Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Brown

Banks Brown

Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Banks Brown is a partner in the New York office of McDermott Will & Emery. He has served as outside General Counsel for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. for 22 years. He helped to found the Travel Business Roundtable and served as its General Counsel until it was merged into the US Travel Association. He is co-author of a recognized treatise on hospitality law entitled “Understanding Hospitality Law” (4th Ed. Educational Institute, AHLA). He is the 2006 recipient of the Anthony G. Marshall Award for Pioneering and Continuous Contribution to Hospitality Law and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He speaks yearly at the Hospitality Law Conference of HospitalityLawyer.com, where he hosts the hotel inside counsel segment. Early in his career, Mr. Brown represented the American Stock Exchange in shareholder actions under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act, numerous consumer class actions under the now-defunct Department of Energy price controls on oil and gas, and a decade-long series of class actions arising out of Gulf Oil Corporation's tender offer for the stock of Cities Service Corporation. He continues to represent parties involved in complex litigation. As a result of his extensive litigation experience, Mr. Brown has a deep working knowledge of cost, fee and risk analysis. Mr. Brown was admitted New York State Bar in 1978. He was graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1977 and Harvard College (cum laude) in 1974.

Mr. Brown can be contacted at 212-547-5361 or bbrown@mwe.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.