Published on:

Hotel Lawyer: Making the World Ready for Agassi Resorts

Author of
26 September 2006
Yesterday, we noted how Shaquille O’Neal is jumping into a $1 billion joint venture on a hotel-enhanced mixed-use project in Miami. Now it looks like Andre Agassi is looking for a new kind of grand slam.

At the beginning of September, Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, announced that they had finalized a deal to develop a luxury, mountain, all-season resort project, Fairmont Tamarack, at Tamarack Resort in Donnelly Idaho. The project is another example of a hotel-enhanced mixed-use project with hotel, residences, resort and spa. Agassi and Graf will be involved as investors, but also in the development, design and overall lifestyle offering.

On September 24, 2006, Howard Fendrich, AP Sports Writer, reported that three weeks after closing his 21-year career as a professional tennis player with more than 8 grand slam championships, Agassi is teaming up with Exclusive Resorts–owned by former AOL founder Steve Case–which is one of the leading luxury residence clubs.

Agassi will help identify and develop new properties for Exclusive Resorts. And in extending the lifestyle offering concept, Case said that Agassi-Graf Tennis and Fitness Centers will be built at a number of the Exclusive Resorts sites.

Hotel-enhanced mixed-use, particularly for lifestyle experience, is on a roll. And those of us at JMBM who devoted thousands of hours working through the complex business and legal issues that made condo hotels a viable hospitality product couldn’t be happier! Without the new technology we developed for structuring condo hotels, these new lifestyle resorts and mixed-use projects with hotel components would not be practical because they could not be properly “integrated.” Lifestyle resorts and lifestyle villages are just a part of the “next generation” of hotel mixed-use. Legal and business challenges will always accompany creative and visionary projects. (That’s why good projects need good hotel lawyers!) But the underlying foundation for building projects like Shaq’s project in Miami and Agassi’s project in Idaho has already been built and can support the weight of their projects. Visions like theirs – and those of many other developers and investors – have allowed this hotel lawyer the opportunity to participate in the development of this exciting hospitality trend. I’m enjoying the ride and ready for more!

Our Perspective. We represent developers, owners and lenders. We have helped our clients as business and legal advisors on more than $50 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,000 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at or 310.201.3526.

Jim Butler is one of the top hotel lawyers in the world. GOOGLE “hotel lawyer” or “hotel mixed-use” or “condo hotel lawyer” and you will see why.

Jim devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, representing hotel owners, developers and lenders. Jim leads JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® – a team of 50 seasoned professionals with more than $50 billion of hotel transactional experience, involving more than 1,000 properties located around the globe.

Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them. They are a major gateway of hotel finance, facilitating the flow of capital with their legal skill, hospitality industry knowledge and ability to find the right “fit” for all parts of the capital stack. Because they are part of the very fabric of the hotel industry, they are able to help clients identify key business goals, assemble the right team, strategize the approach to optimize value and then get the deal done.

Jim is frequently quoted as an expert on hotel issues by national and industry publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, and Hotel Business. A frequent author and speaker, Jim’s books, articles and many expert panel presentations cover topics reflecting his practice, including hotel and hotel-mixed use investment and development, negotiating, re-negotiating or terminating hotel management agreements, acquisition and sale of hospitality properties, hotel finance, complex joint venture and entity structure matters, workouts, as well as many operating and strategic issues.

Jim Butler is a Founding Partner of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP and he is Chairman of the firm’s Global Hospitality Group®. If you would like to discuss any hospitality or condo hotel matters, Jim would like to hear from you. Contact him at or 310.201.3526. For his views on current industry issues, visit