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Pandemic Is Particularly Inhospitable to the Hospitality Industry

JCR Guest Editor

This issue of the Journal of Corporate Renewal focuses on hospitality, which unquestionably was one of the hardest hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. With almost no warning during early March 2020, hospitality owners, lenders, management companies, and investors were hit with an unprecedented contraction of revenue that reverberated among all stakeholders. Each stakeholder has been forced to navigate a new reality that has called for patience, ingenuity, and sometimes drastic actions to keep properties afloat while searching for a light at the end of the tunnel.

This issue contains five excellent articles written by experts who provide unique insight into issues that have arisen, developing trends, and new solutions cultivated to address the impacts of the pandemic. These articles contain an unbelievable wealth of information and, as the guest editor, I appreciate the hard work put in behind the scenes to bring this content to our TMA members.

Jay Patel, principal at JMS Family Office, has been entrenched as a principal investor in the hospitality sector for many years. His article sheds light on how the pandemic has caused issues for owners, the hotel labor force, lenders, bank regulators, and investors across the country. It concludes with a summary of the road ahead and what to expect from lenders as travel begins to rebound.

Deborah Friedland is a managing director at EisnerAmper and leads the hospitality consulting group. Her article provides 10 clear-cut strategies that any owner/operator can utilize to preserve value and ensure their investments remain viable. This open playbook offers a fantastic step-by-step checklist of what all owners should focus on moving forward.

William Meyers and Brian Ehrlich of Taurus Capital Partners have been immersed in the hotel sector for more than two decades. Their article provides valuable information on how special servicers are utilizing restructuring strategies to preserve value until occupancy rates begin to normalize again. They also cover how some owners are completely transforming properties by thinking outside the box to meet a post-pandemic world. For first movers employing these strategies, the rewards can be numerous.

Kumar Singla of Sherwood Partners wrote a fascinating piece about the short-term rental market and its relationship to traditional hotels. Short-term rentals are usually furnished apartments or condos that rent for periods of time ranging from a few days to a month or even a few months. Many of the dominant companies in this niche experienced a meteoric rise prior to the pandemic, but as travel came to a standstill, insolvency followed. This article examines the entire sector and provides a detailed look into how the short-term rental market can bounce back.

Moving overseas, Guillermo Trenas, a senior director at Lazard, provides a unique look into Spain’s hotel industry and the pandemic’s impact on tourism there. The article explains why Spanish hotel owners were impacted so dramatically, steps taken to ensure success, and financing options that have become available during the downturn.

I hope you enjoy your May issue of the JCR.

Reed Gillis

Reed Gillis

LS Capital

Reed Gillis is a partner with the special situation investment firm Three Line Capital. With over 20 years of real estate investment and lower middle market experience, Gillis has provided full-service, customized capital solutions to community, regional, and money center banks as a principal purchaser of performing, distressed, and REO assets, completing over $1 billion in transactions. He has also been involved in multiple transactions focusing on companies in need of senior debt restructuring or operational turnaround. Gillis is a past president of TMA Rocky Mountain.

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