Hospitality, Hotels & Resorts

Overview

The hospitality industry is constantly challenged with controlling high operating costs, optimizing real estate assets, managing a high-turnover workforce, and providing its guests outstanding experiences with minimal risk. Economic issues, coupled with heightened privacy regulations and a more migrant workforce, have created a new set of challenges.

Our attorneys have a broad range of experience in both the business and legal aspects of the hotel industry, including hotel acquisitions, development, golf and resort development, operations, investment, mergers, franchising, licensing, intangible asset protection, food and beverage, finance and time share, employment law, Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance and data breach prevention and response. Our depth and insight comes from hands on experience assisting and advising clients in reaching their objectives in most all aspects of the hospitality industry. We have a keen understanding of the industry and a business oriented practice style that facilitates productive client counsel relations. As a diligent group of conscientious professionals, we take seriously our role in expediting, facilitating and achieving successful business outcomes.

Regarding real estate, some industry participants continue to deal with distressed assets, while others are pursuing new opportunities.  The lasting effects of the economic downtown changed the way hotels, resorts and other leisure projects around the world are conceived, developed, financed and operated. We continue to work closely with our clients to better address, and take advantage of, these challenging strategic matters.

The industry has struggled for some time with human resources issues, with guest services compromised by staff reductions, high turnover and poorly trained workers.  We continue to work with our clients not only to manage these traditional workforce issues, such as contracts, employment law requirements, compliance training, litigation, but also to address new legal issues arising from managing the “modern” workforce, such as immigration and I9 processes and documentation and alternative work arrangements and non-compete agreements.

Our privacy efforts also include working with clients to protect themselves against the threat of data breach liability and properly meet new regulatory requirements from the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, such as appropriate corporate procedures to ensure the safety and fair use of consumer information and proper procedures for preventing and responding to data breaches.

Overall, industry players will have to develop effective strategies for dealing with issues such as foreclosures, equity and debt financings, re-financings and workouts, structuring and restructuring of hotel and mixed-use projects, branding and re-branding, and taking advantage of strategic opportunities and making new and existing hotels and resorts operate profitably while at the same time meeting consumer expectations, generating acceptable financial returns and delivering on the brands’ “promise” as to their guests’ experience. Now, more than ever, it is important to have trusted advisors that not only understand the industry, but have the vision and singularity of purpose to help clients manage through these dynamic times.

Experience

  • Represented community bank in connection with a $7.7 million acquisition and renovation loan secured by hotel property located in Atlanta.
  • Over a 10 year period represented a major international real estate company in the purchase, sale and financing of real estate with a total transaction value of $8 to 10 billion. Representation included formation, operation and dissolution of joint ventures with regional and super regional shopping center, retail and industrial property owners, and the purchase, financing and sale of office building and industrial properties. The transaction size ranged from approximately $20 million to approximately $325 million, the securitized debt secured by jointly owned shopping center ranged from $70 million to approximately $200 million and conventional bank debt transactions were at various amounts up to $1.6 billion.
  • Represented an investor in restructuring a $50 million loan and ownership structure relating to an offshore resort hotel. The representation was complicated by the refusal by some of the investors to participate in additional equity financing for the project and a contentious relationship with the hotel operator.
  • Represented lender in connection with workout of $200 million CMBS loan secured by a trophy hotel in New York City.
  • Represented a private equity fund in sale of boutique hotel located in Washington DC.
  • Represented a private equity fund in purchase of national-branded hotel located in Baltimore, MD.
  • Represented investor in acquisition and development of major resort facility in north Georgia, including golf courses and two hotels
  • Represented a Dutch investor in the acquisition and operation of The Frog resort and golf course, together with a majority interest in related hotel and residential development.
  • Represented affiliates of Rodamco, a European institutional investor, in the acquisition of 49 percent or greater interests in major regional shopping centers and trophy office buildings throughout the United States and Australia. Also represented Rodamco in the acquisition of significant interests in luxury hotels and resorts throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
  • Served as underwriters counsel for initial public offering by hotel real estate investment trust (REIT), Commonwealth Advisors, as underwriter for Jameson Inns Inc.
  • Represented the owner of the Marriott at Sawgrass resort complex in Florida in the sale of the property to an international institutional investor.
  • Representing owner/investor in acquisition and financing of hotel properties.
  • Represented a national hotel chain in acquisition and development of property for banquet facilities.
  • Represented a large international hotel operator in business venture and lease with high-end restaurant in multiple hotel locations.
  • Represented a master developer in developing mixed-use project with hotel, retail and residential components.
  • Represented the owner of the Marriott Sawgrass resort complex in Florida, including the negotiation of hotel management agreements, golf course access agreements and the ultimate sale of the property to an international institutional investor.
  • Assisted municipal issuer of more than $20 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance an urban redevelopment project consisting of a hotel and adjoining conference center.
  • Represented a real estate investment firm in the acquisition of, and foreclosure on, two non-performing notes totaling more than $40 million, secured by two hotel properties located in Florida.
  • Represented global hotel operator in the acquisition of a 400+ room hotel in a multi-parcel development in which the remaining sites were zoned for office buildings. In addition to negotiating the purchase and sale agreement and handling the acquisition, we renegotiated the declaration of covenants, easements and restrictions regarding the other parcels in the development to address parking, access and future development.

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