Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suggs

Jim Suggs

Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL

Jim Suggs began his architectural career in 1978. He has amassed extensive experience in architectural design, interior design, historic preservation and master planning for private and public, commercial and institutional clients. His experience includes substantial work in the design and planning of courtrooms and courthouses including federal and county facilities, both newly built and historical properties. Highlights include the restoration of the 120 year old Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas incorporating cutting-edge courtroom technology while preserving the historical integrity of the interior, the design of courtroom facilities dedicated to child and family law as well as the St. Mary's University Moot Court Facility. Another area of expertise is in the planning and design of video, television and audio production facilities. Highlights include the design of Maverick Video Production Company headquarters including a full sound stage and two television studios as well as various university Radio/Television & Film facilities. But, Mr. Suggs' true passion, the planning and design of hotels has developed over the last 15 years. His work has included everything from roll-out programs for limited-service hotels, renovations, historic adaptive use, full service and upscale boutique properties. Highlights include full-service, independent high-rise boutique hotels in San Antonio, Texas and San Jose, California as well as Westin and Sheraton resorts in Maryland and the Bahamas respectively. Since joining RTKL in 2007 Mr. Suggs' experience has been focused on large scale hospitality and mixed-use projects expanding his expertise in the planning of hotels and hotel-driven environments. Recent projects include expansion of the Omaha Hilton Convention Center hotel, Lone Star Court (a boutique property) in Austin, TX and the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner in Tysons Corner, VA.

Please visit www.rtkl.com for more information.

Mr. Suggs can be contacted at 214-468-7698 or jsuggs@RTKL.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.