Conference Confronts Legal Issues

In an increasingly litigious business environment, it's important for hotel owners and operators to keep tabs on the latest trends in hotel law. They'll get a chance on Feb. 11-13 as hosts its 6th annual Hospitality Law Conference in Houston.

This year's event, which promises to bring together hundreds of hotel company and private practice lawyers as well as hospitality entrepreneurs and GMs, has several new features, says conference founder and President Stephen Barth.

“We've added two half-day pre-conference workshops,” says Barth. “One is specifically for in-house counsel; the other will look at the myriad of legal issues involved in hospitality real estate, including land acquisition, property development, equity structure and more.”

The primary conference will feature breakout sessions in five topic areas: food & beverage; lodging; human resources & labor relations; safety, security & risk management; and international law. The lodging track will have two sessions dealing specifically with management contract issues, including the complexities of mixed-use management contracts. Other topics in the track include resort liability issues and best practices in negotiating contracts with Internet sellers.

According to Barth, the lodging industry has a number of important legal issues on the front burner, including union activity, immigration, liability and more.

“Lodging real estate is particularly complicated these days,” says Barth, “what with the condo hotel bust and the rise of mixed-use developments.”

Other key industry legal issues Barth cites include alcohol and f&b liability, spa and resort activities, franchising and increasing tensions between hotels and meeting planners. The Hospitality Law Conference will deal with these and other important topics.

For more information on the Hospitality Law Conference, go to

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