Hospitality and Resort Property
Our Hospitality and Resort Property Group provides a full range of legal services to businesses involved in the travel and tourism industries, including developers, owners, operators, lenders and ground lessors of hotels, resort condominiums, vacation ownership projects and subdivisions, condominium and homeowner associations and their managing agents, and land and ocean activity providers and restaurants. The firm has been involved in some capacity in many, if not most, of Hawai`i’s major hotel and resort developments. We have also represented numerous visitor industry businesses ranging from activity providers to restaurants, as well as major Hawai`i based tourism-related trade groups.
We have represented clients in the development of luxury and other resort hotels, condominium/hotels and subdivisions located on vacant property or property committed to other uses in resort areas throughout the State of Hawai`i. Such development requires specialized knowledge of land use and zoning matters (including shoreline and coastal zone management laws such as special management area permits and shoreline setback variances, appearances before the State Land Use Commission, the Board of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the counties’ Planning Commissions and Board of Appeals); creation of easements and reciprocal easement agreements; resort association covenants, conditions and restrictions; ground leases; environmental laws; title insurance; surveys; and construction financing and loan documentation. We have obtained governmental approvals for hotel construction and operations ranging from development permits to liquor licenses, created private utility systems, and negotiated pre-opening and technical services agreements, development agreements, hotel and condominium management agreements, construction and design contracts, and retail space leases. The firm has expertise in issues related to historic sites, including burial sites, and rights of native tenants or gathering rights which affect many undeveloped properties.
Sale, Purchase and Financing
We have represented sellers, buyers, lenders, and operators in connection with the sale and purchase of hotel, condominium and resort subdivision properties in transactions ranging from international luxury hotels to individual time share intervals. We have drafted and negotiated hotel sale and purchase agreements, construction loan and other financing documents, loan sale and purchase agreements, exchange agreements, and management transition agreements. We are experienced in condominium, subdivision and time share registrations with the State of Hawai`i. We have completed federal interstate land sales registrations and obtained exemption orders and advisory opinions from state and federal agencies.
We have negotiated hotel, condominium and resort subdivision management agreements and have provided advice concerning compliance with brokerage, condominium, subdivision and time share/vacation ownership, and land use and zoning laws; construction and design contracts; employment relations; employment laws (such as plant closing, employee benefit, and anti-discrimination laws); the Americans With Disabilities Act; and tax, liquor licensing and dramshop, environmental and a host of other laws.
Real Property Tax Appeals
The firm’s real property tax appeal practice has resulted in significant tax refunds to clients who own or manage hotels and condominium properties.
Attorneys in our Hospitality and Resort Property group coordinate services from the firm’s numerous specialties when required. In doing so, we can efficiently address every aspect related to the hospitality industry, some of which are listed below:
We assist clients with international, federal and state trade name and trademark registration and licensing and provide advice on the entire array of intellectual property laws.
We advise clients on state and federal tax issues (including Hawai`i excise and transient accommodation taxes, tax credits and foreign investment reporting and tax laws).
We assist clients with mergers, acquisitions, business registration and licensing, formation of limited liability companies and other entities, and other corporate matters.
Employment Law and Labor Relations
We advise clients on employment and labor law matters generally.
Commercial and Real Estate Litigation
We handle all litigation and arbitration matters, including those related to hotels and resort properties. Our attorneys have handled some of the major Hawai`i cases in this area ranging from hotel management agreement disputes, hotel ground lease negotiations, governmental takings, vested rights and entitlement issues to routine contract and tort claims.