Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Morgen

Catherine E. Morgen

Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Catherine E. Morgen is a Partner in the firm's Commercial Real Estate Development and Finance and Hospitality Practices. Ms. Morgen concentrates her practice on the representation of real estate clients, with an emphasis on the hospitality industry.

Ms. Morgen has significant experience representing developers, owners and managers of hotel properties in effecting acquisitions, dispositions and mergers, developing their properties, negotiating hotel management agreements, franchise agreements and technical services agreements, arranging financing, and leasing. She regularly works with all of the major hotel brands and third-party operators for all hotel asset classes.

Ms. Morgen also represents institutional real estate lenders, borrowers and investors, including financial institutions, REITs and pension fund advisors. She specializes in a variety of financing transactions including permanent and construction financing, multi-state collateral pools for revolving credit facilities and mortgage loan servicing.

In addition, Ms. Morgen has written and spoken on a variety of real estate matters including CFIUS in hospitality transactions, easements, development and leasing.

Ms. Morgen is also the chair of the firm's Women's Initiative.

Representative Experience:

- Represented client in the acquisition, financing, rebranding and extensive renovation of historic hotels and resorts, including the oceanfront Cliff House Maine located on 70 acres atop Bald Head Cliff in Ogunquit, Maine, The Adolphus, a 100-plus-year-old iconic downtown Dallas hotel, and the Seelbach Hilton, a well-known historic hotel in Memphis that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

- Represented hotel owner in $142 million acquisition and related financing of a 5-hotel, 1,396-room portfolio of Marriott branded select-service and extended stay hotels located in Florida, Georgia and New Jersey from a large public REIT, including the assumption of three existing management agreements with Marriott.

- Represented client in its joint venture with a large institutional investment fund to acquire a 282-room Marriott in Atlanta, Georgia, and a 226-room Hilton Suites in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, MMM represented the joint venture in obtaining financing for the acquisition and the planned major renovation program for each hotel to upgrade property exteriors, public space, back-of-house areas and guest rooms.

- Represented international hotel owner/manager in $300 million sale of a majority partnership interest with retention of long-term management rights for luxury hotels in Chicago, IL and Miami, FL and $450 million portfolio sale of 13 hotel properties in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean; negotiation of associated long-term management agreements.


Please visit http://www..mmmlaw.com for more information.

Ms. Morgen can be contacted at +1 404-504-7745 or cmorgen@mmmlaw.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.