Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Industry
Our Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Industry practice provides practical solutions to the diverse areas of law and the specific legal challenges that operators in the industry face every day. The types of businesses we serve include Mixed-use Resorts, Hotels, Condominiums, Timeshares, Restaurants, Bars, Golf courses, Water parks, Tour operators, and Franchises.
We actively participate in hospitality industry organizations including the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) the Hospitality Industry Bar Association (HIBA), and the American Hospitality & Lodging Association (AH&LA).
Through our level of skill and depth of experience, we provide our clients in the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant industry with the multidisciplinary legal services necessary to offer practical solutions to their legal challenges, including those in the following areas:
- Acquisitions and Dispositions
- Alcoholic Beverage Licensing
- Financing and Restructuring
- Franchise Law
- Hotel Management and Operation
- Labor and Employment
WHERE WE EXCEL
Acquisitions and Dispositions
We represent both buyers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of hotels, resorts, restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry. Our work includes project due diligence, analysis of applicable zoning, title and land use, review and advice on franchise and management agreements, structuring, documenting and negotiating the purchase and sale of the property, financing of the asset being acquired, and understanding and advising on the effect of various laws, concessions and governmental regulations governing the property.
Alcoholic Beverage Licensing
We have substantial experience in matters involving alcoholic beverage licensing law, including locating and obtaining new alcoholic beverage or liquor permits, licenses and certificates for businesses and employees; preparing new applications, transfer applications and renewal applications for alcoholic beverage permits or liquor licenses; assisting with an organization’s compliance with the alcoholic beverage laws and regulations; and drafting and negotiating contracts necessary to buy and sell hotels, restaurants (and other businesses) holding alcoholic beverage permits or liquor licenses.
From ground-up construction to PIP renovation, we have experience in representing developers and contractors, including the particularities of construction-related issues specific to hotels.
We have reviewed and negotiated numerous AIA and design-build construction, and we regularly counsel clients on selection of architects and contractors; use of construction managers and owner representatives; use of design-bid, design-build, fixed-price contracts, or cost-plus with guaranteed maximum price contracts; and working with franchisors to develop realistic milestones and submittal procedures, including use of the “mockup” hotel guestrooms.
Mixed-Use, Fractional, and Timeshare Developments
We have been fortunate to work with clients involved in both domestic and foreign mixed-use resort developments, including those employing traditional and novel ownership and assessment structures, sustainable community developments, and shared facilities use and cost allocations. Our work has involved structuring and preparing the association and community governance documents that establish and govern the resort or residential development, including master declarations, condominium declarations, reciprocal easement agreements, shared facilities and cost sharing agreements, and the formation of owners associations that manage and govern the community. We have prepared reservation, escrow and purchase and sale agreements, sales and marketing agreements and the registration of residential product for offer and sale in target jurisdictions under federal and state laws.
We have counseled owners, developers, lenders, hotel companies, along with marketing, management and exchange companies in connection with our experience in fractional and timeshare developments. We have assisted clients in developing deeded single-site properties and points-based multisite vacation clubs, “fee for service” or asset-light sales and marketing transactions, and provided advice on the regulatory aspects of the business.
Financing and Restructuring
We possess a depth of knowledge in a variety of financial transaction issues, including the negotiation and documentation of construction and permanent loans, equipment leasing and financing, and real-estate based lending.
The challenges of the recent economic downturn resulted in our development and documentation of new and creative solutions to troubled industry projects on behalf of owners, developers, investors, franchisees and lenders. Our work in this sector includes creative financing and restructuring, note purchases, receivership and bankruptcy sales, deeds-in-lieu and foreclosure sales, and advice to lenders and borrowers in various positions in the capital stack.
We understand the business needs of franchisors and franchisees and how to manage that dynamic relationship as well as the unique considerations that come into play in dealer and distribution systems. We have successfully represented franchisors and franchisees in connection with franchise development and disclosure document preparation; franchise registrations and regulatory filings; and franchise agreement negotiation. We have experience in reviewing and negotiating franchise agreements with national and international operators and brands such as Choice, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental and Starwood.
Hotel Management and Operation
We are well-versed in the varied issues involved in the preparation and negotiation of hotel management agreements. We have experience in representing hotel owners, brand managers, third-party independent managers, and hotel companies, and have reviewed and negotiated management agreements with national and international operators and brands such as Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental and Starwood. We have structured management programs for operators and reviewed management in light of industry litigation and renegotiation driven by recent case law. We counsel clients on all aspects of hotel operations, including formulating and implementing revenue management strategies and the negotiation of group, meeting and other sales contracts, procurement agreements, property level contracts, agreements and leases.
Labor and Employment
Hotels, resorts, restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry are labor intensive assets. We advise clients on a number of labor and employment issues including the preparation and negotiation of employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, and employee handbooks.
Where necessary, we engage federal labor lawyers outside of our firm who only handle federal labor law matters, to counsel our clients on the WARN Act; Federal wage and hour matters, including how to prevent and defend overtime claims; age, race and other discrimination claims.