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Clifford J. Risman
Partner, Real Estate
Thanksgiving Tower, Suite 3000
1601 Elm Street
Area(s) of Expertise
Cliff Risman chairs the Gardere Hospitality Industry Team and has a comprehensive business and real estate practice representing private, public and institutional developers, purchasers, equity investors, tenants, operators, and lenders in the development, acquisition, financing, leasing, operation, branding, and sale of all forms of commercial, industrial, and residential real estate with particular emphasis on the hospitality industry. He advises clients in the development, acquisition, financing, and operation of hotel, resort, and mixed use properties globally, with significant experience throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean; the structuring of domestic and foreign equity investments and the formation of equity investment entities such as partnerships, joint ventures, and limited liability companies; the negotiation, documentation, and restructure of senior, mezzanine, and portfolio financings; the negotiation of management, franchise, affiliation, development, construction, and design agreements; the structuring, development, and marketing of various whole and fractional residential ownership products and related rental program arrangements; the structuring of management, license, use, and access agreements for golf, spa, and residential project components; all forms of hotel operational matters and disputes; major lease and other corporate facilities transactions; and real estate matters involving foreign investors, as well as offshore investments by domestic clients.
Mr. Risman's clients have included:
- Aimbridge Hospitality L.P.
- American Ventures Realty Investors
- Brook Partners
- Canyon Equity
- Capella Hotel Group (fka West Paces Hotel Group)
- Crescent Heights of America
- Euristates Incorporated
- Gencom Group
- Grupo Inmobiliario Mosa S.A. de C.V.
- Hudson Advisors
- KSL Capital Partners
- Lehman Brothers
- Lincoln Property Company
- Lone Star Funds
- Mankarios Partnership
- NYLO Hotels
- Patriot American Hospitality
- Range Development
- Revolution Resorts
- Rosewood Hotels and Resorts
- Ryman Hospitality (f/k/a Gaylord Entertainment)
- Silver Ventures Inc.
- Swig Equities
- Traditions Management
- Vail Resorts
- Wyndham International
Mr. Risman’s representative matters have included:
- The ownership groups in connection with the development, debt and equity financing, branding, and operation of The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, and The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, the acquisition and redevelopment of The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua and the planned Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, and the planning development and financing of a number of presently under development Ritz-Carlton branded lodging, residential, and mixed use projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
- Capella Hotel Group (fka West Paces Hotel Group) in connection with numerous domestic and international hotel management, technical services, and license arrangements in the United States, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia for their SOLÍS and Capella luxury and ultra-luxury brands and numerous independent properties, and its strategic alliance with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Auburn University.
- KSL Capital partners in connection with the acquisition of the Montelucia Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as certain adjacent residential units, and the negotiation of an affiliation agreement with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.
- A leading domestic hotel management company in connection with its investment in an equity venture formed with a private equity firm to acquire a portfolio of over 100 hotels out of bankruptcy, and the negotiation of a master management agreement for the portfolio effective both pre and post plan confirmation.
- The owner of a historic mixed use redevelopment project in San Antonio, Texas, in the negotiation of a management agreement with Kimpton Hotels.
- The owner of a luxury beach resort in Latin America in connection with the restructure of its management and branding arrangements with a major international hotel management company.
- The owner in the negotiation of the management and branding arrangements for the planned redevelopment of an existing lodge as the planned Fairmont Vail hotel and residential project.
- The owner/developer of a planned mixed-use luxury hotel anchored development in the Caribbean in the negotiation of management and branding arrangements with Hyatt Hotels.
- KSL Capital in the financing, sale, reacquisition and refinancing of the LaCosta Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California.
- Revolution Resorts in the management agreements and branding arrangements with One&Only and Miraval for a planned 800-acre multihotel anchored, mixed use development project in Costa Rica.
- A branded luxury hotel and spa operator in connection with the management and branding of two luxury hotels, a free standing luxury spa, and a residential project being developed in Sochi, Russia, in connection with the 2014 Winter Olympics.
- Dallas Area Rapid Transit in the acquisition and renovation of the historic Foley's building in downtown Dallas for its corporate headquarters facility.
- Rosewood Property Company in the sale of the acclaimed Hotel Hana Maui and Hana Ranch.
- The Gencom Group in the sale of a multistate portfolio of hospitality assets to a NYSE REIT for in excess of $250 million in cash, stock and partnership units.
- Affiliates of Hines and Hixon Properties in connection with the management and branding of the planned Westin Austin and the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio.
- A foreign client in the equity and debt financing for the SuperMall of the Great Northwest.
- A money center bank in the sale and leaseback of a multicity portfolio of several million square feet of office properties.
- Gaylord Entertainment in the financing of The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, a 1,500-room resort with over 400,000 square feet of meeting space.
- A Lehman Brothers affiliate in an approximately $200 million debt and equity investment in a mixed use hotel and residential development in Mexico.
- A charitable foundation in connection with long-term operating leases for multiple hotel properties in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Lincoln Property Company in the corporate headquarters lease for Sterling Software.
- Crescent Heights in the acquisition, financing, and condominium conversion of a 600-unit residential project.
- The master developer in connection with an approximately 1,000-acre mixed use resort and golf project located just outside of Cancun, Mexico.
- J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, magna cum laude (1984)
- B.S., Syracuse University, magna cum laude (1980)
Publications and Speeches
- Co-Author, Chapter: A Survey of Significant Legal Issues in Hotel Management Agreements, Hotel Asset Management Principles & Practices (2nd ed. 2009).
- Speaker, Address at the Hot.E Hotel Investment Conference Europe (2012)
- Speaker, Address at Americas Lodging Investment Summit (2011, 2012)
- Speaker, Address at The Lodging Conference (2002-2007; 2009-2012)
- Speaker, Address at the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (2011)
- Speaker, Address at The International Hotel Investment Conference (2003-2010)
- Speaker, Address at the Dallas Hotel Conference (2005-2007; 2009-2012)
- Speaker, Address at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (2010)
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Operator Key Money, Sliver Equity, Loans and Deficit Guaranties (January 2012) (co-authored paper for conference proceedings).
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Hotel Workouts, Refinancings and Renegotiations (January 2010) (co-authored paper for conference proceedings).
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Doing Hotel Deals Around the Globe, a Primer for U.S. Lawyers (February 2009) (co-authored paper with Cynthia B. Nelson and Alejandro Ortiz for conference proceedings).
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Financing the Project - Understanding Finance Options in the Hospitality Sector (February 2008) (authored paper for conference proceedings).
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Doing Business in Mexico (February 2007) (authored paper for conference proceedings).
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Financing Hotel Mixed-Use Development Projects (February 2005) (authored paper for conference proceedings).
- Speaker, Address at the University of Houston Hospitality Law Conference: Hotel Mixed-Use Development Projects (January 2004) (authored paper for conference proceedings).
- Member, International Society of Hospitality Consultants
- Member, Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys
- Member, Global Alliance of Hospitality Attorneys
- Director and President Elect, Hospitality Industry Bar Association
- Member, State Bar of Texas
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Dallas Bar Association
- Member, International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate
- Member, The Real Estate Council
Honors and Awards
- Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (2013)
- Leisure and Hospitality Law
- Real Estate Law
- Recognized, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Tom Wicker ed., Chambers & Partners) (2009-2013)
- Leisure & Hospitality [Nationwide]
- Real Estate [Texas]
- Recognized, The Legal 500 United States (2013)
- Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Media Inc. as published in Texas Monthly (each year since its first publication in 2003)
- Recognized, AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™