Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hickel

Gerard Hickel

Attorney, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Gerard J. Hickel is a Member of the Hospitality and Gaming practice at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, a national, full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with 15 offices in the U.S., including: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Newark and Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo and White Plains, New York; Wilmington, Delaware; Richmond, Virginia; Hartford, Connecticut; Troy, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; and Charleston, West Virginia.

Mr. Hickel focuses his practice primarily in the areas of hospitality and corporate law. His practice includes the representation of domestic and international hotel and spa management companies, owners, developers, and asset managers in numerous types of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, and financings.

Mr. Hickel's hospitality practice includes the drafting, review, and negotiation of all types of agreements related to hotel, spa, and restaurant management and operations; the purchase and sale of hotels; the franchising of a hospitality-based property, including the application process; and a wide range of day-to-day hotel-related agreements for numerous hotel management companies and ownership groups, including equipment leases, space leases, antenna license agreements, room accommodation agreements, group sales agreements, advertising agreements, location agreements, commitment agreements, as well as other similar types of agreements.

Mr. Hickel also has many years of experience providing general business counseling advice, regularly guiding clients through the formation and preparation of agreements relating to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities.

Mr. Hickel earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Please visit http://www.eckertseamans.com for more information.

Mr. Hickel can be contacted at 412-566-1906 or ghickel@eckertseamans.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.