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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
310.299.5500

Showing 31 posts in Hotels and Resorts.

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Hoteliers Taking Aim at Airbnb

No doubt, Airbnb has found its way prominently onto the radar screens of those occupying the hospitality space. But the question remains: how much of a threat is the short-term rental platform to hotels and resorts? (Read More)

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Dmitriy Shironosov © 123RF.com

Arbitration Agreements: Do Yours Include All Necessary Carve Outs?

Attention employers, including those of you in the hospitality space. The California Supreme Court issued a ruling within the last week significantly impacting your ability to arbitrate certain disputes with employees. Consequently, if you have entered into any stand-alone arbitration agreements with employees or employment contracts with arbitration provisions – or should you plan on doing so going forward – read on. (Read More)

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Short-Term Rentals Fight Flares Up Nationwide

In recent months, cities across the nation have been implementing legislation aimed at regulating and restricting short-term rentals. The affected companies, namely Airbnb, have responded with lawsuits. The dispute has played out differently depending on which city and statute is at issue, but one thing is quite certain: the degree and extent of restrictions ultimately placed on short-term rentals, particularly in larger cities, will have a considerable impact on the hospitality industry. (Read More)

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Hotel News Update: Amicable Resolution Reached in High-Profile Litigation Over Management Agreement

Marriott International, Inc. ("Marriott") and Eden Roc, LLLP ("Eden Roc"), the owner of the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, have jointly announced an amicable resolution of their ongoing litigation concerning the hotel. Under the terms of the agreement, Eden Roc will pay Marriott $10 million now and $11 million five years from now (among other contingent payments) according to a joint statement from the companies. This brings to a close one of the more high-profile hotel owner-operator disputes in recent years. (Read More)

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Hans-Jörg Nisch © 123RF.com

No Relief in Sight: Ninth Circuit Refuses to Block LA Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance

Unfortunately for Los Angeles hotel owners, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s refusal to block the Los Angeles Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance (Hotel Ordinance) which, among other things, raises the City’s hourly minimum wage for hotel workers to $15.37.  The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel affirms a May 2015 decision to deny preliminary injunctive relief to hotel industry groups American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). The groups appealed to the Ninth Circuit, claiming that the ordinance interferes with labor—management relations and is thus pre-empted by federal labor law. For hotel properties that have been clamoring to comply with this union-backed ordinance since its passage in 2014, this decision deals a further blow to their business model, and means that full legal compliance is now an absolute necessity. (Read More)

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Significant Drop-Off in California Hotel Investments: Why, and What Lies Ahead?

There has been a significant drop off in hotel investments and acquisitions in 2016 as compared to 2015 levels. 2015 was an exceptionally strong year in terms of hotel investment volume, as California experienced a record year by almost any measure. However, as with most sales trends, there has been a regression to the mean. Closer inspection of the current hotel market and the availability of capital reveals a few of the reasons for this shift. (Read More)

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Omni Accuses Vacation Rental Site of Trademark Infringement

Omni Hotels Management Corp. (Omni) has recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against HomeAway.com Inc. (HomeAway), in the Northern District of Texas. HomeAway operates multiple websites that offer vacation home rentals, some of which are located on or near Omni’s properties. HomeAway allows users of its vacation rental network to advertise their own homes as vacation rentals, and Omni alleges that 29 listings improperly mention its California and Florida resort properties using its registered trademarks. Omni seeks a portion of HomeAway’s profits, as well as damages caused by the infringement and the removal of the listings in question. Online vacation rentals are a booming industry, and the outcome of this case promises to affect how rental companies monitor and approve third-party content. (Read More)

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scanrail © 123RF.com

Jury Awards Erin Andrews $55 million in Invasion of Privacy Case . . . a First of its Kind

A Nashville, Tennessee Jury has awarded sportscaster Erin Andrews $55 million in her civil lawsuit related to the secret recording and distribution of a nude video filmed during her stay at a Marriott hotel. The jury found operator Windsor Capital 49 percent at fault and stalker Michael David Barrett 51 percent at fault. It also found that Windsor was the agent of owner West End Hotel Partners. After only a few hours of deliberation following a two-week trial, the jury found the hotel operators negligent for failing to protect the privacy of the sportscaster when she was a guest. (Read More)

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Sound and Savvy Operational Solutions to Offsetting the Increased Minimum Hotel Wage

Article originally appeared in HALA Newsletter

In the last issue, we discussed the Los Angeles City Council’s approval of a Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance, which required establishments with at least 300 guest rooms to raise their minimum wage to $15.37 by July 1, 2015. Those with 150-300 rooms have until July 1, 2016, to comply, and only hotels that demonstrate severe prospective financial hardships will be exempt.

In order to mitigate the impact of the increased wage, hotels should consider evaluating their operations to find ways to offset these costs. The following are some ways that establishments can take a sound and savvy approach to operational issues in order to keep their bottom lines intact: (Read more)

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Southern California Cities Following LA’s Lead by Increasing Minimum Wages

Article originally appeared in HALA Newsletter

Championed by union organizers, last year the Los Angeles City Council’s Economic Development Committee gave final approval to increase the minimum wage to $15.37 per hour for hotels with 300 or more rooms by July 1st, 2015, and for hotels with 125 or more rooms by July 1st, 2016.

California’s minimum wage is $9 per hour, increasing to $10 on January 1, 2016. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage from $9 per hour to $10.50 an hour beginning in 2016. The rate will then jump to $12 in 2017; $13.25 in 2018; $14.25 in 2019; and $15 by 2020, taking place on the first of July each year. (Read more)