December FOCUS: Hotel Law

December, 2022

Hotel Law: Legal Consequences

The pandemic provoked more than a global health crisis. It also disrupted world economies, financial markets and social systems on a massive scale. Naturally, there are legal consequences associated with this kind of severe business disruption and the issues will be litigated for years to come. In the hotel industry, there are several issues that are currently germane. One issue pertains to the legal obligations hotels have to re-hire employees who were laid off due to the pandemic. Lawsuits have been filed by former employees who claim that certain promises were made to them when they were furloughed, and they are suing hotels for breach of implied contract. Another major issue involves hotels suing their insurance companies for failing to cover their business losses due to the pandemic. Still other hotels have brought lawsuits against local governments for the strict restrictions that were placed on their businesses, chiefly restaurants and bars. These are just a few of the legal issues that will be addressed in the December issue of the Hotel Business Review.

This month's feature articles...

Ryan Mann

Leisure travel is booming, and this summer many people took their vacations "no matter what." Last summer saw renewed enthusiasm for hitting the road, and this summer confirmed it. This should be no surprise: pandemic or inflation notwithstanding, people love to travel. According to the most recent McKinsey travel survey, Americans asked what they would do with a $10,000 windfall, respondents ranked travel ranked second. READ MORE

Andrew Rubinacci

In the wake of the pandemic, many hoteliers who have been through the belt-tightening and all-hands-on-deck emergency status of crisis operations are rethinking the traditional RevPAR approach. Today, optimizing total revenue across the entire property is seen by many hotel owners and operators as both a competitive necessity and a smart way to position themselves in an evolving industry landscape. READ MORE

Tom Wolf

Combining two hotels in the same vicinity into one operation isn't new. It makes a lot of sense, as it results in efficiencies that a single hotel cannot provide. However, there are very specific scenarios when hotels should think about complexing. How can hoteliers know when and why this might make sense for their properties? READ MORE

Rachel Svoboda

Social media is the most powerful way to reach travelers in 2022. Make sure your hotel property has a compelling presence on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn to boost brand reputation, convert qualified leads, increase website traffic, and capture customer insights. READ MORE

Derek Peterson

The global pandemic affected nearly every aspect of business and dramatically altered business travel, leisure travel, events and conferences. In the wake of the pandemic, with focused recovery efforts underway, digital transformation has become a core focus to ensure a strong recovery throughout the hospitality industry. With 2022 ushering in the 5G experience, here are the key takeaways for hoteliers. READ MORE

Hicham Jaddoud

While different jurisdictions may differ in their rules for interpreting force majeure, most of the hotel agreements contain a close covering unpredictable circumstances such us terrorist attacks, floods, strikes, and pandemic. Depending on the force majeure clause on the hotel management agreement, the performance obligation, of either parties, can be temporarily or permanently excused. READ MORE

Christine Samsel

As we welcome 2023, hospitality employers should familiarize themselves with the plethora of new employment laws and how those laws impact their business. Christine Samsel, employment attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, shares 10 key areas to address, from job posting and pay transparency requirements, privacy protections and separation agreements to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. READ MORE

Samantha Ahuja

In the wake of the pandemic, the hospitality industry faces a range of potential challenges and opportunities, from finding enough qualified workers to fill jobs to incorporating ESG standards into hotel operations and construction projects. Economic volatility and rising interest rates could make it more difficult for hotels to secure new financing. What's the push and pull between guest data and privacy? READ MORE

Ben  Hanuka

The pandemic has caught all industries by surprise and the hotel industry is not an exception. Parties were not prepared for, and did not anticipate, the extreme challenges that the pandemic would end up causing to hotel rebranding renovation projects. That has led to major delays and at least technical non-compliance with PIP requirements for projects that started before the onset of the pandemic. Franchisors should take that into consideration when assessing non-compliance with PIP. READ MORE

Jessica Brown

The COVID-19 pandemic continues impact the hospitality sector. Analytics suggests that recovery to pre-pandemic levels for the hard-hit business travel sector will not be achieved until 2023 or later. This article examines current legal trends in the alcohol beverage retail space, and encourages hotels to assess the opportunities present in the changing licensing regime in their respective states. READ MORE

Phelim Pekaar

Hotel accessibility matters as much online during the booking journey as it does when those with disabilities come to stay. Hotel operators who recognize this and ensure that their digital presence is ADA compliant will benefit from reduced risk of lawsuit, an enhanced brand reputation, and will be well positioned to capture a slice of the growing accessible travel market. READ MORE

Wendy Hansen

The Covid-19 pandemic raised many new and polarizing issues in the work environment, not the least of which were vaccine mandates. This article will provide a brief overview of the status of vaccine mandates, consider the most common claims made by employees, and provide some points for hotel employers to consider before modifying or withdrawing a mandatory vaccination policy. READ MORE

John Mavros

Over the last decade, there has been a drastic change in cannabis laws. Not only has recreational and medicinal marijuana been legalized in many states, but states have put specific protections in place for employees who engage in off-duty cannabis use. Can employers still maintain a drug-free workplace? READ MORE

Gregory A. Hearing

The COVID-19 Pandemic imposed disruption and hardship on hospitality industry employers. Now that employers are actively recovering from the receding Pandemic, nationwide organizing efforts threaten to take advantage of the fragile situation left in the Pandemic's wake. Hospitality industry employers should understand the current state of U.S. labor laws and increased post-Pandemic organizing efforts and how employers can maintain a non-unionized workforce. READ MORE

Charlotte Tullis

The UK's hospitality industry is in the grip of a staffing shortage crisis, with the latest figures from the ONS indicating that in the last quarter, there were c.158,000 vacant positions. In this article, we explore the socio-economic factors driving the crisis, and what those in the industry can do to ensure labour shortages do not negatively impact customer experience. READ MORE

Mikaela Whitman

Human trafficking is a global problem that has increasing insurance coverage implications. According to the Labor Organization Board, in 2017 there were 24.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Human trafficking has become a serious concern not only for those victims and their families, but for those in industries that could arguably benefit from the human trafficking enterprises. READ MORE

Lauren Stewart

In the initial days of the pandemic, there were immediate existential problems that required innovative solutions. People risked infection. Hotels faced shuttering. Cities needed to aid their at-risk populations. Some hotel owners and cities quickly devised a plan that could house homeless and/or isolating populations to ride out the pandemic. The consequences of these arrangements are now under consideration. READ MORE

Dena Calo

Many companies in the hotel and hospitality industries around the country have recently seen a significant uptick in state and federal wage and hour investigations in recent months. While full wage and hour audits take time, expense and energy (which takes away from business operations) there are some basic assessments you can do to understand wage and hour claims and what an investigator will ask for. READ MORE

Kenneth Heymann

Hospitality's legal environment is forever in a state of flux as external factors and internal issues continue to lead to the rise of new labor statutes. Ensuring full compliance with new laws can be a challenge, but new technologies are allowing hoteliers to sidestep the guesswork and create work environments that attract and retain productive employee teams. READ MORE

Robert  O'Halloran

The pandemic has impacted us all in the way we live, work and play. Additionally, the pandemic has impacted our businesses, how we work and where we work. The issues from the pandemic also impacted the hospitality legal environment. This article will highlight multiple areas of lodging and hospitality operations, as human resources, safety and security, and technology. READ MORE

Jill Rigsbee

The continuing shift in the economy is driving new revenue opportunities for hotels. The evolving guest profile and their dynamic preferences are causing hoteliers to re-imagine the spaces on property to drive incremental profits. Lobby markets are emerging as an important extension of a hotel's food-and-beverage program, increasing relevance to the guests and profitability for the property, management company and owners. READ MORE

Christina  Davis

Restaurants that can successfully lay the foundation of their localized marketing strategy have a leg up on driving customers, covers, and revenue. Limited resources and complexity in the consumer journey are the challenges facing restaurants of all shapes and sizes. The ones who rise to the challenge, who can solve these challenges better, faster, and cheaper than the competition, create their own competitive advantage. READ MORE

Jorey Friedman

The all-inclusive resort – cookie-cutter accommodations that bundle meals and beverages, activities, and entertainment in a single price upon booking – has dramatically evolved, and even the biggest skeptics who eschew pre-packaged, pre-paid vacations will discover their preconceptions displaced. While historically catering to budget travelers, today's all-inclusive resorts are developing sophisticated, luxurious offerings, expanding amenities, and serving diverse needs and interests. READ MORE

Richard Garcia

The pandemic has led to massive changes for hotel food and beverage spaces, from new protocols to a shift in expectations from guests, hoteliers have been left to create quick and innovative solutions. Over the last year-plus, F&B leaders have developed new menu offerings, better beverage programs, and have developed ways to circumvent hiring shortages. READ MORE

Casssandra Cavanah

The pursuit of health through hydrothermal bathing is a centuries-old practice that the pandemic amplified. Consumers are amping to explore new forms of sweat bathing and the benefits of hot/cold contrast therapy. Urban bathhouses seem to be popping up everywhere, giving wellness seekers easy access to high-end (and relatively affordable) hydrothermal bathing options. This means smart spa operators need to keep pace with hydrothermal trends. READ MORE

Kjeld Schigt

Kjeld Schigt of Kalon Surf made sure when he opened his resort, he was involving the community of Costa Rica. He knew that he would more richly succeed in this endeavor by hiring people from Costa Rica, and investing in the community as a whole. The growth of Kalon Surf goes hand in with the growth of Costa Rican communities. READ MORE

Malcolm Davies

How can you determine whether a lodging property is a good candidate for conversion to a multifamily housing community? From assessing the existing property to considering conversion elements and market dynamics, to looking at financing options, readers will have a 360-degree view of a process that may provide a higher-and-best-use option to owners of functionally challenged hotel properties. READ MORE

Ryan McAndrew

Despite solid recovery in travel, the supply of new hotel rooms has slowed significantly, held back by rising interest rates, supply chain delays and a tight labor market. In the short term, supply will struggle to keep pace with demand, but as economic headwinds resolve, the long-term outlook appears robust. READ MORE

James Downey

The concierge service business is picking up steam in the hospitality industry now that COVID is on the wane and travel among leisure and corporate markets is increasing. As a result, the need for personalized assistance for the traveler is becoming big and really profitable. READ MORE

Helen Zaver

The pandemic significantly impacted the real estate industry around the world, with U.S. hotels being one of the hardest hit sectors. As COVID-19 mitigation measures continue to be lifted, travel for both leisure and business are picking back up. The Southeast has long been a tourism hotspot in the U.S., so what does this mean for the region's hotel economy? READ MORE

Coming up in January 2024...