Hospitality Law
Andrew Glincher
  • Hospitality Law
  • Commercial Leases: Making the Most of Retail Space
  • The retail and commercial space within a hotel is one of its most important components. In some ways, it helps define the image of the property; a chic spa or hot new restaurant can generate publicity and excitement that brands the hotel in a very positive way. It also provides important services to hotel guests and having the right mix of retailers, restaurants, and other amenities contributes to the experience people have when they stay there. And of course, it provides a significant revenue stream. Most managers are very conscious of maintaining the correct balance for their property. But what are the best techniques for achieving that? Read on...

William A. Brewer III
  • Hospitality Law
  • Rolling the Dice: There May Be Risks When Hospitality Companies Put Their Brand on Gambling
  • According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, "The only constant is change." The leisure industry, not unlike other industries, is in a state of constant transition. With change comes risk; the risk associated with entering a new business, and the risk of lost opportunity. As recently as 1978, Nevada was the only state to offer casino gambling. However, significant developments have taken place in the latter half of the 1990's, as the number of states permitting casino gambling increased from one, to 27 by the new millennium. Casinos can now be found on riverboats and in resort locations, perhaps with the most explosive growth occurring on Indian reservations. Not surprisingly, with the expansion of casinos and the popularity of commercial gaming, Nevada was one of the fastest growing states during the second half of the 20th century. Read on...

Al DeNapoli
  • Hospitality Law
  • Liquidated Damages: Protecting Your Franchise's Good Name
  • Cicero tells the story how in ancient Syracuse, Damocles gave back the throne to the reigning king when he realized the king had perched above him a sword hanging from a fine thread. Liquidated damages, in some instances, work like the proverbial "Sword of Damocles": hovering above the parties as a threat in case of a breach of contract. While the law in each state differs as to the use and acceptance of liquidated damages, the most widely-used basis for a generic explanation of the concept of liquidated damages comes from the Restatement of the Law: Contract Second... Read on...

Marjorie Obod
  • Hospitality Law
  • Minimum Wage Violations in the Restaurant Industry
  • The hospitality industry is particularly susceptible to minimum wage violation because of the unique compensation methods used industry wide. Minimum wage violations can result in potential civil litigation which can be both costly and time consuming for an employer. As a result this article attempts to highlight various issues surrounding minimum wage compliance. Read on...

Al DeNapoli
  • Hospitality Law
  • Strategies for Brand Protection During Retraction
  • Concerns And Strategies To Protect Your Core Concept When Growth Slow Down And Retraction Is Necessary. As the hospitality industry continues to grow, many companies - private and public - are contemplating further expansion. During the exuberance of growth, many successful businesses (those in the hospitality industry being no exception) fail to consider how the commitments they are making today that may restrict them in a cooler market. It is as important to implement sound business and legal plans - hedging if you will - in good times as it is in bad ones. Read on...

Nelson Migdal
  • Hospitality Law
  • Hotel Financing and the SNDA
  • The SNDA or Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement is a common and familiar document in the financing arena. Even with some of the more interesting transaction structures in the REIT environment with operating leases and a careful segregation of the ownership of the real estate from the operation of the hotel, there will be an instrument intended to govern how the hotel owner, hotel manager and owner's lender will behave in the event of the hotel owner's default under its loan instruments with the lender. It is not just about Foreclosure. The form of the SNDA is often the first battleground. In the negotiation of the hotel management agreement, the owner and manager will often pre-negotiate the form of the SNDA and attach it as an exhibit to the hotel management agreement. Read on...

Laura K. Christa
  • Hospitality Law
  • Cities Square Off Against Internet Travel Providers Over Occupancy Taxes
  • Across the United States municipalities are suing Internet travel companies including Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity over hotel bookings. The reason? What they claim is a substantial underpayment of occupancy taxes. Cities like Los Angeles claim that the online sites pay occupancy taxes to the hotels based on the discounted rate at which they purchase or arrange rooms for the hotel, not at the alleged "retail" rate that they charge the customer. They claim the difference can amount to millions that rightfully belong in city coffers. Are the lawsuits a slam dunk? Not according to the Internet companies. They claim they merely add a service fee to the room rate and pass that charge on to the customer. Read on...

Nelson Migdal
  • Hospitality Law
  • The Battle of Hotel Brand Standards and the Effect on the Bottom Line
  • 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...

Dan Brown
  • Hospitality Law
  • Common Legal Issues that Confront Hotel Operators
  • 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...

William A. Brewer III
  • Hospitality Law
  • Territorial Restraints: The Legal Landscape for Today and Tomorrow
  • 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...

Tara K. Gorman
  • Hospitality Law
  • Hotel Management Agreements and Bankruptcy
  • 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...

OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.