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Hotel Dispute Lawyer: How Pennsylvania Resort Fees Settlements Could Play Out for US Hotel Industry

22 December 2023

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Hotel Dispute Lawyer: How Pennsylvania Resort Fees Settlements Could Play Out for US Hotel Industry

Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

On December 12, 2023, Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer, was a guest on the Hotel News Now podcast where he discussed the effects of mandatory fee disclosure litigation in Pennsylvania on the hotel industry.

Consumer advocacy groups, law firms and federal and state governments have begun to push back on hidden resort fees, which are often not disclosed until customers near the end of the booking process. Resort fees are charged in addition to hotel room rates and can include things like amenity fees and destination charges.

In Pennsylvania, the state’s attorney general reached settlement agreements with Omni Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International and Marriott International over their fee disclosure practices. According to Adams, the main objective in these cases was to ensure full transparency. If a hotel has a mandatory fee, they will have to let customers know upfront.

“I see the impact as being multifaceted,” explained Adams. “One, it’s good for the consumers because you know what you’re buying. Two, I think it’s actually good for the industry.”

He went on to explain that because some of the biggest hotel brands have become compliant with full disclosure, the smaller brands will get on board.

“You will see people that voluntarily comply because they don’t want to be a target,” said Adams.

He also mentioned the recent order signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom. This new law imposes a sweeping ban on pricing goods and services without including all mandatory fees or charges. Adams discusses this law and it’s effects in detail in his recent article, “The Final Check-Out: Bidding Farewell to Undisclosed Mandatory Resort Fees,” published by the Hotel Business Review.

He pointed out the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2022 and the Hotel Fees Transparency Act which are pending in Congress. These bills would prohibit hotels from advertising room rates without including additional mandatory fees and establish federal guidelines for advertising. Adams believes these bills will make their way to President Biden’s desk and that he will sign them when they do.

“I think we are going to see the end of undisclosed mandatory fees,” said Adams. While he is not against resort fees, he believes upfront disclosure will allow consumers to make an informed choice when making a booking.

You can listen to the full podcast episode here.


For more information about Hospitality Dispute Resolution, you can find below some links to selected articles by Mark S. Adams:

Why Judicial Reference is better than Arbitration for resolving Hotel Management Agreements & Hotel Franchise Agreements. Advanced Analysis of Judicial Reference features.

The better way to resolve hotel contract disputes: Judicial Reference or Arbitration? 

What’s best for hospitality contract dispute clauses? Arbitration, court litigation, or judicial reference in hotel management and franchise agreements?

Should New York law govern your hospitality contract? How about Texas, California or Florida law?

Meet Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer – Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

How Pennsylvania Resort Fees Settlements Could Play Out for US Hotel Industry

Disclosing Mandatory Resort Fees – What Hoteliers Need to Know

Force Majeure – Contract provisions and governing law are important

History & origins of Force Majeure as a contract defense

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® announces 5th edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook

Hotel Lawyer on HMAs: “The shrinking terms of hotel management agreements”

Losing the expectation of privacy bit by bit, byte by byte


Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer, is an experienced trial lawyer and a senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. A primary focus of Mark’s practice is devoted to representing clients on hundreds of matters involving Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution – from avoiding litigation to conducting complex, multi-state litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

Mark’s expertise is grounded on business litigation involving contracts, corporate and partnership disputes, and hospitality disputes and litigation. On behalf of hotel and resort owners, Mark has successfully litigated the termination of long-term, no-cut, hotel management agreements, franchise agreements, fiduciary duty issues, investor-owner disputes, TOT assessments, and more. He has wide-ranging trial experience in a variety of commercial disputes, including complex multi-party litigation and class actions. He has tried numerous cases in state courts, federal courts, and in domestic and international arbitrations, and is a frequent author and speaker on trial practice. Mark’s trial wins have been covered by Forbes, Reuters, and other publications. He has obtained two of California’s annual 50 largest jury verdicts in the same year.

Mark has taken or defended nearly 1,000 depositions throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. He has been quoted as an expert on noncompete agreements in the Wall Street Journal. For more information, contact Mark at 949.623.7230 or

Picture of Jim ButlerThis is Jim Butler, author of and founding partner of JMBM and JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. We provide business and legal advice to hotel owners, developers, independent operators and investors. This advice covers critical hotel issues such as hotel purchase, sale, development, financing, franchise, management, ADA, and IP matters. We also have compelling experience in hotel litigation, union avoidance and union negotiations, and cybersecurity & data privacy.

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® has been involved in more than $125 billion of hotel transactions and more than 4,700 hotel properties located around the globe. Contact me at +1-310-201-3526 or to discuss how we can help.

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