Hospitality Law

Arizona Hospitality Attorney

Jennings Strouss has represented a wide variety of hospitality industry clients, from national hotel chains and ski resorts to timeshare properties and restaurateurs. The attorneys in our hospitality practice understand the industry and are able to provide practical advice to clients in litigation disputes, business transactions or business reorganization. We understand our clients' business operations and competitive nature as well as their business goals.

We have relationships with industry leaders, service providers, and trade association executives that can provide valuable connections for our clients. Our experience involves both domestic properties as well as international properties, primarily in Mexico. The various cities and regions of Mexico where we have handled hospitality work include Mexico City, Cancún, Cozumel, the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Colima, Sonora, Sinaloa, Guerrero, and Nuevo León.

Our transactional attorneys have handled hotel and golf course site acquisitions, purchase and sale (both shares and assets) for hotels and restaurants, hotel management agreements, project development, including financing, product structuring (clubs, master and sub condominium regimes for master planned development, timeshare and fractional ownership), including government permits and authorizations. We have also negotiated joint ventures with property owners and financial partners, documented millions in loans for banking clients, assisted restaurants in obtaining investment capital, and undertaken extensive income tax structuring work.

Our litigation experience has encompassed a broad range of issues of concern to the hospitality industry. We have represented both owners and management companies in matters involving charges of mismanagement, poor financial performance, wrongful termination and unfair competition, tenant improvement issues, liquor license issues, as well as accounting disputes, insurance disputes, construction matters, tax disputes and other management agreement disputes.

Our business restructuring & reorganization attorneys have handled Chapter 11 reorganizations and workouts, including confirmation of multiple and complex plans for several hotels involving sizeable financial assets and real estate holdings.

One of our attorneys was outside General Counsel for Best Western International, Inc. for many years. In that capacity he and others at the firm drafted and created the International Affiliation Agreement, which brought in foreign hotels through an organization those hotels formed in each country. He was also responsible for the creation of membership agreements, rules and regulation, bylaws, trademark infringement litigation, compliance of the company with the franchise laws of each state, policies for risk analysis and liability mitigation/elimination, contracts, personnel matters and suits by employees. He also monitored liability litigation and coordinated with insurance carrier attorneys.

Representative Engagements

Transactions

  • Purchase, sale, joint venture and development of hotel projects valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Represented a local, historic restaurant in the sale of the business in 2009
  • Handled corporate and tax law issues for franchisees of a large Arizona-based restaurant chain
  • Prepared master development agreement, ground lease and hotel operating agreement for a developer of a hotel/conference center in Nevada
  • Represented lender, which had approximately $1 billion in the resort, golf course and hotel industry, as well as $1 billion in the franchise finance industry (mostly restaurants). Assisted in all aspects of the transactions, including documentation, collection, forbearances, foreclosure, and operation of the companies or properties after foreclosure
  • Documented $5 million loan to quick-casual restaurant franchisee in Arizona on behalf of a bank
  • Handled partner disputes, tax and accounting issues, and general legal issues for local Arizona restaurant
  • Represented all the franchisees of Ramada Inn during the sale/merger of the company
  • Successful confirmation of numerous plans of reorganization for hotels

Litigation

  • Represented a restaurant manager in litigation against his former restaurant chain
  • Represented resort in Sedona, Arizona in an employment discrimination suit
  • Represented a restaurant in a dispute with the landlord regarding collapsed sewer lines
  • Handled judicial declaration for restaurant regarding the covenants and restrictions in the shopping center where the restaurant is located
  • Represented franchisees in franchise disputes regarding a sports bar and a fast food restaurant
  • Represented Arizona ski resort in their use of reclaimed water for snowmaking purposes