Atma Hotel Group Acquires Courtyard by Marriott and Sheraton Europa in Chapel Hill

USA, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. October 24, 2019

Atma Hotel Group, Inc., a hotel ownership and management company based in Chapel Hill, announced it has added the full-service Courtyard by Marriott and the Sheraton Europa to its existing Chapel Hill hotel portfolio. These hotels complement Atma's existing Chapel Hill properties, which include two Hampton Inn & Suites, a Holiday Inn Express and a Quality Inn.

"We are excited to bring our family atmosphere, commitment to quality and exceptional customer experience to the Courtyard and Sheraton Europa," said Manish Atma, founder and CEO of Atma Hotel Group. "The Sheraton Europa will undergo a transformative renovation including all guest rooms, public areas and meeting spaces by the fall of 2020. We've been involved in two other award-winning renovations over the past five years and are really excited to reestablish the Sheraton Europa as the premier destination for lodging, events and meetings in Chapel Hill."

The Courtyard by Marriott offers 132 rooms and 37 suites and is adjacent to the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Friday Center and Meadowmont Village. Guests have access to onsite dining at The Bistro, a fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool, a jogging trail and a weekday local business shuttle. The Courtyard offers 2,163 square feet of versatile event space equipped with the latest technology to host business meetings and special events, as well as off-site venues.

The Sheraton Europa is conveniently located less than a mile off Exit 270 on I-40, four miles from downtown Chapel Hill, seven miles from Duke University and 13 miles from Research Triangle Park. It offers 168 guestrooms, more than 15,000 square feet of venue space (including 11 meeting rooms), a full-service bar and restaurant, a private outdoor pool, a rooftop amenity deck and a fitness center; all of which will be transformed during the upcoming renovation.

"As an industry, we're seeing high demand for event space, and that's blurring the lines between business and leisure travel," said Atma. "With the Courtyard and Sheraton Europa, we can provide the meeting space, services and reward programs business travelers seek, within close proximity to UNC, Duke University and Research Triangle Park."

Atma Hotel Group is also constructing a new 98-room Tru by Hilton hotel at 1720 Fordham Boulevard in Chapel Hill. Slated to open in the first quarter of 2021, the uniquely modern property will provide great value to guest who want simple, spirited accommodations where they can connect with other travelers. The Tru will be Atma's seventh hotel in Chapel Hill.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.