Daniel H. Lesser
Co-Founder, President, CEO
Daniel H. Lesser has more than forty years of specialized experience worldwide in hospitality related: real estate appraisals, economic feasibility evaluations, investment counseling, asset management, receivership, and transactional services of hotels, resorts, conference centers, casinos, mixed-use facilities, spa & wellness properties, and timeshare/fractional ownership properties.
Mr. Lesser offers a 360-degree, cross-functional and multi-disciplinary lodging industry perspective. Proffering innovation and strategy, Mr. Lesser serves as a third-party advisor and independent expert witness, neutral arbitrator, business model canvasser, asset manager, property/business receiver, and as a principal investor, borrower, guarantor, and franchisee. Mr. Lesser provides services to corporate, institutional, municipalities, and individual clients on all facets of hospitality real estate including site evaluation, highest and best use analysis, appraisals for mortgage, acquisition and portfolio management, workout strategies, operational analysis, property tax assessment appeal evaluations, economic impact studies, market and feasibility analysis, strategic planning, management and/or franchise company selection and contract negotiation, deal structuring, and fairness opinions. Mr. Lesser has served as a Court Appointed Receiver in connection with dozens of hotels throughout the U.S.
An international authority and thought leader with ironclad credibility on the topic of hotel feasibility and property valuation, Mr. Lesser has served as an expert witness under oath through depositions and testimony in court and arbitration hearings in U.S. federal and state courts, and domestic and international arbitrations in connection with a wide variety of matters including bankruptcy, solvency, valuation analysis, interest rate and plan confirmation feasibility, brand area of protection, condemnation, construction defect and/or delay damages, ground/property rent reset, management dispute, partnership/joint venture conflict, property tax certiorari, and lodging industry standards, customs, and practices to evaluate legal liability.
Mr. Lesser always bases his opinion(s) and/or conclusion(s) on thorough research conducted with an objective perspective. Furthermore, rather than limiting his litigation-related engagements to one type of stakeholder, he has been retained by counsel to hotel owners, lenders, investors, and management companies, thus enhancing his credibility with finders of fact. Mr. Lesser has balanced his practice with service as a neutral panelist in commercial arbitration disputes.
Prior to his hospitality advisory experience, Mr. Lesser held operational and administrative positions with Hilton Hotels Corporation and Eurotels-Switzerland. He is highly sought after to speak at lodging and real estate events, as well as lectures at prestigious institutions of higher education, including American University Washington College of Law, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, and Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Lesser is widely published and quoted in major newspaper, internet, business, real estate, and hospitality industry periodicals, and has or currently serves as a columnist for HotelNewsNow.com, HotelBusiness.com, GlobeSt.com, and Hotelsmag.com.
Mr. Lesser earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and attended the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne Switzerland, and Baruch College – City University of New York. Mr. Lesser holds the following professional designations: MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute), FRICS (Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), CRE (Counselor of Real Estate), and CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator). Mr. Lesser is a Certified Part 36 Judiciary Receiver in the State of New York.
Mr. Lesser is a member of and/or has served on numerous committees for the Counselors of Real Estate, the Appraisal Institute, the American Hotel & Motel Association, and the Board of Directors of the New York City Chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society. He is a former Advisory Board member and member of the Fundraising Subcommittee for the New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. Mr. Lesser is an advisory board member of Mosaic Real Estate Investors, LLC and 1st Service Solutions, Inc. He is a member of The Penn State School of Hospitality Management Industry Advisory Board and served as the school’s Fall 2015 Walter J. Conti Visiting Professor. Mr. Lesser is a founding member of the Lodging Industry Investment Council (LIIC), the hotel industry “think tank.” He is a member of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Panel of Neutrals. Mr. Lesser is an advisory board member of the annual Radical Innovation Award. He served as an Honorary Committee Member of the annual UJA-Federation New York Hotel & Hospitality Division Dinner and was a founding member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Real Estate Division. Mr. Lesser has served on the fundraising committee for the Shatterproof Challenge at the 2016 through 2022 Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS). Mr. Lesser serves on the Board of Directors and as a Senior Advisor to the Founder and President of The MirYam Institute, a U.S. based, non-profit NGO with official 501(c)(3) status.