Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Shuster

Marc Stephen Shuster

Partner, Berger Singerman

Marc Stephen Shuster is a partner in the Miami office of Berger Singerman, Florida's business law firm. Mr. Shuster is a business attorney with extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions, both healthy and distressed, and corporate M&A deal work, with an emphasis on the hotel and hospitality industry. He advises both traditional hospitality conglomerates and Internet advertising sites serving the industry. He has extensive experience in serving as local counsel for international law firms on real estate issues, and in representing out-of-state funds and companies in their opportunistic acquisitions or sales of real property, as well as in working on Caribbean and other cross-border transactions, including representing clients involved in hotel, port, retail, restaurant, and marina development. Representative clients for whom Mr. Shuster has had extensive involvement include Starwood, P&M Management, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Mr. Shuster has represented Banco Inbursa in acquisitions and loans for development of resorts and hotels including the Four Seasons and the Gansevoort Hotel in Miami Beach. He has served as counsel to numerous international law firms, banks, and hedge funds in evaluating Florida issues pertaining to the acquisition and financing of hotel properties. Mr. Shuster is a former Director & Associate Counsel for Royal Caribbean Cruises. In the outside counsel role he now fulfills for the cruise line, he has represented Royal Caribbean in: a $200 million development of new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica. Acquiring development and long-term lease rights in St. Maarten port valued at over $50 million, and negotiating with ports of Galveston, Texas, Ketchikan, Alaska, Colon, Panama, Marseilles, France, and Cozumel, Mexico in connection with securing various preferential berthing rights He has also represented an international client in negotiating a $200 million transaction with Port Everglades County Government to deliver berthing of the world's largest passenger vessel. As a part of the transaction, Mr. Shuster negotiated the construction of a new, state-of-the-art 150,000 square foot terminal. In addition, he has served as counsel to a Florida-based emergency management/services conglomerate in negotiating for disaster relief work throughout the Caribbean. Mr. Shuster speaks and writes on novel issues affecting the hotel and hospitality space, serves on various community boards, and has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, such as his recognition by Chambers & Partners USA (Real Estate), Super Lawyers, and the South Florida Business Journal. He was nominated by the Daily Business Review as one of three finalists for their 2013 Top Dealmakers of the Year Award. A summa cum laude graduate of The George Washington University, with a BA in Religion, Mr. Shuster earned his J.D., with honors, from the University of Florida.

Mr. Shuster can be contacted at 305-982-4080 or mshuster@bergersingerman.com

Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.