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 May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.