Library Archives

 
Nelson Migdal

From the looks of it, boutique hotels are popping up everywhere you look. This article addresses the pros and cons of the aftermath of the boutique boom and what lessons might be learned as we move through the current paralysis of the credit markets and the daily operational struggle to both preserve rate and maintain occupancy. This compelling article will assist owners and operators, alike as they carefully analyze this niche of the hotel industry, as well as give you a sense of what to look out for if you are considering owing, operating or investing in a boutique hotel. Read on...

William A. Brewer III

As we know from experience, the economic pressures affecting the hospitality industry can create contract-related pressures for hotel owners and operators. As an example, disputes frequently arise during economic downturns between hotel owners and operators concerning their rights and duties under their management agreements. The industry's key players need to understand how hotel management agreements are likely to be interpreted and what they can do to protect their rights. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

From the looks of it, doom and gloom seem to surround us at every turn. We hear and read about the downturn in the economy in the newspapers, on the evening news, from the Sunday morning "talking heads", at cocktail parties and business events, around the water cooler and even in supermarket tabloids. This economic downturn is affecting every industry - including the hospitality industry. More and more hotel owners may begin to find themselves in financial turmoil and may have to turn to bankruptcy as a solution to a very difficult set of circumstances. Read on...

Dan Brown

Like other industries, the hotel industry has followed the environmentally friendly trend of going "green". Hotel developers have recognized the cost-saving and marketing benefits of going green, because apart from being environmentally responsible, green development could literally translate into more green in the bank by increasing revenues and reducing costs. However, now there is a compelling new reason to design and build green projects - increasingly, it is becoming the law. As green projects become mandatory, and as projects come to fruition, litigation is sure to follow as hotel developers and others go top court to resolve issues relating to going green. Read on...

William A. Brewer III

Two dark horses have emerged in the current economic climate both competing for hospitality industry and real estate consumer and investment dollars. The contenders are Extended-stay hotels and Multi-family Apartments MFAs). Extended-stay hotels are competing by trading in their economy pedigree and emerging as upscale alternatives to traditional business traveler accommodations. MFA's are responding to the changing market place by offering short-term leases to market segments that traditionally would not be considered rental property consumers. The convergence of long-term stays and short-term leasing creates interesting legal issues as hoteliers and landlords blur the lines between traditional hotel stays and leases of rental property. Read on...

William A. Brewer III

The competitive environment in the hotel industry is undergoing increasing change. Beyond mergers and consolidations, hotel and management companies are seeking to leverage their existing brand portfolios through "brand extensions" or "co-branding" relationships, particularly in the luxury segment of the market. These new relationships will almost certainly have an impact on the so-called territorial restriction provision commonly found in a management agreement - the provision that most often dictates if, and how, a hotel operator can compete with a hotel owner. In considering what that impact might be in this evolving legal landscape, owners and operators should ask themselves three basic, but critically important questions. Read on...

Nelson Migdal

The deed in lieu of foreclosure offers lenders and borrowers an alternative to foreclosure when the going gets rough. However, when the subject of foreclosure is an operating hotel, there are many complexities that must be analyzed and understood prior to handing the keys over to the lender. Read on...

Dan Brown

The ultimate responsibility and goal of a hotel manager is to achieve a profit for the hotel's owner and ensure that the hotel's guests are happy with their stay. To that end, a hotel manager acts behind the scenes at a hotel like a puppeteer with numerous day-to-day responsibilities for nearly all aspects of a hotel's operations, including, but not limited to, supervising and managing personnel, marketing, sales, security, maintenance, and food and beverage operations. Read on...

Nelson Migdal

Brand standards not only effect the guest experience, but they also effect the value placed on the hotel by hotel owners, lenders and investors. The juxtaposition between the desire of the brand to upgrade its brand standards and the desire of the hotel owner, lenders and investors to keep a tight grip on the bottom line can be complicated - and the brand standards are a critical component in the equation. The pendulum appears to be swinging in the direction of greater influence being exerted by the easily recognized and well known branded hotels. The credit world finds comfort in a name on a hotel that has a solid history and reputation, and investors seem to be similarly eased by mobilizing capital resources into a branded hotel. But what is the brand standard in the area of hotel operations and management? Read on...

William A. Brewer III

In an age of unprecedented hospitality litigation, electronic discovery has arguably become the most critical factor in determining the outcome of major cases in our industry. Why? Because the growing concentration in today's hospitality arena has led to bigger players fighting larger, more complex disputes. SEC inquiries, M&A transactions and owner-manager dealings are all resulting in "bet-your-business" cases. The tools used to service these cases must match their sophistication and complexity. Positive results depend on how each side effectively manages technology and electronic discovery. Once a competitive advantage, effective electronic discovery has now become a competitive necessity, and therefore should be understood not only by corporate lawyers and outside counsel, but also by the management companies and individual owners who employ them. Read on...

William A. Brewer III

Condo hotels are creating quite a buzz in the hospitality industry. Although the concept is not particularly new, the recent stir over the conversion of New York's Plaza Hotel to condominiums has focused the spotlight on this industry phenomenon. Owners, management companies, investors and analysts are all taking a hard look at the potential rewards of this latest development craze. However, developers and investors may want to proceed with caution, because in the hospitality industry everything that goes up must come down - which promises lots of litigation will follow. Read on...

William A. Brewer III

Mergers and acquisitions, disputes over management agreements, and fights for ownership of guest information. These are just some of the issues among today's hospitality industry headlines. As a lawyer often involved in these sorts of matters, we often must work with the news media - and manage the glare that follows high-profile hospitality issues. While many lawyers shy away from public comment on these matters, we believe that it is better to help our clients navigate the waters of public relations. In fact, we consistently recommend that our clients - whether managers, owners, investors or otherwise - work with the news media when involved in high profile hospitality disputes. Read on...

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Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.