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Hotels Hit With Loyalty Program Patent Demand Letters

A number of hotels in Texas and around the U.S. are receiving alleged patent infringement demand letters related to hotel loyalty (rewards) programs. The demand letters were created by the organization “JBSHBM, LLC.,” and relate to allegations that a hotel is violating JBSHBM’s patent rights by participating in hotel brand loyalty programs. See a sample ...
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Local Hotelier Launches Hospitality Management Firm

Jan. 4, 2016, Victoria, BC – Suzanne Gatrell has launched her new hospitality management company, Kingsbridge Management Ltd., and announced her first client, Victoria, BC’s Oswego Hotel.  Effectively immediately, Gatrell takes over the full management contract of a hotel she has been overseeing as general manager for seven years. Prior to joining the Oswego, Gatrell ...
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Where Does Hotel Industry Joint Employment Liability End?

A big issue facing hotel owners is who is the employer—is it the owner or the manager, the franchisor or the franchisee, the client or the contractor? Who has the liability for employment claims? Many hotel owners today are real estate investment trusts, private funds, insurance companies and other institutional owners, which muddies dividing lines, ...
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Key Issues in Hotel Sales and Acquisitions

Buying and selling hotels is, in many ways, similar to buying and selling other types of commercial real estate, such as office buildings, shopping centers, or other mixed-use properties. However, potential purchasers and sellers of hotels must understand the key differences and unique issues that arise in a hotel sale or acquisition. This Note discusses: ...
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Is Your Hotel Security Staff Exposing You to Liability?

BY DAVID M. SAMUELS, ALICIA O’BRIEN Are you a hotel owner and/or operator who employs a private security staff? If so, do not let administrative inattention threaten your business. Take a few key steps to reduce your potential liability. California regulations effective since 2011 require that all hoteliers employing their own security guards must be ...
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New IRS Safe Harbors for Publicly-Financed Properties Help Hotel Industry

The IRS recently issued new guidance on safe harbor provisions in management contracts for publicly-owned, bond-financed properties. These safe harbor provisions affect a variety of real estate assets including hotels and other privately managed public properties. On August 22, 2016, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2016-44, which provides new guidance on safe harbor provisions for management ...
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Reading the Fine Print: Changes in Legal Framework for the Assessment and Display of Service Charges

by Ruth Walters Service charges, administrative charges, surcharges, house fees—whatever you call those charges assessed for food and beverage service in restaurants and in hotels—the rules about how they need to be disclosed to guests and how they must be allocated are propagating. More and more cities, municipalities and other local legal bodies are taking ...
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Social Media Policies Help Limit Liability

A thorough policy helps define what your employees can and can’t say about the company on social channels. As a hotel executive, imagine that one of the managers you oversee shares that an employee is disparaging you and the company on Twitter. You jump online to find a member of your staff posted the following ...
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Firearms Law Issues in the Hospitality Industry

I. INTRODUCTION The focus of this paper is specifically on the federal and statewide gun regulations which affect the hospitality industry. Citizens and entities are subject to the authority of both the state and federal governments, and therefore subject to all federal and state laws. A. Federal Law. The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment ...
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