Library Archives

 
William A. Brewer III

The wave of mergers and acquisitions activity, fueled by record hotel profits, globalization and an influx of private equity money, is increasing the market power of the big industry players. Hotel giants have been accumulating multiple brands - either in multiple market sectors or in a single sector - and that trend is expected to continue. As a result, fewer competitors hold larger market shares with more control over the nature of competition in various market segments. These industry trends can draw unwelcome attention from more than just the trustbusters. Competitors and business partners alike have significant incentives to engage in private antitrust litigation, and this only adds to the antitrust concerns that keep your lawyer up at night. Read on...

Nelson Migdal

The economic indicators that track occupancy, room revenue and average daily rates appear to be going from worse to still worse. The dollar value of commercial mortgage-backed securities issued in connection with hotels during the past few years is reportedly a very intimidating $30 billion. One of the key concerns on everyone's mind is what happens next? In these times the underlying mechanism may begin with a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or the court appointment of a receiver to assert dominion and control over the hotel. Some of these matters will go right to litigation with no intervening process to attempt to negotiate a resolution. Some of these matters, and perhaps it will be a majority of these matters, will be resolved through negotiation to try to achieve a workable result and preserve any capital that might remain for the preservation of the asset rather than the payment of professional fees. This compelling article will assist owners and operators, alike as they navigate these treacherous waters. Read on...

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 July 2019...

Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program. Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.