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Andrew Glincher

The condo hotel concept has definitely gained recognition as a way of raising equity and maximizing the value of a property In fact, published reports estimate that there are currently more than 200 of these projects, including over 60,000 condo units, currently under development. There are a number of market forces driving this trend... Read on...

Andrew Glincher

Hotel operators considering new construction, expansions or major renovation projects are now in the best economic environment in recent memory. That's good news for independent properties in need of expansion or upgrades as well as for larger brands with extensive capital needs across their portfolios. Where the traditional sources of financing were equity participants and banks (which usually required significant equity investment before they would lend money), today we are seeing considerable interest among investment banking firms, pension funds, mutual funds and other entities which have not been as active as the hotel market. But with limited vehicles for delivering the kind of returns they need, these investors are starting to look at hotels as an opportunity with great potential. Read on...

Andrew Glincher

How do you make your project a reality in the face of organized opposition? Preparation at the outset is one of the keys. Property owners can't simply design the project they think is best and expect to put their heads down and push it through. You need to do your due diligence and truly understand the issues that are likely to arise. Retain local consultants, experts, attorneys and public relations people if necessary to provide insights into the issues the community considers important and where the obstacles are likely to lie. Read on...

Andrew Glincher

The benefits of developing, building and opening a new hotel from the ground up in an urban, downtown metropolitan area are many. Closeness to attractions, whether they are major retail centers or sporting venues, and proximity to hubs of business and tourism are just a few examples of the benefits. However, metropolitan markets present significant barriers to entry for ground up development and construction of a new hotel. These barriers can prohibit and delay a project, which in turn can present significant added cost and unbudgeted expense for new hotel development projects. Read on...

Jonathan Greenbaum

Developers are increasingly finding alternative uses for their hotel properties, including condominium conversions, fractional, condo-hotels, extended stay and other alternative uses to the traditional hotel. Whether to convert a hotel to another use depends largely on market factors. In the past few years, we have seen many hotels being converted to residential condominiums. We are now starting to see conversions of commercial office space to hotels. Conversions raise a myriad of property, regulatory and zoning issues. Developers often overlook the labor and employment aspects of such transactions and conversions. Conversions of hotel properties are far more complex transactions than a traditional real estate transaction. Hotels are the most labor intensive of all commercial real estate uses. If not handled properly and in a timely fashion, labor and employment issues related to a hotel conversion can derail or significantly delay any contemplated change in the use of the hotel property. Read on...

Nelson Migdal

The hospitality industry as a whole, and various sectors within the industry in particular, continue to face challenges arising from changes in the local, regional, national and international marketplace. We will identify and briefly discuss some of these emerging issues. Read on...

Nelson Migdal

To employ or not to employ? That is the question. The answer can be fairly easy, provided, the employer has taken care to ensure that it is fully protected pursuant to the terms of the hotel management agreement. What tips the scale will vary based upon many factors, imputation of liability, collective bargaining agreements, union labor vs. non-union labor, and the applicable law of the jurisdiction in which the hotel is located. Sophisticated owners and managers carefully address each of the issues related to employment in the hotel management agreement so if an employment related issue arises, it is clear which party is responsible. Read on...

William A. Brewer III

Today's business is sophisticated, complicated, and dependent on the legal system. Gentlemen's agreements have given way to written contracts devised by law firms, and the hotel industry is a prime example. Business transactions are generally arm's-length affairs where each side bargains in their own self-interest. Agency relationships, however, are entirely different. Many hotel managers drive hard bargains to include a provision in their management contract that expressly disclaims the existence of an agency relationship. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

It's simple. It's all about control! A retail management agreement typically provides a hotel owner with much greater control over the day-to-day operations of a retail facility than a retail lease does. The first question a hotel owner should ask is, "do I really want control over the day-to-day operations of the retail facility?" The answer may vary from facility to facility. For example, the hotel owner may not wish to delve into the day-to-day operations of the sundry shop, but the food and beverage operation, that may be quite a different matter because the food and beverage experience is closely tied to the overall guest experience. Read on...

Andrew Glincher

Developers are increasingly finding alternative uses for ports. Through the years, port development has been the focus of many big cities from San Francisco to Boston and most recently, in Washington, D.C. as the nation's capital develops its Southwest Waterfront. Ports can be an economic boom for cities. In some cities, ports have become a tourist attraction. As ports generate more higher-income uses, this is good news for the real estate industry as the property values rise resulting in many redeveloped high-end apartments, condos, offices, restaurants, and of course, hotels. What challenges do hotel developers face when building near ports or on waterfront property? Read on...

Dan Brown

Any discussion of the benefits of arbitration over litigation generally parrots the "well known" benefits. That is, arbitration is generally viewed, by both lay persons and even by most attorneys, as a more economical and efficient method of resolving disputes than traditional litigation. Attorneys and parties are often surprised when arbitration includes complex and burdensome discovery, motion practice, and expensive hearings. As explained below, the line between arbitration and litigation has, at least in some instances, disappeared. Read on...

Nelson Migdal

The credit world is considered by many to be in turmoil. Real estate values as measured through investment sales are below the lofty heights of just months ago. Residential absorption is dismal in many markets. Nevertheless, the possibilities for mixed-use development, anchored by an imagination catching array of amenities, remain strong, both domestically and internationally. In such a climate, the hospitality industry is attracting interest from experienced developers, owners and operators to be sure. However, there are new players in the game who see the allure, but are less familiar with the rules. This article provides a brief overview, both historic and current, of the law relating to hotel management agreements. Read on...

Theodore C. Max

The move by international fashion labels into the hospitality industry is a logical extension of the strong brand awareness accorded high profile designers and their fashion brands. Fashion designers can greatly enhance a property by lending the cachet and prestige of their brand name as well as through their design talents. Recently, a jury in Maryland in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland found for the owner and held that Ritz Carlton (and Marriot International) had breached in hotel management agreement and its fiduciary duty by building a new Bulgari-branded hotel only seven kilometers from the Ritz Carlton Bali Resort & Spa under which Ritz Carlton served as an agent. Read on...

Daniel Croley

Due in large part to Governor Davis' efforts to retain his job, none of his selected lobbyist and interest groups were "left behind" at the conclusion of the 2003 legislative session which resulted in passage of a whole raft of labor-related legislation. These new laws impose additional costs and obligations on California employers who opposed such obligations, because of the challenging economic environment-among other reasons. Prudent employers will want to consider reviewing and modifying their polices and practices to ensure compliance with these new laws and to deter and defeat any claims based thereon. These and other important changes and strategic actions for compliance are set out below. Read on...

Daniel Croley

Under a recent Harvard study, 6 percent of U. S. traffic accidents are caused by drivers talking on cell phones, producing 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries each year. Prudent Employer's would be well-advised to consider what risks are posed when their employees make business calls while driving. Some recent lawsuits vividly drive this point home: In a pending lawsuit in Virginia, a Palo Alto based law firm was sued for $30 million when an attorney, making business phone calls while driving, veered off the road killing a child. Read on...

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.