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In Memoriam: Jerry Merkin

17 November 2017

We are saddened to learn of the death of Jerry Merkin, former publisher of Hotel Management and a well-known and admired industry leader. Jerry’s long career in hospitality helped shaped the industry and the careers of those who had the good fortune to get to know him. We will miss him.

The Merkin family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Information about Jerry’s life, career, and donations are available in the news release, below.

Hotel Industry Icon Publisher, Jerry Merkin, Passes Away at 85

New York, NY, November 17, 2017—Hotel industry publisher Jerry Merkin, an industry icon for more than four decades, passed away at 85 earlier this week following an extended illness. He is survived by his children, Joan and David.

Merkin spent his entire career in publishing, most of which was covering the hotel industry, first as publisher of Hotel & Motel Management, now Hotel Management, and in 1992 as founder/publisher of Hotel Business. Both publications continue to be industry leaders. He is a recipient of the Lodging Conference Above and Beyond Award.

“In 1989, Jerry was one of the first to join the newly formed board of directors of AAHOA,” said Mike Leven, retired president of Las Vegas Sands and founding father of AAHOA. “He was a champion of human rights and contributed mightily to the successful effort to free so many from discrimination and injustice. His life was a model to be admired and honored.”

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and colleague Jerry Merkin,” said Steven Belmonte, CEO, Vimana Franchise Systems, LLC. “Our industry has truly lost one of the good ones. I can sum up Jerry in three simple words… kind, gentle, and honorable. I will always remember Jerry walking around the various hotel conference floors with a giant stack of Hotel Business magazines under his arm. I remember I advertised in his very first issue. I don’t believe that magazine would be here today if it weren’t for Jerry, his passion, and his love of the industry. I have known him for over 25 years and I never saw him do anything that wasn’t good, helpful and meaningful.”

“After his family, hotels were Jerry’s life,” said Stacy Silver, president of Silver Hospitality Group and former publisher of Hotel Business. “He was a true mentor to me and shared his passion for the industry and news on a daily basis. He taught me that selling is not a business, but an art and our job was to understand a client’s needs and help them be successful. If you were able to do that, then they will want to do business with you and that is true success. He will be greatly missed.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made by check payable to New York University, indicating that the donation is in Mr. Merkin’s honor. Please mail checks to:

Reshma Persaud
In honor of Jerry Merkin
New York University
Office of University Development
25 West Fourth Street, Room 334
New York, NY 10012


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