Case Studies

Our clients have one thing in common: they want a personalized approach led by senior advisors with extensive lodging industry experience and knowledge, and a wide network of contacts. With LW Hospitality Advisors, that is exactly what they get.

The case studies below represent a small sampling of assignments led by principals of LW Hospitality Advisors.

Miraval at Natirar Peapack
Gladstone, NJ

Miraval at Natirar Peapack

Gladstone, NJ

Economic Feasibility Study & Appraisal In Connection With The Proposed Miraval At Natirar Peapack – Gladstone, NJ

The Client

Global banking and financial services company

The Mandate

Economic Feasibility Study & Appraisal In Connection With The Proposed Miraval At Natirar, an 86 room luxury resort and spa slated for re-development of a historic mansion formerly owned by the King of Morocco located in Peapack - Gladstone, Somerset County, New Jersey

Located within rolling hills of a 500-acre park, less than an hour from New York City, Miraval at Natirar will mark the next phase of the Natirar resort development project, presently consisting of the award-winning Ninety Acres Culinary Center, which includes a premier culinary education facility as well as Ninety Acres, a celebrated farm-to-table restaurant that sources ingredients from the 12-acre sustainable farm surrounding the Culinary Center, banquet & catering facilities, and a private membership club. When complete, Miraval at Natirar will include a state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot spa, a 10,000 square foot wellness pavilion, a 4,000 square foot yoga center, a spa restaurant featuring Miraval spa cuisine as well as a series of meeting facilities.

The Results

An Economic Feasibility Study & Appraisal was prepared within 21 days of retention.
Detailed analysis and projections of:

  • Private club membership fees and expenses
  • Food and beverage revenues and expenses associated with:
    • Hotel guests
    • Club members
    • Ninety Acres Restaurant
    • Banquets and catered events
  • Spa revenues and expenses associated with:
    • Hotel guests
    • Club members
  • Program revenues and expenses
Taj Boston Hotel
Boston, MA

Taj Boston Hotel

Boston, MA

Highest And Best Use Analysis Of 273 room Taj Boston Hotel

The Client

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces a subsidiary of the India-based Tata Group

The Mandate

Highest and best use analysis that considered options for partial residential and retail conversion of the iconic Taj Boston Hotel formerly known as the Ritz-Carlton Boston

The Results

  • Investment analysis focusing on conversion costs, and alternate profitability scenarios that analyzed various options of partial residential and retail conversion of the existing 273 room hotel
  • LW Hospitality Advisors® collaborated with a prominent Boston real estate expert to conduct the highest and best use analysis
  • Prepared a comprehensive written report summarizing our findings and conclusions within 21 days of retention
The Allerton Hotel
Chicago, IL

The Allerton Hotel

Chicago, IL

Valuation and Expert Witness Testimony In Connection With Bankruptcy of The Allerton Hotel Chicago, IL

The Client

Chicago based Neal Wolf & Associates, LLC representing ALT Hotel LLC, an affiliate of New York based hedge fund Petra Capital Management LLC

The Mandate

Appraisal, litigation support services, and expert witness testimony and in connection with bankruptcy case: ALT Hotel LLC, case number 11-bk-19401, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois

The Results

  • Prepared self-contained appraisal report
  • Subsequently provided litigation support services and expert witness testimony 
  • “I employed Dan Lesser and his team at LW Hospitality Advisors® as my valuation experts in connection with a hotly contested confirmation battle involving a chapter 11 plan of reorganization for a large hotel located on Chicago’s “Gold Coast.” They did a magnificent job preparing strong, highly literate, carefully documented, and well-reasoned appraisal reports. Moreover, Dan’s opinions glowingly passed the most rigorous of litigation “tests.” In both a lengthy deposition, and two full days of direct and cross-examination on the witness stand in bankruptcy court in Chicago, Dan’s expertise, work product, and mettle were tested by a team of some of the best trial lawyers in America. His performance as an expert witness was outstanding. The case settled before the conclusion of trial. I can confidently say, however, that the persuasiveness of Dan’s expert report and the authoritative resonance of his testimony greatly contributed to a very favorable outcome for my client. I look forward to working with Dan and his team in the future.” - Neal L. Wolf, Esq. - Principal - Neal Wolf & Associates, LLC
Four Seasons Hotel and Private Luxury Residences
New York, NY

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Luxury Residences

New York, NY

Hotel Market Study With Financial Projections And Development/Consulting Services In Connection With The Proposed Four Seasons Downtown New York Hotel and Private Luxury Residences

The Client

One of the world’s largest real estate investment management firms and one of New York City's most active and respected real estate development, ownership and management companies

The Mandate

Hotel market study with financial projections and development consulting services in connection with the proposed Four Seasons Downtown New York Hotel and Private Luxury Residences located at 30 Park Place New York, NY  

Designed by the renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the proposed limestone tower will combine a 185-room hotel on the first 21 floors of the 82 story tower with 157 luxury condominiums occupying the remainder of the structure.

The Results

  • A Hotel Market Study with Financial Projections was prepared within 21 days of retention
  • Development/consulting services included:
    • Occupancy and average rate sensitivity analyses
    • Debt/equity investment analyses
    • Economic feasibility sensitivity analyses
Le Méridien Hotel
A Major Canadian City

Le Méridien Hotel

A Major Canadian City

Validation Study And Developer Representation Negotiation Of A Long Term Management Agreement In Connection With A Proposed 300 room Le Méridien Hotel In Canada

The Client

Family Office

The Mandate

Proposed development of a 300 room Le Méridien Hotel and Residences situated at a prime location in a major Canadian city

The Results

  • Performed validation study to determine economic feasibility of the proposed project
  • Provided development consulting services which included review and analysis of management contract term sheet submitted by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. at clients request
  • Negotiated with on behalf of client all business points of a mutually agreed upon hotel management agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
  • Comparing original management contract term sheet with agreed upon deal, LW Hospitality Advisors® achieved $4.7 million in quantifiable savings for client over term of the agreement
  • Unquantifiable value enhancement achieved through provision allowing owner after seven years from opening, to sell the asset free and clear of management encumbrance which if elected, would require a Le Méridien license agreement
  • Recommended specialized Estlegal counsel which client engaged to document terms and conditions of management contract
  • Additional development consulting services included: 
    • working with architect and designer on space programing 
    • acted as liason between development team and the brands design and construction team
    • negotiated brand waivers due to construction constraints 
    • assisted in development of project budget
Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel
East Rutherford, NJ

Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel

East Rutherford, NJ

Operational Restructuring of the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel East Rutherford, NJ

The Client

Major Hotel Company

The Mandate

The 21 story Sheraton Meadowlands a 427 Room Hotel with over 30,000 square feet of meeting space located directly across the street from the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Results

  • Participated in the recruitment and selection of a new management team for all key operating departments
  • Developed and communicated Goals and Objectives to all departmental managers
  • Executed Customer Service Training at all levels of the organization resulting in increased Guest Service Scores and the property receiving Chairman’s Award for 6 out of 8 quarters
  • Implemented Profit & Loss responsibility to department heads, and conducted monthly accountability review meetings
  • Restructured Sales Department to shift focus from SMERF and Tour and Travel to the more profitable corporate and group business, specifically the pharmaceutical industry
  • Applied strict revenue management guidelines to drive rate and occupancy resulting in RevPAR increase from 73% to 101%
  • Executed a Work Order Ticket System for the Engineering Department
  • Property NOI increased from $350,000 to more than $3 million allowing ownership to conduct capital projects and re-invest in the asset
Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Airport & Holiday Inn JFK International Airport
Jamaica, NY & East Elmhurst, NY

Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Airport & Holiday Inn JFK International Airport

Jamaica, NY & East Elmhurst, NY

Preservation of Owners Equity Through A Chapter 11 Filing of Holiday Inn JFK International Airport Jamaica, NY & Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Airport East Elmhurst, NY

The Client

Dilworth Paxson LLP

The Mandate

Two full service hotels, namely the 360 room Holiday Inn JFK International Airport and the 358 room Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Airport were financed via triple tax exempt bonds in the amount of $35 million and $50 million respectively. The bonds were publicly traded and held by various institutional mutual funds. Shortly after September 11, 2001 the properties performance began to falter and by mid 2003 the debt service reserve had been depleted and the properties were on the verge of default. During 2004, the bonds were auctioned and acquired by a conglomerate of hedge funds for roughly 70% of face value.  The new bond holders intended to foreclose on and renovate the assets, with an ultimate goal to sell the properties and achieve significant returns on their investment. Upon the new bond holders having a receiver appointed, ownership defensively filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in an effort to protect its equity in the assets. The bankruptcy case was a highly contested as the new bond holders business plan was to own the properties as opposed to having its debt serviced.

The Results

  • Managed all U.S. Trustee filings and reporting
  • Implemented property cash budgeting, reporting procedures, and proformas
  • Acted as liaison between client, property management, bond holders and the U.S. Trustees Office
  • Provided expert testimony concerning local market conditions and hotel operations
  • Provided rebuttal witness to bond holder expert witnesses
  • Participated in the development of a plan of reorganization which included an auction of the Holiday Inn JFK International Airport
  • “I have used Dan Lesser for many years for valuation analysis in hotel cases. He always provides a timely, well written and well researched work product and is unflappable in the courtroom. I have similar experience with his colleague, Gary Isenberg, in the field of hotel operations. He is very knowledgeable, well prepared and a very polished witness. I want this skill set on my team and always act promptly to get it so that (as happened recently) they don’t show up on the other side of a case.” - Lawrence G. McMichael - Firm Co-Chairman - Dilworth Paxson LLP
Jameson Inns
Southeast and Midwest U.S.

Jameson Inns

Southeast and Midwest U.S.

Desktop Valuation, Litigation Consulting, and Trial Support In Connection With Bankruptcy of Jameson Inns

The Client

A real estate investment trust (REIT) and a commercial real estate specialty finance company that focuses on direct origination and acquisition of whole loans, subordinate interests in whole loans, mezzanine loans, bridge loans, preferred equity, and net lease investments involving commercial properties throughout the United States

The Mandate

Desktop valuation, litigation consulting, and trial support in connection with bankruptcy of Jameson Inns, a chain of 103 hotels located in the Southeast and Midwest U.S.

The Results

  • Desktop valuation of portfolio and individual properties executed within 4 days of retention
  • Subsequent litigation consulting and trial support services were provided
Hampton Inn New York LaGuardia Airport & Hampton Inn JFK International Airport
Jamaica, NY & East Elmhurst, NY

Hampton Inn New York LaGuardia Airport & Hampton Inn JFK International Airport

Jamaica, NY & East Elmhurst, NY

Development Consulting/Advisory Services In Connection With: Proposed 216 room Hampton Inn at JFK International Airport Jamaica, NY & Proposed 220 room Hampton Inn New York-LaGuardia Airport East Elmhurst, NY

The Client

Field Hotel Associates

The Mandate

Development consulting/advisory services in connection with a proposed 13 story 216 room 114,000 square foot Hampton Inn at JFK International Airport Jamaica, NY 

Immediately prior to breaking ground for a Holiday Inn Express, the client was able to secure a license agreement with Hampton Inn, a Hilton Worldwide brand.

The Results

  • LGA: Detailed all significant deviations in NYC building department approved plans as compared to Hilton specifications, and negotiated changes with GC and/or Hilton
  • Led presentation and obtained design approval from Hilton Worldwide
  • Acted as liaison between Hilton Design and Construction, General Contractor, Architect and Interior Designer and managed all brand approval submissions and inspections
  • Managed expeditor and assisted in obtaining all permits and inspection approvals for the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
  • Managed relationship between Hilton, General Contractor, Owners Representative, and Designer
  • Negotiated and managed the purchasing and installation of all FF&E which was accomplished on time and within budget
  • Performed all pre-opening hiring including management
  • Developed and implemented hotel pre-opening marketing campaign
  • Conducted all pre-opening training
  • LGA: The property was completed in less than 12 months of construction and all Hilton modifications were completed within the existing budget
  • LGA: Property achieved 100% RevPAR penetration within the initial 4 months of operations
  • JFK: Negotiated outsourcing of the housekeeping department
  • JFK: Property achieved 100% RevPAR penetration within initial 8 months of operations
  • JFK: Property achieved $2 million of NOI during first year of operation
Home2 Suites by Hilton
A Major U.S. City

Home2 Suites by Hilton

A Major U.S. City

Hotel Brand License RFP, Selection And Negotiation & Management Contract RFP, Selection And Negotiation In Connection With A Proposed 125+ room Home2 Suites by Hilton

The Client

Established commercial and multi-family residential developer with no prior hotel experience

The Mandate

Proposed development of a 125+ room Home2 Suites by Hilton situated at a prime location in a major U.S. city

The Results

  • Prepared an offering document highlighting specifics about the opportunity and submitted to prospective hotel brand and management companies
  • Conducted site and market tours with prospective hotel licensors and operators
  • Each interested hotel company requested to submit key information and date 
  • Prepared matrix summarizing and comparing responses to the RFP, and analyze the advantages and disadvantages as well as financial impact of each proposal
  • Engaged in negotiations with selected licensor and operator regarding the intent and structure of each business point
  • Achieved approximately $500,000 in key money, an extended area of protection, and more than $300,000 in savings via a ramp up in license fees during initial years of operation