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Las Vegas hotel mixed-use development — Waldorf=Astoria Residences

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20 October 2006
Yesterday, I said that hotel mixed-use developers should pay attention to two breaking news items. One was Barry Sternlicht’s “1” Hotel and Residences. The other is Hilton’s plans announced October 18, 2006 to add Waldorf=Astoria branded Residences to the top of the Conrad Hotel Las Vegas. Both of these announcements emphasize the importance of brands in the hotel industry and creation of two high end brands by industry power houses in two very different ways. Sternlicht is creating a fresh, new eco-friendly brand from scratch. Hilton is seeking to build its brand from the base of an internationally recognized icon.

But beyond all that, why is this significant?

Hilton’s announcement of Waldorf=Astoria Residences

While most of us are familiar with the original Waldorf=Astoria hotel on Park Avenue in mid town Manhattan, Hilton only decided to make “Waldorf=Astoria” a brand early this year, and has aggressively been rolling it out, with 3 luxury resorts now under management a new development project announced for Orlando, and a number of negotiations under way.

The latest announcement represents further tangible progress in turning a landmark hotel into a serious brand. These are the first Waldorf=Astoria Residences other than those in the Waldorf Towers — part of the original Waldorf=Astoria complex in New York.

It also makes a significant hotel mixed-use project out of the $825 million Las Vegas project. It will now feature a Conrad hotel with 216 traditional hotel rooms on floors 11-20, 696 condo hotel rooms on floors 21-49, and now 76 Waldorf=Astoria Residences on the top 10 floors. The project is being developed by Majestic Resorts on a site on Las Vegas Boulevard and is scheduled to open in 2009.

Why is this significant?

Aside from the implications noted above, why is this significant?

It is a continuing reaffirmation of the ever-growing importance and vitality of hotel-enhanced mixed-use. It continues the strong theme of creating lifestyle environments that will appeal to targeted demographic segments of the market, not unlike the developments we have discussed earlier. See my earlier postings on the lifestyle, hotel-enhanced mixed use projects involving Andre Agassi and Shaquille O’Neal, Paul Allen and Donald Trump.

It shows one more astute industry player joining the trend to use hotels as only one component of an integrated project. These are not hotels simply plopped down next to other real estate uses (or shuffled into a vertical stack). The key is integration — making each of the parts enhance and contribute to the value, excitement and success of the other components.

This is exactly what “Hotel-Enhanced Mixed-Use” is all about. If properly researched, conceived, planned and executed, hotels can be a critical and INTEGRAL part of many mixed use projects with shopping centers, retail, office, residential, entertainment and more. Expect a flow of these projects to turn into a torrent, with new, innovative and unique appeal to broader constituencies.

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