Hospitality Law
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...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




{300x250.media}
Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.