Monthly Archives: November 2016

News Heavlin Management Company Adds The Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel To Management Portfolio

a full-service hospitality management and consulting company, today announced it has signed an agreement and assumed management of the four-story, 259 guest room Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. Located adjacent to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, HMC, which also manages the Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport and the Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport, now manages over 51% of full-service hotel rooms (781 rooms) in the Phoenix Airport Submarket.

“The company has been incredibly successful over the past 18 months growing its management portfolio and providing strategic operations improvement plans at our properties to elevate guest experience and owner value,” said Frank Heavlin, president of Heavlin Management Company. “The addition of the Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel brings our portfolio to 7 properties, 550 employees and 1,208 guest rooms, in Arizona and Alaska. We are proud to offer superior management and guest experience representing prestigious brands as Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton and Holiday Inn & Suites and Choice.”

HMC has announced top-level appointments for the Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel including Sally Shaffer as General Manager. Most recently, Shaffer was General Manager at the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country where she held the positions of Board Chair for Visit Santa Rosa and Vice President of Sonoma County Lodging Association. She is returning to Phoenix where she was prior to California and where she held senior executive management positions at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge and the JW Marriott Camelback.

Twenty-year hospitality veteran Lynn Flosi joins as Director of Sales & Marketing. Flosi most recently served as Director of Sales & Marketing for the Crowne Plaza Airport North Hotel, where she played a critical role in the Crowne brand naming this property the Crowne ‘Newcomer of the Year’ based on guest satisfaction. She also was honored as HSMAI’s Hospitality Professional of the Year in 2014.

Hammad Akbar joins as Director of Food and Beverage. An award-winning manager and 21-year industry veteran, Akbar most recently was the Food & Beverage Director at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort.

Other property leadership promotions and assignments include:

  • John Carpenter, previously human resources for the Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport North, joins as Director of Human Resources
  • Ron Lindblad extends his long-standing career with Hilton Hotels and joins the Hilton Phoenix Airport as Director of Rooms
  • Jason Fisk appointed Chief Engineer
  • Crystal Bensema appointed Controller

The Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel underwent an extensive $8 Million renovation in 2015, upgrading all areas of the property to maintain its status as a leading hotel in the South Airport market. An additional $750,000 property improvement plan is scheduled to add modern conveniences and upgrades to the restaurant, bar and other common areas as well as parking lot improvements. The hotel features over 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting/convention space including an amphitheater ideal for presentations. It also has a full service restaurant with room service, great hotel bar and happy hour, and outdoor pool and meeting areas. Beyond traditional airport business, the Hilton captures strong market and significant occupancy demand with 50 Million sq. ft. of neighboring office/industrial space and surrounding corporate clients.

About Heavlin Management Company

Heavlin Management Company, LLC (HMC) is an award winning, privately held hospitality management company with over 40 years of leadership and operational experience in repositioning underperforming hotels and distressed assets. In partnership with hotel owners, developers, investor and lenders, HMC offers results-driven improvement plans that yield cost reductions and rate growth while maintaining top quality standards. Founded by Frank Heavlin, HMC is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona and has an impressive portfolio in Arizona and Alaska operating brands as Choice, Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton and Holiday Inn & Suites. The company currently manages 7 hotels valued at $57 Million and 1,208 guest rooms. HMC was listed as Hotel Management’s 2016 Top Third-Party Management Company.

Now Opens Aloft Austin Northwest Hotel

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced the opening of Aloft Austin Northwest, the second Aloft in Austin. Owned by Pure Lodging Hospitality and managed by Lodgic Hospitality, Aloft Austin Northwest features 130 spacious loft-style rooms, 1,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and live music at W XYZ Bar.

“We are thrilled to expand the Aloft brand’s footprint in the vibrant city of Austin and expect that this vibrant new hotel will soon emerge as a popular choice among travelers due to its distinctive sense of style, innovative programming and buzzing social scene,” said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands. “Designed to meet to the needs of today’s hyper-connected global traveler, Aloft is now in over 100 dynamic destinations worldwide.”

Aloft Austin Northwest is just steps from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Lakeline Mall, and close to the Lakeline station on Capital MetroRail, where visitors can catch a ride to the shops, restaurants and nightclubs of downtown Austin. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin offers an impressive array of live jazz, blues, rock and roll and country music performances and Aloft adds to this with their dynamic live music programming called Live At Aloft Hotels, the signature ongoing music series with live, intimate, acoustic performances and backstage moments by some of the hottest emerging artists at Aloft’s W XYZ Bar. The hotel is also close to numerous high-tech companies including Dell, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM and Oracle and 25 miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

“Aloft Austin Northwest is a superb addition to this fast-growing high-tech hub,” said Andy Patel, Asset Manager, Lodgic Hospitality. “Visitors to Austin will appreciate the leading-edge design and tech-forward atmosphere offered by Aloft Hotels.”

Aloft Austin Northwest features SPG Keyless — the industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key—and fast and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Additional amenities include a Splash indoor pool, a Re:charge(SM) fitness center; Re:fuel(SM) by Aloft – a one-stop gourmet grab & go food and beverage area; and live, local music at the brand’s signature W XYZ bar as part of the signature Live At Aloft Hotels music series.

ADA Defense Lawyer on Hotel Mixed Use to Tenants Not Liable for Common Areas

Hotel mixed-use projects have proliferated over the past decade or two — projects that combine a hotel with retail, residential, entertainment, office and other uses. In recent years, many of these projects combine hotel and shopping center elements. We are big fans of hotel mixed-use.

Over the years, we have written about the numerous advantages that accrue to both hotels and shopping centers, when hotels are added to the right shopping or retail center.  One study showed that the right hotel can boost gross sales at shopping centers 20% – 40% — and hotels can get 30% – 40% RevPAR advantage over hotels in their competitive set.

But those of you with these hotel in mixed-use projects with shopping centers or other retail elements know that mixed-use projects inject numerous additional legal and business issues that hoteliers usually don’t deal with in stand-alone hotel projects. One such critical issue is that of “common areas.”

In the article below, my partner, Marty Orlick, writes about one aspect of common area liability that you may have overlooked in defense to ADA violations. Of course, the ultimate analysis will depend on the precise facts of the situation at hand and the structure of the hotel’s participation in the mixed-use project – particularly whether or not the hotel is owned in fee or is a tenant in the project.

How many judges does it take to rule that shopping center tenants are not liable for ADA violations in common areas? – By Marty Orlick

First published in the October 2015 issue of the California State Bar’s Real Property Law Section E-Bulletin

Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) “to provide clear, strong consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities” in employment, public accommodations, transportation and federal, state and local government services. 42 U.S.C.§12101(b)(2). Title III of the ADA applies to public accommodations including shopping centers, theaters, arenas, restaurants, health clubs, hotels, banks, public space in office buildings, and nearly every manner of retail premises. Virtually every leased location which serves the general public and is engaged in commerce is subject to the accessibility requirements of the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (“ADAAG”) were developed in the early 1990s by the Access Board and implemented by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the federal agency responsible for enforcing the ADA. The ADAAG Standards were amended effective March 15, 2012.

The DOJ has been actively investigating national retailers for ADA compliance. In addition to voluntary compliance and federal enforcement, the ADA contemplates that private litigants will enforce ADA compliance. To that end, federal court filings demonstrate that since 2000, more than 20,000 ADA private lawsuits have been filed in the federal courts. Over 8,000 ADA lawsuits have been filed in California’s federal district courts during this time period. From September 2012 through December 2013, 627 federal cases, 2,078 state cases and 342 demand letters were submitted to the California Commission on Disability Access. See 2013 Annual Report to the California State Legislative in Compliance with Government Code Sections 8299.07(a) and 8299.08(d). The overwhelming majority of these ADA lawsuits and compliance demands involved owners and tenants of leased properties.

Section 28 C.F.R. 36.201 provides that both the landlord who owns the building that houses a place of public accommodation and the tenant who operates the business in the building are jointly and severally liable to the disabled plaintiff. That section further provides that the landlord and tenant may allocate in their lease “responsibility” for complying with the ADA. In Botosan v. Paul McNally Real Estate, 216 F.3d 827 (9th Cir. 2000), the Court of Appeals held that the “ADA imposes concurrent obligations on landlords and tenants, and that a landlord, as an owner of the property, should be liable for ADA compliance even on property leased to, and controlled by, a tenant.” See id. at 832–34. ADA lawsuits typically name both the property owner and the tenant, making clear and careful drafting of Compliance with Laws, Alterations and Indemnification lease clauses all the more important.

Case in point: Kohler v. Bed Bath & Beyond of Cal., LLC, 780 F.3d 1260 (9th Cir. 2015).

In an opinion published March 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case of far-reaching importance to landlords and retail tenants. The Court affirmed a lower court decision that the nation’s leading housewares retailer was not liable for alleged violations of the ADA within its store or in a portion of the common area parking lot in front of its store. Plaintiff sued a regional shopping center owner and a principal tenant for alleged ADA violations within the store and the shopping center’s common areas generally serving the store. We successfully moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the tenant’s lease conveyed to the tenant a non-exclusive right to use the shopping center’s common parking facilities. The lease gave the landlord complete control over the common areas, and required the landlord to maintain same in a first class condition. The plaintiff argued that the tenant controlled the common area parking, evidenced by the fact that the tenant paid into a common maintenance fund. In granting Defendant’s summary judgment motion, the trial court rejected the plaintiff’s arguments and dismissed the case. Plaintiff appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which, 3 years later, held that the ADA does not impose “upon tenants liability for ADA violations that occur in those areas exclusively under the control of the landlord.”

What this means for landlords and tenants is that there should be fewer lawsuits against shopping center tenants for violations of the ADA that occur in common areas. Nor can landlords expect to pass liability for ADA violations in common areas to their tenants. After Kohler, it is unlikely that cases alleging ADA violations in shopping center common areas will be filed against retailers. However, careful lease drafting is essential to clearly identify who is responsible for ADA Compliance.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hotels Huntsville Village of Providence Opens in Alabama

Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) Hampton by Hilton brand this week announced the opening of its newest property, Hampton Inn by Hilton Huntsville/Village of Providence. The 92-room hotel joins the family of Hampton by Hilton and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton. Located at 328 Providence Main Street, the new hotel is managed by Kana Hotel Group.

Business travelers staying at Hampton Inn by Hilton Huntsville/Village of Providence will appreciate the close proximity to local business offices including Boeing, Toyota and Redstone Arsenal. The hotel is also near area attractions such as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville Botanical Gardens, the University of Alabama at Huntsville and Alabama A&M University.

“Our new opening is a great addition to the Village of Providence area of Huntsville,” said Edyta Hall, general manager. “Whether travelers come to town for business or leisure, the staff and I are ready to greet them with friendly service to ensure a memorable stay in our city.”

The hotel provides guests a fresh start to each day with On the House hot breakfast, which includes eggs, sausage or bacon, oatmeal, waffles and seasonal offerings such as eggnog muffins and peppermint mocha coffee creamer. In addition, the hotel provides Hampton’s On the RunTMBreakfast Bags filled with a multi-grain bar, an apple, an artisan breakfast bread loaf and a bottle of water with a flavor packet for those guests on the go, available Monday through Friday.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Huntsville/Village of Providence offers amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business center with complimentary printing and an indoor heated saltwater pool. Each guestroom includes high-quality amenities, including the brand’s signature Clean and fresh Hampton bed®, microwave, mini-refrigerator, HDTV and coffeemaker.

Designed as an extension of the guestroom with a variety of seating and lighting options for both leisure and business travelers, the new hotel features the Perfect Mix Lobby. Within the lobby guests can find our Suite Shop, a food and beverage shop filled with snacks, toiletries, local merchandise and drinks for purchase, and local restaurant, Taco Mama, an authentic Mexican Cantina. Hampton by Hilton hotels are infused with local photography and artwork, highlighting each property’s connection and support to its own community.