Hospitality Law
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...

JUNE: Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?

Emanuel Baudart

Social media opens the doors to conversations about experiences – good or bad. Twitter gives hotel guests the option to air their grievances while Instagram gives them the bragging rights on their best days. Customers are giving out their feedback and it’s up to the industry to take it seriously in how hotels engage with their guests. A guest’s social media is an opportunity for hotels to work better and more efficiently to target and enhance the guest experience. Coupling the data that guests give through social media with the data we have from years of growing AccorHotels, we are focusing on using the right tools to best access the guest. At AccorHotels, we are moving away from the transactional model of hospitality and focusing on building relationships through social engagement and bolstering the benefits of our loyalty program. In order to do both, we’ve invested in building better tools for our hotels to succeed on the promise of hospitality – great service, attention and comfort. Read on...

Wendy Blaney

In a world where almost everything is done digitally, it is important to remember how impactful a two-way conversation can be for consumers interested in booking travel. There is no denying that it has become easier and easier to plan trips online, and purchase products almost instantly – yet there are still many customers who want the personal touch and assurance that they truly understand what it is that they are buying. They want someone to provide direction, answer questions, and give them “insider” information. This is especially true for a dynamic destination like Atlantis where there are an abundance of options. Our guests aren’t just interested in a resort, they are seeking a coveted, catered experience. Read on...

Mustafa Menekse

Though it seems that online travel agencies have been a part of the hotel booking landscape for eons, the reality is that just 25 years ago, brick and mortar travel agencies were the norm. Travelers would visit an agency for trip planning advice, printed brochures, and to speak with actual travel agents to assist in booking airfare, hotel accommodations and rental cars. Travel agencies had the knowledge and information about the destination and, of course, the tools and connections to book hotels and flights to begin with. The support these agencies provided put traveler’s minds at ease, especially for international trips. This was the foundation of why OTAs are in existence. Read on...

Scott Weiler

A guest of a hotel or chain books with an OTA. Terrific for everyone, right? The OTA is grateful for the transaction, and hopes to get a nice share of that customer’s travel bookings for years to come. The hotel is happy to get a (let’s say) first time guest. Sure, they paid a commission for that booking, but the GM and their team is ready to do their stuff. Which is to say – deliver a great stay experience. Now what? Now it’s a battle of the marketers! Read on...

Coming Up In The July Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results
As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it’s spa, fitness, wellness meet guest expectations. Among new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies – like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy – but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.