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Overview

The hospitality and tourism industries have undergone immense changes and continue to evolve in response to market pressures and globalization. Full-service hotels are facing competition from limited service product, brand extensions and international players. Airline and travel business failures, travel deficits, fluctuating travel budgets and security issues fill the media and significantly impact the industry.

Our Hospitality & Tourism Group understands how these challenges affect your operations and your legal needs. We advise and represent clients in all areas of hospitality and tourism, including:

Hospitality businesses and stakeholders – Hotels; resorts; tennis, badminton and golf clubs; marinas; restaurants; casinos; owners; hotel and resort management entities; brand entities and franchisors; franchisees; lenders; and investors.

Travel-related businesses – Travel operators (inbound, outbound, adventure and specialty), airlines, and travel service providers.

Clients benefit from our industry experience and legal relationships across Canada and other places your business may take you. When necessary, we draw on the strength of our firm’s other practice areas. Services include advising on and implementing:

  • Corporate structuring
  • Real estate and leasing
  • Construction and Development;
  • Insurance and professional liability issues
  • Tax (income, sales, goods & services, harmonized, cross-border, goodwill and valuation issues)
  • Permitting and licensing
  • Labour, employment and human rights matters
  • Business immigration
  • Technology and Intellectual property
  • Competition
  • Franchising
  • Environmental policies and management systems and other risk assessments
  • Financing matters for lenders and borrowers
  • REITS, income trusts and mutual fund trusts, as well as wind-ups and the consequent acquisitions and sales

Experience

Experience

Some of our experience includes:

Acquiring and Organizing a Hospitality Platform

  • Reorganizing a large hospitality portfolio from all legal perspectives, including corporate, governance, tax, competition, labour, employment, real estate and intellectual property and follow-on investments
  • Structuring and implementing hotel management and leasing agreements
  • Analyzing relationships between hotel owners, operators, landlords, lessees and investors from operational, health and safety and environmental risk management perspectives; developing environmental policies; and collaborating on technical environmental management systems
  • Acting, generally, for a hotel brand
  • Acting for individual hotels relating to real estate, management, labour, employment, immigration, human rights, workers compensation, and occupational health and safety issues, as well as general litigation and commercial advice
  • Acted for a boutique hotel management and operating company in negotiating the terms of its management agreement with hotel owner
  • Advising a hospitality platform on all tax matters relating to the acquisition, disposition, operation and leasing of hotel and related properties (including marinas, golf courses, restaurants)

Financing

  • Advising lenders to hotel operators and negotiating financing arrangements for lenders and borrowers
  • Acting for a lender in the financing of a significant hotel, golf course, convention centre and multi-family and single family development
  • Advising a lender on the security required on the sale and installation of ski lifts
  • Acting for a lender on financing of cross-country ski operations on government-owned land and security of government tenures

Dealing with Liquor Licence Matters

  • Assisting a large hotel group in its relations with regulators
  • Advising clients (restaurants, pubs, hotels, etc.), generally, on liquor licensing issues

Hotel and Resort Development, Construction and Marketing

  • Advising on the structuring and development and marketing of strata title hotels, including advising on rental pooling agreements among owners of strata lots
  • Acted for hotel owners and developers on redevelopment options
  • Advised developers of condominium hotels, quarter interest resorts and resort condominiums
  • Advise sellers of resort properties
  • Advise strata marina on Strata Property Act Issues and other matters
  • Advised developers of private executive retreats
  • Advised international tour operator on real estate issues
  • Advised on real estate issues of international airline consortium
  • Advised developers and marketers of domestic and international resort properties in Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Hawaii

Airlines and Suppliers

  • Advising several airlines on their Canadian operations, labour and employment, and permitting and licensing
  • Advising airline caterers and operators of duty-free stores at airports
  • Advising, generally, a large association of airlines
  • Assisting in the purchasing, sales and financing of aircraft (including hovercraft) and facilities

Incorporating or Importing Foreign Travel Entities into Canada

  • Acting for an international travel retailer and wholesaler, including legally establishing them in Canada, licensing them to sell travel services and insurance products, continuing to service their corporate and commercial, real estate and leasing needs, trademark and providing employment and immigration advice

General Advice to Travel/Tourism Entities

  • Historically, acting for the Association of Canadian Travel Agents BC/Yukon (ACTA), including providing a legal hotline for their members for over several years whereby their members could access employment law advice quickly and cost-effectively
  • Acting for a full-service tourism company offering tours between Asia and Canada, including legally establishing the company in Canada, continuing to service their corporate and commercial needs, and routinely providing labour, employment and immigration advice

Food and Beverage

  • Advised franchisors and franchisees of restaurant chains
  • Acting, generally, for restaurants and multi-brand restaurant chains
  • Acting for the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association, including providing a legal hotline for their members for over five years whereby their members could access employment law advice quickly and cost-effectively (now handled internally)

Casinos, Clubs and Other Related Experiences

  • Advised a casino trust on redevelopment issues
  • Advised operator of youth camps with respect to redevelopment and expansion proposals
  • Advising Fitness Center operator on leasing and operating issues
  • Acting as lead counsel on the purchase of an abandoned mining town
  • Assisting in the acquisition of a winery in British Columbia
  • Advised a client on potential acquisition of major theatrical facility
  • Advised on the sale, purchase and operation of several golf course facilities
  • Acting for numerous established, premier private clubs in the Vancouver area, generally, including tennis, badminton and golf clubs and the issues that are unique to them
  • Acting on the operation, sale and subsequent purchase of the Douglas Lake Ranch near Merritt, B.C., the largest privately owned working ranch (complete with a village) in Canada

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