News for the Hospitality Executive
Nobody Asked Me, But... No. 84
By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC
January 17, 2012
1. EB 5 Visa for Immigrant Investors
Back in the mid-1970’s, Patels from Africa and Asia began to emigrate to the United States where any immigrant willing to invest $40,000 in a business could apply for permanent residence, the first step to citizenship. There were limited opportunities for such investments.
At the time, distressed roadside motels could be acquired outright for $40,000 because of the oil embargo and the resultant nationwide shortage of gasoline.
Since 1990, the EB-5 Visa for Immigrant Investors has been available for foreign nationals to obtain a green card when they invest $1 million (or at least $500,000 in targeted employment areas) which create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
As the JMBM Global Hospitality Group wrote in their Hotel Law blog (10/31/11): “Chinese investment in hotels, restaurants and other commercial real estate is becoming an important potential capital source for development, acquisition and renovation.”
EB-5 investors can come from anywhere in the world outside the United States and can include legal immigrants in the U.S. under a temporary visa. However, more than 70% of all EB-5 investors come from mainland China.
This program can be enormously beneficial to investors since there is no limit on the size of the EB-5 investment as long as deal-aggregation and documentation are submitted and as long as at least 10 jobs are created for every EB-5 individual investor.
If you are interested in this financing possibility, I suggest that you contact the Chinese Investment Group in JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group (Jim Butler at email@example.com or 1-301-201-3526).
2. The Pistilli Lecture
The Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Kansas City has a distinguished lecture series that is the highlight of their annual Mid-America Hospitality Forum. It is named in memory of Kansas City’s legendary hotelier, Mr. Phil Pistilli, former President of the Raphael Hotel Group who passed away on March 29, 2003 at the age of 76.
Previous Pistilli Guest Lecturers:
Anthony G. Marshall, JD, CHA, CHE
American Hotel & Motel Association
William P. Fisher, Ph.D.
American Hotel & Motel Association
Valerie C. Ferguson
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Mike Hourigan, CSP
Hourigan & Associates
The Miles/LeHane Group, Inc.
Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell
Richard D. Adie
Statler Hotel, Cornell University
Stephen Barth, JD, CHE, Attorney
Professor, Conrad Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management
Deborah L. Stafford, Supv. Special Agent
Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI
Joseph A. McInerney, CHA
President, American Hotel & Lodging Assn.
President, Hotel Association of Canada
David L. Hunke
President/Publisher, USA Today
Jack P. DeBoer
Chairman, Consolidated Holdings
On January 11, 2012, I delivered the Pistilli Lecture on the subject “Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry”.
3. A NYC Hotel Bargain
Here is a new boutique hotel outside of midtown Manhattan that offers great location, outstanding facilities, attractive amenities and low rates. It is located in Queens where Governor Andrew Cuomo has just proposed to build the nation’s largest convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack. The following Check In/Check Out article (12/25/11) in the New York Times describes the Z New York Hotel:
Z New York Hotel
Long Island City, N.Y.
A Manhattan-style boutique, across the East River with rates from $189.
The Z New York Hotel opened last July as a boutique property that aims to offer affordability and style in an underserved location Long Island City, Queens. The 100-room hotel has outdoor walkways (something like a motel) and every floor has a lounge area with eclectic, mismatched furniture.
In the industrial heart of Long Island City, a few blocks from the East River and the Queensboro Bridge, the sleek Z infuses some life into a neighborhood ripe for development. Manhattan is a 10-minute car ride away (without traffic) or just one stop on the No. 7 train.
Our chic deluxe king room (a smaller superior room is the only other option) felt larger than its actual size thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that provided stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Those views are a feature of every room, each of which celebrates the city with a large wall stencil of a taxi cab, Billie Holiday or the Rockettes. There were contemporary décor touches in our Billie Holiday room; Mason jars were used as hanging light fixtures over the bed, and a sleek, low red couch made a comfortable sitting area. The well-designed space also had a desk and a 32-inch LCD television. The bed had 300-thread count sheets, and robes and slippers were provided. Free Wi-Fi is available, and guests can make free unlimited local and international calls.
The small space had a bathtub with a rain-forest shower, a toilet and heated tiled floors. The sink is part of the main room and had a blow dryer. My husband and I had enough area to spread out our toiletries but enjoyed using the ones the hotel provided from the upscale British brand Gilchrist & Soames.
From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. a Cadillac emblazoned with the Z Hotel logo along the side provides guests free hourly transportation to and from Manhattan. The pick-up and drop-off points are set, but special requests are accommodated depending on availability. We, for example, were picked up at our Upper East Side apartment. Room service and a full restaurant are set to be introduced sometime next year but for now the Z Restaurant Lounge has a free continental breakfast with choices of bagels, juice, pastries and fruit; an extension of the lounge has a walk-up food counter offering eggs, sandwiches, French fries and the like. There is also a rooftop bar with 360-degree views of Manhattan, Queens and the East River.
Z is attractively priced and has enough perks to lure tourists to Long Island City. During our visit, all the rooms were occupied, and judging by the crowd at breakfast and waiting for the limo service, many of the guests were hip Europeans. The rooftop has a bar in warm weather, but for now the restaurant lounge doubles as a bar, enlivening the evening atmosphere.
Z New York Hotel, 11-01 43rd Avenue, Long Island City, Queens (877) 256-5556; zhotelny.com
4. “Built To Last”
My new book, “Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York” has just been published. The thirty-two featured hotels have defied the passage of time for a variety of reasons, many explicable, some beyond explanation, all miraculous. The book contains 32 chapters, 35 illustrations, 380 pages, foreword (by Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D.), preface, introduction, bibliography and index.
My research into the histories of these hotels turned up fascinating stories, great architects, entrepreneurial developers, unpredictable guests, famous movie stars, writers, musicians, politicians and even the story of an all-women’s hotel built in 1903.
I am pleased to report that “Built To Last” was favorably reviewed in the New York Times. You can order a copy by visiting www.centuryoldhotelsinnewyork.com and clicking on the “Buy The Book” link.
5. Quote of the Month
"My pleasure" instead of the ubiquitous and thoughtless service-industry rejoinder “No problem”.
Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
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