Hotel Online  Special Report

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Belmonte’s Business Is Booming; 
Jeff Seymour Joins Growing Team
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Former Cendant Franchise Director of Administration joins Hospitality
Solutions LLC to play a major role in liquidated damage claim/termination
assistance and contract negotiations

RANDOLPH, N.J. — APRIL 7, 2004 — Hospitality Solutions LLC, a company that specializes in franchise agreement formulations and termination negotiation/liquidated damage claim assistance for the hospitality industry, is seeing an upsurge in business. The company recently settled its 100th liquidated damage claim and finalized its 20th new license agreement, along with numerous litigation support, expert witness and consulting projects. 
 

To accommodate the growing number of franchisees who are seeking assistance with franchise disputes, Steve Belmonte, President and CEO of Hospitality Solutions L.L.C and former President of Ramada Hotels, a Cendant brand, announced that Jeff Seymour, former Cendant Franchise Director of Administration, has joined his team as an Associate. Previously, Seymour worked with Hospitality Solutions’ Vice President of Operations Wayne Miller, former 
Steve Belmonte
Cendant Vice President of Administration for the company’s Hospitality Division. 

“The old gang is back in business, and business is booming,” Belmonte said. “Franchise negotiation and mediation is a service niche that has never been offered before by former franchisors for franchisees – and it’s proving to be a service that is in great demand each and every day. I’m pleased to see my former colleagues working together once again to improve and reinforce the franchisor/franchisee relationship.”

In addition to providing franchise assistance, Hospitality Solutions LLC provides expert witness and mediation services, litigation support, asset management, renovations, financing assistance, motivational speaking and executive retreats, sales-and-marketing training sessions and special projects/new corporate initiatives. 

The Hospitality Solutions LLC team is comprised of industry professionals who own/owned hotels either independently or as a franchisee and worked for a franchise company. Together, they understand the franchising world intimately, and maintain contacts at the franchise organizations nationwide. 

Jeff Seymour is the newest associate to join the Hospitality Solutions team. He will work with Belmonte and Miller to assist with license agreements for liquidated damage claims, terminations and contract negotiations.

“There are some unhappy franchisees out there with under-performing properties,” Seymour said. “Our job is to help identify the best solution for the franchisee – whether it’s to leave the system or comply with system mandates to improve the property, and in turn, improve their business and bottom line.”

Recently, Seymour assumed ownership of The Colonial House Hotel in Westing, Vt. He said his new role as a hotel owner sheds light on the many challenges hoteliers face daily – challenges he may not have understood or empathized with while on the franchisor side of the business.

Wayne Miller, an industry veteran who recently served for more than 10 years with Cendant Corp., also assists Belmonte with the company’s franchise negotiation and mediation program as VP of Operations. Prior to joining Cendant, he served as a General Manager for various Hilton, Ramada and Holiday Inn properties. He brings a strong background and intimate knowledge of hotel franchise administration to the table.

“When I heard that Steve created Hospitality Solutions as a low-cost and expeditious alternative to getting lawyers involved with franchise disputes, I jumped at the opportunity to team up with him once again,” Miller said. “We’ve worked together very successfully on numerous franchisor/franchisee cases in the past, and we’ve proven to be a dynamite team. I’m proud to be able to offer this tremendous services to the franchise community and to partner with Steve once again.”

Lee Dushoff, a Philadelphia-based consultant and advisor to hoteliers and hotel-company executives for more than 20 years, also serves as an associate and oversees the company’s Special Projects/Initiatives launch, such as corporate retreats and target marketing efforts. 

"Lee’s experience is the perfect blend for Hospitality Solutions because he has long been a supporter of franchisees and the issues they encounter in relationships with franchisors," Belmonte said. "He knows what it is like on the firing line. He will also be able to help us discover additional ways that we can help hoteliers. Lee's presence allows our company to expand our offering to special projects such as property-level training programs. This is a great advancement for Hospitality Solutions."

Steve Belmonte, a 30-year hospitality industry veteran, founded Hospitality Solutions LLC in 2003. He is former president and CEO of the Ramada hotel chain, and former co-founder, president and CEO of Equity Hotel Corp., a hotel management company. Past chairman of the American Hotel Foundation and past vice chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation are a few of his acomplishments. He is currently working toward becoming an approved mediator for the CRP Institute for Dispute Resolution in New York. 

The Hospitality Solutions LLC Mission

Before founding Hospitality Solutions LLC, no one specialized in hammering out solid, equitable agreements either at the front end or the back end for franchisees, Belmonte said. 

“Up until now, a franchisee had to engage a lawyer for this kind of negotiation—and the chance that the typical lawyer really knows the ins and outs of hotel franchising agreements is limited,” he said. “Franchisees need someone who knows the industry intimately. Most of all, they need someone who knows how to negotiate and specifically whom to negotiate with at all the specific franchise companies.”

Belmonte said he is not advocating that attorneys are not needed. However, a licensee would have to spend $20,000 to $25,000 over six to eight months before an attorney could obtain the same results.

“Cost-wise, there’s no comparison,” he said. “A typical dispute can be completed in 10 to 15 days for around $3,600—it’s usually at least five times that much for an attorney to do the negotiating.”

About Hospitality Solutions LLC

Hospitality Solutions LLC, Randolph, N.J., provides franchise agreement formulations and termination negotiation/liquidated damage claims assistance, consulting, mediation, litigation support and expert witness services to the hospitality and service industries. Company President and CEO Steven Belmonte, former President and CEO of Ramada Hotels, serves on the Board of Directors of Arlington Hospitality Inc. and serves as a partner with Belmonte/Lasky Asset Management Inc. For more information, call (973) 598-0839, email stevenbelmonte@aol.com or visit www.stevenbelmonte.com.


 
Contact:

Steve Belmonte
President/CEO
Hospitality Solutions LLC
Tel: (973) 598-0839
stevenbelmonte@aol.com
www.stevebelmonte.com

Barb Worcester, President
PRPRO
barbw@prproconsulting.com
Tel: (440) 930-5770
 

Also See: Belmonte Appoints Lee Dushoff To Hospitality Solutions Team / February 2004
Belmonte To Bring Insight To Best Value Inn Members as Keynote at Conference / October 2003
Belmonte ‘Talks the Talk’ in Role as Motivational Speaker / March 2003
Steve Belmonte Immersed in Sarbanes-Oxley as a New Member of the Board of Directors of Arlington Hospitality Inc. / May 2003
Belmonte’s Back In Business As Hospitalty Solutions LLC / Feb 2003


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