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Hotel Lawyers -- featured subjects and articles
Meet the Money® 2014

ADA defense and compliance

EB-5 financing

Workouts, bankruptcies & receiverships

Hotel Management Agreements

Hotel Franchise & License Agreements

Hotel industry trends

This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer. Please contact me at Jim Butler at jbutler@jmbm.com or 310.201.3526.

Published on:

21 June 2018

As the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in California continues to grow, we are also seeing the proliferation of electric vehicle charging stations in the parking areas provided by hotels, theaters, stadiums and hotel mixed-use properties. While owners and managers of these facilities are providing a much-needed service to their guests, many are unaware that – at least in California – if their facility provides electric vehicle charging stations, a certain number of them must be accessible to the disabled.

The regulations and requirements for these accessible charging stations are very specific, and the article below, written by my partner Marty Orlick, gives only a high-level summary of the scoping and technical requirements. This is an area where you really need to talk to the experts.

 

Are Your electric vehicle charging stations “accessible” to disabled guests
under California’s latest regulations?

by
Martin H. Orlick
Chair, JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group

With the surge in popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles, the need to provide Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) is on the rise at hotels, theaters, stadiums, and hotel mixed-use properties. If your EVCS are not accessible to your disabled guests, here is what you need to know.

California’s Regulations for EVCS Accessibility

In California, if your commercial facility provides EVCS for your customers and guests, you must also provide a certain number of EVCS that are accessible.

California’s accessibility regulations for EVCS are in the 2016 California Building Code (CBC), and went into effect on January 1, 2017. The regulations supersede and expand upon California’s little-known “Interim Disabled Access Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” created in 1997.

The CBC accessibility regulations include both scoping requirements (what type of EVCS and how many) and technical requirements (where to locate EVCS, and how to make them accessible).

Scoping Requirements

The number and type of accessible EVCS required is determined by the total number of EVCS at a facility. When new EVCS are added to a site with existing EVCS, the total number of new and existing EVCS is used to determine the number of accessible EVCS.

The table below, provided by the California Division of the State Architect, sets forth these scoping requirements. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

19 June, 2018

Meet the Money® is a productive conference with a casual atmosphere; the executives and other hotel industry representatives who attend often speak candidly about their expectations for hotel finance, development and investment throughout the upcoming year.

The short video below highlights how some of our attendees feel about 2018—watch and find out what some of the industry’s most well-known brands, banks, consultants, mangers and developers have to say about what’s on the horizon.

CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

25 May 2018

The European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation, rules protecting the privacy of personal information, has gone into effect and impacts every company that does business in the EU. This will impact hotel owners, developers, brands, operators and managers–any company with a hotel property in the EU or that collects information from EU citizens must adhere to the new regulations.

What does that mean for your business, and where should you start the process of compliance? Senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Group Bob Braun summarizes the issues, below.

Why should I Care About GDPR?
by
Bob Braun

The importance of May 25, 2018. If you are reading this, you have probably been inundated with emails from companies announcing that they have adopted new and better privacy and security policies and procedures. This isn’t a coincidence – as of May 25, 2018, the EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR), requires every organization that does business in the EU, or that collects information from EU citizens, to guarantee the privacy and accuracy of personal information. While the purpose of the GDPR is to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU, its effect is worldwide; every organization that does business in the European Union or collects personal information from individuals in the European Union is subject to this regulation. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

08 May 2018

Today, at Meet the Money® – National Hotel Finance & Investment Conference, Mike Cahill, co-chairman of the Lodging Industry Investment Council (LIIC) and CEO and Founder of HREC Hospitality Real Estate Counselors, presents the annual LIIC Top Ten.

For more than ten years, LIIC, the industry’s preeminent think tank, has surveyed its members to determine challenges and opportunities for the coming year. LIIC’s members represent the direct acquisition and disposition control of more than $40 billion and include industry investors, lenders, corporate real estate executives, REITs, public hotel companies, brokers, and equity sources.

Here is the 2018 LIIC Top Ten

1. Hotel Real Estate – Floating Forward in a Fluid Market

  • 2018’s survey results indicate “business as usual”
  • Hotel transaction market is fluid; hotels are trading
  • Solid hotel debt availability
  • Private Equity and Listed REITs predicted to dominate the purchase of Upscale to Luxury hotels
  • Small Private Buyers and Regional Owner/Operators predicted to dominate the purchase of Economy to Upper Midscale hotels

2. Trump is Good for Hotel Owners

67% believe Trump’s tax reform bill will positively affect hotel owners

  • 41% citing an increase in GDP growth
  • 28% citing a correlated increase in business travel

Positive outlook on US economy

  • 70% believe the economy will continue to trend upwards in the next 24 months

CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

07 May 2018

LOS ANGELES—Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that hospitality lawyer Jeffrey T. Myers has joined the Firm as a Partner in JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Real Estate Department.

Myers’ practice focuses on the development, financing, acquisition, and operation of hotels, resorts and other hospitality properties. His clients include developers, capital providers, commercial lessors, and tenants. He has assisted clients in a full range of hospitality projects including hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants, nightclubs, condo hotels, and mixed-use properties.

“We are thrilled to have Jeff join our team. He is a talented lawyer who further strengthens our capabilities and brings natural synergies to our group,” said Jim Butler, Chair of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group. “Now Jeff can offer his clients assistance with important specialties such as ADA defense, cybersecurity, labor & employment (including union contract negotiations and union avoidance), land use, and litigation.”

Myers’ experience includes representing a national developer in the negotiation of a series of agreements for the development, management and licensing of a to-be-developed ultraluxury resort and spa in the Papagayo Peninsula region of Costa Rica; representing one of the largest hospitality REITs in the country from its inception through the acquisition, financing and management of a $1 billion portfolio of hotel assets; representing a major institutional developer in its collection of celebrity-chef curated restaurants for the Hudson Yards project in New York; and representing a sovereign investment company in connection with its investment and ownership of the largest privately funded mixed-use development in U.S. history, including all casino and gaming related structuring and licensing, and the negotiation of management and development agreements for each of the hotel and casino components.

CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

Advice from a Proposition 65 Compliance & Defense lawyer for hotels.

For many years, businesses operating in California have been plagued by “bounty hunter” and government lawsuits brought under Proposition 65 — the California law that requires warnings about hazardous substances. The technical disclosure requirements have bedeviled many legitimate businesses for some time. From our continuous interaction with members of the hotel industry, it appears to us that many are not aware of new requirements they must meet by August 30, 2018.

While the new regulations apply generally to all businesses in California, there are particular implications for hotels and restaurants given the nature of their operations. And if you are not in compliance by August 30, 2018, you can probably expect a lawsuit shortly thereafter. We expect these new requirements to stir up a lot of expensive litigation for the unprepared.

In this article, Jodi Smith, a senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®, explains this significant development.

California Proposition 65 Warnings for Hotels
Required by August 30, 2018
by
Proposition 65 Defense Lawyer Jodi Smith

New Prop 65 regulations for hotels going into effect. The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (better known as “Proposition 65” or “Prop 65”) requires companies conducting business in California to warn consumers prior to exposing consumers to specific chemicals that have been identified pursuant to Proposition 65 as being chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm.  The Proposition 65 regulations were substantially revised in August 2016 and the new regulations go into effect on August 30, 2018.  The new warnings can be used now.  Given the complexity of the new warning requirements for hotels, getting a head start would be prudent.

What’s a hotel for Prop 65 purposes? The new regulations require the owner and/or operator of a hotel to determine which of a number of different types of warnings may be required under the new regulations.  “Hotel” is defined broadly to include “any type of transient lodging establishment, including but not limited to, hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, resorts, spas, ski resorts, guest ranches, agricultural “homestays”, tourist homes, condominiums, timeshares, vacation home rentals, and extended stay establishments in which members of the public can obtain transient lodging accommodations.”  (Title 27 California Code of Regulations (CCR) § 25607.32(a))

Warnings required for registration desk or online. The Proposition 65 warning must either (1) be provided on a sign posted at the hotel’s registration desk in no smaller than 22-point type in a location where it will be likely to be seen, read, and understood prior to the completion of the registration or check-in process, or (2) provided to the hotel guest in electronic (directly or via a hyperlink) or hard copy form in the same size type as other consumer information prior to, or during the registration or check-in process.  (27 CCR § 25607.32.(b))  In addition, if written or electronic consumer information is given to hotel guests during the registration or check-in process in any language other than English, the warning must be given in both English and that language.  (27 CCR § 25607.32(c)) CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

18 April 2018

It’s almost May, so our annual Meet the Money® Conference is almost here! JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® will host the 28th year of our national hotel finance and investment conference May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency LAX.

This must-attend event gives you access to plenty of efficient networking and the latest insights into industry trends and strategies.

The industry’s top hotel owners, developers, operators, brands, investors, lenders, and other capital providers come together every year at Meet the Money to share their expertise and explore opportunities. Our friendly environment makes it easy and comfortable to connect and negotiate deals.

We’re proud to have the participation of distinguished and knowledgeable speakers and sponsors from over 70 of the hotel industry’s top capital sources, brands, investors, developers, and consultants.

They’ll be offering their expertise on this year’s panel discussions and special presentations, including: CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

5 March 2018

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the hospitality industry gathered at the JW Marriott LA LIVE to honor industry icon Larry Shupnick, senior vice president of development & acquisitions at Interstate Hotels & Resorts. The sold-out event was the annual fund raiser organized by Cal Poly to benefit The Collins College of Hospitality Management.

Larry-Shupnick-at-Hospitality-Uncorked-3-3-18-

Larry Shupnick

Not to miss an opportunity to share life with his friends, the evening before at a private dinner party, Shupnick celebrated his birthday (it is really May 5, but why be picky), and as guests were getting ready to leave, Larry asked them to stay for a “surprise” wedding to Jo Frank!

Larry-and-Jo-3-3-18-

Larry Shupnick and Jo Frank

“I love this industry, and the opportunities are unlimited in hospitality,” said Shupnick of his time in the industry. “I do not measure my wealth in dollars. My wealth is really my family and friends. That is what is important in life.”

Larry-Jo-and-Jim-at-Hospitality-Uncorked-3-3-18-

Jim Butler, Jo (Frank) Shupnick and Larry Shupnick

Not a bad weekend! Larry celebrated a birthday, wedding, the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award, and honoree at Hospitality Uncorked.

Larry-and-live-auctioneer-2

Larry Shupnick and the live auctioneer

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® was a Leadership Patron for the event, and all join in warmest congratulations to Larry and Jo.


This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer, signing off. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any issues that affect your hotel interests or see how our experience might help you create value and avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Who’s your hotel lawyer?


Picture of Jim ButlerJim Butler is a founder of the JMBM law firm and chairman of its Real Estate Department. He founded and chairs the Firm’s Global Hospitality Group® and its EB-5 Finance Group which provide business and legal advice to owners, developers and investors of commercial real estate, particularly hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas and senior living. This advice covers purchase, sale, development, financing, franchise, management, labor & employment, litigation, ADA, IP, and EB-5 matters for such properties.

Jim is recognized as one of the top hotel lawyers in the world and has led the Global Hospitality Group® in more than $71 billion of hotel transactions and more than 3,800 hotel properties located around the globe.

Jim’s group has advised on more than 100 EB-5 projects, closed more than $1.5 billion of EB-5 financing, and sourced more than half of that for our clients.

Contact Jim at +1-310.201-3526 or JButler@jmbm.com


Hotels we have worked on over the years. Visit our hotel photo gallery to see some of the more than 3,800 properties around the globe that the hotel lawyers of the Global Hospitality Group® have been involved with, on behalf of our clients. For a more comprehensive list of hotels properties and projects we have worked on, see our Credentials.

Published on:

 
26 January 2018

If you are a hotel executive or other highly compensated individual in the hospitality industry, you need to be aware of how the new Tax Act (H.R. 1 – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) might affect your estate plan. In some cases, the impact will be significant. In the brief article below, JMBM’s tax attorneys recommend that you review your existing estate plan to ensure that the Tax Act does not alter your plan’s original intentions. They also point to substantial new planning opportunities provided by the Tax Act, and you will want to be advised of those, as well. What better way to start the new year than by making sure your assets, and your family’s future, are protected?

How the New Tax Act Could Affect Your Estate Plan

President Trump signed into law H.R. 1, which has a major impact on estate planning. The new law doubled the federal exemption for estate tax, gift tax and the tax on generation-skipping transfers (GST), starting January 1, 2018; the lifetime exemption for each of these taxes is now $11.2 million per taxpayer. Married couples together have a total of $22.4 million of lifetime exemption. The exemptions are reduced by lifetime transfers prior to 2018 and are indexed for future inflation. The annual gift tax exclusion amount also increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

The increased gift, estate and GST tax exemptions are not permanent. This part of the Tax Act is scheduled to expire in 2026 and return to the prior exemption amounts ($5.6 million plus inflation after 2018). Changes in control of Congress and the Presidency could also terminate the increased exemptions. While it may make sense for some clients to take advantage of the increased exemptions to engage in additional estate planning, there is also a potential risk that the new exemptions will unintentionally alter existing estate plans, requiring important immediate changes.

As the increased exemptions may significantly skew a client’s existing estate plan, it is important for all clients to review their estate planning documents to make sure they continue to reflect their intentions. Many estate plans for married couples use a formula to divide assets at the first death between a “marital” portion passing to or held in a trust for the surviving spouse and a “bypass” portion intended to bypass the estate of the surviving spouse. The bypass portion may be allocated to a trust for the surviving spouse and/or descendants. It may also be allocated directly to descendants, skipping the surviving spouse entirely, or may provide fewer benefits to the surviving spouse than the marital trust. Similarly, at the second death, the estate plan may have a formula dividing assets, based on the GST exemption, between children and grandchildren.

Depending on the exact language of the document, these divisions may be very different now because of the larger exemptions. For some clients, the new division will be acceptable. For others, it will be important to update the language of their estate planning documents to avoid a sharp reduction in what the surviving spouse receives and what the children and grandchildren receive.

Clients may also want to take advantage of the opportunity to pass larger portions of their wealth to younger family members at minimal tax cost, through lifetime gifts and other traditional wealth transfer techniques.

The estate, gift and GST provisions of the new Tax Act present substantial new planning opportunities. They also have a potentially significant impact on existing estate plans. Clients need to review their existing documents to determine this impact. We are ready to help you with all aspects of this analysis and to advise you on the various available alternatives.

About JMBM’s Taxation, Trusts & Estates Group

JMBM’s Taxation, Trusts & Estates Group is one of the largest and most active groups of its kind within a full-service law firm. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report / Best Law Firms® with a First-Tier ranking in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, our practice focuses on the needs of individuals and families, and their business interests. Our attorneys provide estate planning, wealth transfer planning, trust administration and the resolution of trust disputes. Our tax lawyers understand business concerns, and work closely with colleagues in the Firm’s corporate and real estate groups to ensure the tax efficiency of organizational and transactional decisions.


This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer, signing off. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any issues that affect your hotel interests or see how our experience might help you create value and avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Who’s your hotel lawyer?


Picture of Jim ButlerJim Butler is a founder of the JMBM law firm and chairman of its Real Estate Department. He founded and chairs the Firm’s Global Hospitality Group® and its EB-5 Finance Group which provide business and legal advice to owners, developers and investors of commercial real estate, particularly hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas and senior living. This advice covers purchase, sale, development, financing, franchise, management, labor & employment, litigation, ADA, IP, and EB-5 matters for such properties.

Jim is recognized as one of the top hotel lawyers in the world and has led the Global Hospitality Group® in more than $71 billion of hotel transactions and more than 3,800 hotel properties located around the globe. They have helped clients with more than 1,000 hotel management agreements, 1,000 hotel franchise agreements and more than 100 hotel mixed-use projects.

JMBM’s EB-5 Finance Group has advised on more than 100 EB-5 projects, closed more than $1.5 billion of EB-5 financing, and sourced more than half of that for our clients. EB-5 Investors Magazine named Jim one of the top 25 EB-5 lawyers in the United States, and Jim serves on the Public Policy Committee of the IIUSA, the EB-5 industry’s trade group for regional centers.

Contact Jim at +1-310-201-3526 or JButler@jmbm.com


Hotels we have worked on over the years. Visit our hotel photo gallery to see some of the more than 3,800 properties around the globe that the hotel lawyers of the Global Hospitality Group® have been involved with, on behalf of our clients. For a more comprehensive list of hotels properties and projects we have worked on, see our Credentials.

Published on:

 
22 January 2018

Protecting guests’ information (and employees’ information) from hackers is one of the biggest business challenges faced by hotel owners today. Data breaches can result in loss of reputation and loss of revenue, and can trigger costly lawsuits and government investigations.

In his earlier article, Not Just Heads in Beds – Cybersecurity for Hotel Owners, my partner Robert Braun reminds hotel owners that they are generally required to indemnify brands and managers for costs incurred, which could include the cost of a data breach. Now, in his article below, he discusses why hotel data breaches are prevalent and what owners need to do to create a secure data environment for the properties they own.

Cyberattacks on Hotels — What Should Hotel Owners and Operators Do?
by
Robert E. Braun, Hotel Lawyer

This article was originally published by Hotel Business Review and is reprinted with permission from www.hotelexecutive.com.

Almost as soon as there were data breaches, hotels became a prime target of hackers, and the hospitality industry has consistently been one of the most commonly targeted businesses. Since 2010, hotel properties ranging from major multinational corporations to single location hotels have been impacted.

The recent report that Hyatt Hotels was a victim for the second time in as many years has raised more concerns about the industry’s ability to address cybersecurity. While consumers are so used to receiving breach notices that “breach fatigue” has set in, the second successful attack on Hyatt is sure to raise the eyebrows of regulators, plaintiffs’ lawyers, and guests. The data breach will affect the loyalty, trust and consumer perception of all Hyatt Hotels guests. So how can hotels prove to guests that they are safe and trustworthy?

“While the company claims that it has implemented additional security measures to strengthen the security of its systems, no explanation was given as to why these additional measures were not implemented after the first attack,” said Robert Cattanach of Dorsey & Whitney. “Estimates of actual harm have yet to be provided, which is typically the weak spot of any attempted class action, but the liability exposure seems problematic regardless.”

Hyatt is in no way alone. On November 2, 2017, the BBC reported that Hilton was fined $700,000 for “mishandling” two data breaches in 2014 and 2015. The attorneys general of New York and Vermont said Hilton took too long to inform their guests about the breaches and the hotels “lacked adequate security measures.” Hilton discovered the first of the two breaches in February 2015 and the second in July 2015, according to the article, but the company only went public with the breaches in November 2015. The company has said there is no evidence any of the data accessed was stolen, but the attorneys general said the tools used in the data breaches made it impossible to determine what was done.   Read More

 

Bob BraunBob Braun is a Senior Member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Group. Bob has more than 20 years experience in representing hotel owners and developers in their contracts, relationships and disputes with hotel managers, licensors, franchisors and brands, and has negotiated hundreds of hotel management and franchise agreements. His practice includes experience with virtually every significant hotel brand and manager.

Bob also advises clients on condo hotel securities issues and many transactional matters, including entity formation, financing, and joint ventures, and works with companies on their data technology, privacy and security matters. These include software licensing, cloud computing, e-commerce, data processing and outsourcing agreements for the hospitality industry.

In addition, Bob is a frequent lecturer as an expert in technology, privacy and data security issues, and is one of only two attorneys in the 2015 listing of SuperLawyers to be recognized for expertise in Information Technology. Bob is on the Advisory Board of the Information Systems Security Association, Los Angeles chapter, and a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Contact Bob Braun at 310.785.5331 or rbraun@jmbm.com.


This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer, signing off. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any issues or development that affect your hotel interests. We would like to see if our experience might help you create value or avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Who’s your hotel lawyer?


Picture of Jim ButlerJim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM and JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® which provides business and legal advice to hotel owners, developers and investors. This advice covers hotel purchase, sale, development, financing, franchise, management, labor & employment, litigation, ADA, IP, EB-5 matters any many other areas.

Jim is recognized as one of the top hotel lawyers in the world and has led the Global Hospitality Group® in more than $71 billion of hotel transactions and more than 3,800 hotel properties located around the globe.

Jim’s group has advised on more than 100 EB-5 projects, closed more than $1.5 billion of EB-5 financing, and sourced more than half of that for our clients.

Contact Jim at +1-310.201-3526 or JButler@jmbm.com