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Hospitality Lawyer: Condo Hotels — Program Design is Key

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13 September 2006
Each condo hotel program has specific needs and considerations — there is no “one size fits all” situation. The design and allocations have to be designed for each project particularly as they become larger and more complex.

We quickly found out that the early revenue splitting formulas (e.g. 60% to the hotel and 40% to the unit owner) were really clumsy efforts to cover expenses that couldn’t really be allocated to either the hotel or the unit owner. Where hotel guests and unit owners both use the service, which should pay for its maintenance and benefit from its revenue?

Not only do we work with each developer to tailor design the condo hotel revenue and expense allocation for each project — but for each component in the project. Who should pay for security? For the spa? For the parking lot? The allocations must be fair to the condo unit buyers, but must also assure sufficient cash flow to cover hotel operating costs.

When the allocations have been worked out, they must be implemented throughout all the condo hotel documents: the CC&Rs, HOA documents, HOA management agreement, unit maintenance agreement, shared facilities agreement, the hotel management agreement and unit rental agreements. Everything has to be spelled out and it all has to work together.

Our Perspective. We represent developers, owners and lenders. We have helped our clients as business and legal advisors on more than $125 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 4,700 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 $87 billion of hotel transactional experience, involving more than 3,900 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

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