Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cairns

J.Thomas Cairns

Attorney, Steckbauer Weinhart, LLP

J. Thomas Cairns advises and represents real estate developers, investors, lenders, brokers, landlords and tenants in sophisticated transactions and high stakes litigation. In over 30 years of practice, he has been developers' counsel on more than 50 major projects, including shopping centers, office and industrial parks, mixed use projects, hotels, condominiums and apartments, handling all aspects of property acquisitions, financing, entitlements, subdivisions, construction, sales and leasing. He has represented both borrowers and lenders in dozens of multimillion dollar financing transactions and has negotiated and documented hundreds of commercial leases. He became a licensed California Real Estate Broker in 1979. In addition, Mr. Cairns represents hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and tour operators. For more than a decade, he acted as outside General Counsel to the world's largest chain of student travel agencies. In 1997, he was inducted into the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys and has served two terms on that organization's Board of Directors. Mr. Cairns' approach to litigation is to seek early, practical and economical resolutions for his clients. Where early resolution cannot be achieved, however, Mr. Cairns can call upon his skills as a veteran trial lawyer, having acted as lead counsel in over 60 bench trials and 14 jury trials to verdict in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. Mr. Cairns believes that his transactional and litigation practices complement one another and that his deep understanding of substantive real estate law gives his clients an advantage in the courtroom against generic litigators, while his experience with how things actually shake out in court helps him to better advise transactional clients on how to avoid pitfalls that may lead them into trouble.

Mr. Cairns can be contacted at 213-229-2868 or jcairns@swesq.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.