Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Morgen

Catherine E. Morgen

Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Catherine E. Morgen is a Partner in the firm's Commercial Real Estate Development and Finance and Hospitality Practices. Ms. Morgen concentrates her practice on the representation of real estate clients, with an emphasis on the hospitality industry.

Ms. Morgen has significant experience representing developers, owners and managers of hotel properties in effecting acquisitions, dispositions and mergers, developing their properties, negotiating hotel management agreements, franchise agreements and technical services agreements, arranging financing, and leasing. She regularly works with all of the major hotel brands and third-party operators for all hotel asset classes.

Ms. Morgen also represents institutional real estate lenders, borrowers and investors, including financial institutions, REITs and pension fund advisors. She specializes in a variety of financing transactions including permanent and construction financing, multi-state collateral pools for revolving credit facilities and mortgage loan servicing.

In addition, Ms. Morgen has written and spoken on a variety of real estate matters including CFIUS in hospitality transactions, easements, development and leasing.

Ms. Morgen is also the chair of the firm's Women's Initiative.

Representative Experience:

- Represented client in the acquisition, financing, rebranding and extensive renovation of historic hotels and resorts, including the oceanfront Cliff House Maine located on 70 acres atop Bald Head Cliff in Ogunquit, Maine, The Adolphus, a 100-plus-year-old iconic downtown Dallas hotel, and the Seelbach Hilton, a well-known historic hotel in Memphis that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

- Represented hotel owner in $142 million acquisition and related financing of a 5-hotel, 1,396-room portfolio of Marriott branded select-service and extended stay hotels located in Florida, Georgia and New Jersey from a large public REIT, including the assumption of three existing management agreements with Marriott.

- Represented client in its joint venture with a large institutional investment fund to acquire a 282-room Marriott in Atlanta, Georgia, and a 226-room Hilton Suites in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, MMM represented the joint venture in obtaining financing for the acquisition and the planned major renovation program for each hotel to upgrade property exteriors, public space, back-of-house areas and guest rooms.

- Represented international hotel owner/manager in $300 million sale of a majority partnership interest with retention of long-term management rights for luxury hotels in Chicago, IL and Miami, FL and $450 million portfolio sale of 13 hotel properties in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean; negotiation of associated long-term management agreements.


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

Ms. Morgen can be contacted at +1 404-504-7745 or cmorgen@mmmlaw.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.