By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group®
Hospitality Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com
27 May 2009
Hotel Operating Agreement, HOA, Hotel Management Agreement, HMA, Hotel Management Contract, Management Contract. Hotel Operator, Hotel Manager, Hotel Owner. RFP for Hotel Manager. RFP for Hotel Operator, How to get a great hotel operator.
Contracts between hotel owners and managers (or operators) controlling the management of a hotel go by various names. They are called hotel management agreements, HMAs, hotel management contracts or hotel operating agreements. For convenient reference, this article will generally use the term "Hotel Management Agreement" or "HMA." However all these terms can be used interchangeably and mean the same thing, just as with hotel operator or hotel manager.
Whatever they are called, Hotel Management Agreements allocate risk between the hotel manager and the hotel owner. They are critical in determining the profitability and value of a hotel.
Hospitality Lawyer: Fixing hotel management agreements that don't work.
What is one of the nicest acknowledgements of professional accomplishment a hotel lawyer might receive? In my book, being recognized by the New York Times as an expert in a core aspect of my legal and advisory practice is pretty close, and that is what happened yesterday in a Times article by Jonathan D. Glater about the increased friction between hotel owners and operators now erupting into litigation in the case of the Four Seasons Aviara and the Fairmont Turnberry.
As I said in another New York Times quote last month by Martha C. White, we are facing the prospect of hotel bankruptcies and foreclosures reaching levels not seen since the last big downturn of the 1990s.
And indeed, it is in difficult times like these when hotels fail to meet debt service -- or even operating expenses -- that owners and lenders become very frustrated with operators that prefer their own interests to those of the hotel. And that is why Jonathan Glater's article was looking at two high profile emerging battles where owners are standing up to operators and saying, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."
Here's how we see it.