter and Commercial Appraiser (M.A.I. Courses). Professional Affiliations & Memberships - include the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (TH&LA); Hotel Association of Tarrant County; Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA); the Hospitality Law Conference (HLC), Houston, Texas, as Advisory Panel, Moderator and Host; and Contributing Author for HospitaliltyLawyer.com. Honors & Recognitions include nomination to ABA Real Estate Litigation Committee, as Co-Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee; Attorney of the Week, Hospitalitylawyer.com (April 22, 2013); Rated AV Preeminent Rating ®, Highest Possible Rating in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards; Martindale-Hubbell ® AV ® Preeminent (5.0) Rating; and Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation & Real Estate Law, Martindale-Hubbell ®.

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara can be contacted at 214-361-1040 or rbarrett@barrettcuetara.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.