Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Neal

Bob Neal

Principal, Cooper Carry

As a principal in Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio, Bob Neal has directed the design of hospitality-related projects in the United States, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Neal is particularly focused on the design of upper upscale and luxury properties and specializes in conference and convention hotels, boutique properties and resorts. He has practiced architecture for 39 years, specializing in hotel design since joining Cooper Carry in 1988. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the National Register of Historic Places as well as various other national and local associations for design excellence and urban responsibility.

In additional to the development of Columbia Place in Washington, D.C., Mr. Neal is responsible for leading recent projects including the 1,175-key Washington, D.C. Marriott Marquis Hotel & Convention Center; the 600-key Hilton Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio; the 217-key Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina; the 325-key Hotel at Avalon and Alpharetta Conference Center in Alpharetta, Georgia; the forthcoming 800-key Kansas City Loews Hotel designed for maximum connectivity to the new Kansas City Convention Center; and the historic renovation of the 88-year-old, art-deco style El Paso Plaza Hotel into a 131-room, upscale boutique travel destination in El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Neal received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and worked as a designer at Harry Weese & Associations and Clark Tribble Harris and Li prior to joining Cooper Carry. He is licensed in 21 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration.

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

Mr. Neal can be contacted at +1 404-240-9532 or bobneal@coopercarry.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.