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Hotel Lawyer: Hotel financing takes center stage at Meet the Money®, the Gateway to Hotel Finance

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2 April 2008
Capital Providers to Meet Consumers of Capital in Las Vegas, May 6-8, 2008.
For more information, see What an ironic paradox! There is such an abundance of capital seeking hotel investment. And at the same time, more hotel owners are frustrated in their efforts to find that very capital. Why can’t the two find one another? Because the capital market “machinery” that used to match up the hotel lenders and equity sources with borrowers, is broken — or at least “out of service” for an undetermined time.

Who’s making hotel loans today?

In the past few months I have received more than the usual number of inquiries from hotel owners and developers asking, “Is anyone still making hotel loans?” And of course the second question is “Who is providing capital for hotel development and hotel refinancings in this market?”
While the hotel lawyers at JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® have always sought to facilitate the flow of capital, we received far fewer of these calls over the last couple of years. Frankly, until very recently, most hotel investors could find their own capital fairly easily in a hyper-efficient market.

An alternative when the usual channels of finance are clogged

But as CMBS markets have virtually collapsed, and the credit markets have tightened, it has become markedly more difficult to find debt and equity financing for hotel deals. And that is why this year’s Meet the Money® is more important to the industry than ever.

JMBM’s 18th Annual Meet the Money® conference — sponsored by JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® — is the best place in the industry to be to meet the players, to find out what kinds deals they are doing, and to put yourself in the flow of business. Better yet, you can do this in 2-1/2 intensive and focused days. Everybody comes to this conference for one reason, and the name says it all — to “Meet the Money®.”

Looking for hotel finance connection — where lenders and borrowers meet.

Meet the Money® has turned 18 and moved to Las Vegas.

For those that have attended Meet the Money® for the past 17 years, you will notice that the 18th annual conference provides something new: a Las Vegas venue (The Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa) and a 2 1/2-day format.

Considered to be the “Gateway to Hotel Finance,” connecting providers and consumers of debt and equity capital for hotel deals, the event will bring together hundreds of hotel financing experts, hotel developers, and hospitality insiders to learn about the nuances of today’s market, find out who is open for business and for what kinds of projects, to forge new relationships and re-establish ones that have been on the back burner.

What does it take to get financing to buy, refinance or develop a hotel or hotel mixed-use project today?

All I can say is that I have grilled our speaker candidates for Meet the Money®, and we have a lot of financing sources that are unequivocal — they have a lot of money and they want to put it to work. They are active NOW. And they are coming to Meet the Money® to let the industry know just what it takes to do business with them, and to find the right borrowers or investment opportunities.

Don’t miss THE event that brings the entire capital stack together.

The opening session of the Conference will provide a comprehensive “State of the Industry” with feature presentations by Bobby Bowers, Smith Travel Research; Mark Woodworth, PKF Consulting; Suzanne Mellen, HVS; and Daniel H. Lesser, CBRE. This year’s Meet the Money® is the place where:

• Developers and owners find capital solutions
• Capital meets serious investment opportunities
• Value gets created, deals are struck, and solutions are uncovered

Kicking off with a welcome reception on the evening of May 6th, the conference’s two-day, all-inclusive program will offer informative panels entitled, “Alternative Strategies for Troubled Times, Survival Strategies, Workouts & Opportunistic Investments”; “Who’s Funding Now?” and “How Independent Operators and Boutiques Create Value,” just to name a few.
Come join us! It will be informative and entertaining — and you may just walk away with new contacts, new information, or a new deal in your pocket.

For more information about the conference, to register or learn how to become a Meet the Money® sponsor or exhibitor, please be sure to visit or contact Kathy Lubecki at 310-785-6707 or at
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. In the last 5 years alone, Jim and his team have assisted clients with more than 100 hotel mixed-use projects, all of which have involved at least some residential, and many have also involved significant spa, restaurant, retail, office, sports, and entertainment components — frequently integrated with energizing lifestyle elements.

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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