Willkie represents a diverse group of clients in the global hospitality and gaming industry. We advise leading hospitality and gaming operating companies and principal investors, lenders, hedge funds and bondholders. Our multidisciplinary experience in hospitality and gaming informs our unique approach to transactions  ̶  from mergers and acquisitions, portfolio transactions and investments  ̶  to insolvency matters and restructurings, financings, purchases and sales of individual hotels and casinos. 

Willkie attorneys have played key roles in transactions involving some of the world’s most well-known names in gaming & hospitality.

Willkie combines the knowledge and innovative thinking required to structure deals from the inception of a transaction or project with the personnel needed to execute the assignment in an efficient manner. Our market leading gaming and hospitality practice is recognized for its ability to fashion creative solutions to complex problems and to build consensus among various constituencies around those solutions.


  • Atlantic Club hotel and casino in connection with its bankruptcy filing and subsequent sale.  
  • Bim in connection with the sale of the AMAC Group to the Vacalians Group, a leader in the European outdoor accommodation market, controlled by the Permira funds. 
  • Choice Hotels International in connection with its approximately $675 million acquisition of Radisson Hotel Group Americas. 
  • Colony Capital in connection with its $2.8 billion sale of six hospitality portfolios to Highgate, a real estate investment and hospitality management company. 
  • Fourth and Insight Partners in connection with the hospitality technology merger of HotSchedules and Fourth, backed by Marlin Equity Partners and Insight Partners. 
  • Freshstream in connection with the sale of leading UK holiday resort business Away Resorts to CVC Capital Partners. 
  • HungerRush™, a CapStreet portfolio company and provider of integrated point of sale (“POS”) software solutions for restaurant and other hospitality merchants, in connection with its acquisition of Menufy, an industry-leading online food ordering platform and network. 
  • HungerRush™, a CapStreet portfolio company and provider of integrated point of sale (“POS”) software solutions for restaurant and other hospitality merchants, in connection with its acquisition of OrdrAI™, a leading text and voice ordering provider for the restaurant industry. 
  • iCON Infrastructure LLP in connection with its strategic partnership with Royal Caribbean Group. 
  • Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in connection with its sale of the Embassy Suites Anaheim-Orange located in Orange, California.
  • The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in connection with the potential establishment of a casino hotel.
  • Scout Real Estate Capital and its affiliates in connection with the following transactions:
    • Acquisition of The Westmoor Club located in Nantucket, MA.
    • Acquisition of Plantation Inn located in Crystal River, FL.
    • Acquisition of approximately 6,000 acres of developable land on the “Big Island” of Hawaii.
    • Acquisition, debt and equity financing and development of Wyndham Bermuda Resort & Spa, 6000 acres of waterfront land in Hawaii, and two Martha’s Vineyard hotels.
  • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of Dynamixyz, a world-class leader in video-based facial animation services. 
  • Racebrook Capital, a real estate opportunity fund created by Warburg Pincus, in connection with its acquisition of the Wyndham Wilmington Hotel (Wilmington, DE).

Willkie is recognized internationally as having one of the world’s preeminent business reorganization and restructuring advisory practices, with established experience in all aspects of business and financial restructurings. Representative hospitality and gaming restructurings include the following:

Creditor/Lender/Investor Representation

  • Citigroup in connection with:
    • the review and analysis of various troubled commercial real estate loans, and advised on potential restructuring options and workout possibilities with numerous borrowers, including with respect to its position in the $6.5 billion CMBS and mezzanine loan to Caesar’s (formerly known as Harrah’s)
    • the Extended Stay portfolio auction in its publicly announced mortgage loan commitment to the consortium led by Starwood Capital.
  • Certain CMBS lenders in connection with their respective holdings of Harrah’s Entertainment notes.
  • Two secured lender groups in connection with potential loan modifications and restructuring negotiations with two unaffiliated gaming operators.

Debtor/Borrower Representation

  • Sellers in the restructuring and sale of the Affinia Hotel portfolio.
  • Colony Capital LLC in connection with the restructuring of certain of its gaming investments, and in connection with a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction with respect to an Atlantic City property.
  • Colony Capital LLC in connection with the Station Casinos bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Days Inn of America, Inc. in connection with its chapter 11 case.
  • Resorts Atlantic City in connection with its Deed-in-Lieu transaction.
  • Resorts International Holdings, LLC in connection with its loan modifications.

  • Baron Funds in connection with its investment in Kerzner International.
  • GFI Development in connection with its joint venture with Square Mile Capital Management for the acquisition and development of an Ace-managed hotel in Palm Springs, California. We also represented GFI in connection with Square Mile providing first mortgage financing for GFI's first 'NoMad' brand hotel development in New York City.
  • A portfolio of resort hotels on the Pacific Rim in connection with the proposed origination of more than $1 billion through mortgage and mezzanine financings.
  • Prime Hotel and Marriott in connection with the sale of the Rihga Royal Hotel (now The London) in Manhattan, and several sale leaseback transactions.
  • Resort Finance America, which is managed by Lantern Asset Management, in connection with the expansion of its existing relationship with Grand Pacific (GP) Resorts through an increased financial commitment in GP’s MarBrisa Resort.
  • Starwood Hotels in connection with the acquisition and financing of the Tuscany and the Boston Sheraton hotels.

  • A partnership of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs in furnishing $2.2 billion in aggregate financing commitments for the bid to acquire Extended Stay Hotels by affiliates of Starwood, TPG and Five Mile Capital Partners.
  • Colony Capital, Inc. in connection with a refinancing secured by interests in multiple select service, extended stay and limited service hotels located in 15 states.
  • Deutsche Bank AG, New York Branch, as Administrative Agent, in connection with the revolving credit facility for Host Hotels & Resorts, L.P.
  • Deutsche Bank Americas and Wells Fargo Bank in connection with its $325 million refinancing of Castle & Cooke, Inc.’s property portfolio located in Hawaii, Arizona and California.
  • Lowell Hotel Associates in its $105 million mortgage financing of the Lowell Hotel in New York City.
  • National Westminster Bank in connection with its bridge financing in connection with the development of a Hyatt hotel/resort casino in Black Hawk, Colorado.
  • Tishman Hotel & Realty in connection with various securitized financings and refinancings, including:
    • Hilton at Disney World
    • Dolphin and Swan Hotels at Disney World
    • Westin Chicago River North Hotel
    • Chicago Sheraton Hotel & Towers

  • A preeminent investment firm in connection with a joint venture with a leading hotel investment and management company to acquire a six-property portfolio of hotels located across the United States.  The acquisition was financed by a $100 million loan. 

  • Blantyre Capital in connection with its acquisition of a Frankfurt hotel and partnership with the LyvInn hotel brand. 
  • Bregal Freshstream in connection with its acquisition of UK holiday park operator Away Resorts from LDC. 
  • Choice Hotels International in its proposal and subsequent exchange offer to acquire Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
  • Enlightened Hospitality Investments: in connection with the closing of its $332 million growth equity fund, Enlightened Hospitality Investments II, LP. 
  • Kasada Capital Management: in connection with the structuring and raising of its first hotel fund, Kasada Hospitality Fund LP. 
  • PSG on its $100 million investment in Sport Alliance GmbH.
  • Searchlight Capital Partners in connection with its agreement to acquire a majority stake in Celestyal Cruises. 
  • Waterland Private Equity in connection with the sale of its interest in A-ROSA River Cruise Group to British private equity group Duke Street. 

Underwriter Representation

  • Goldman Sachs, as underwriter, in several REIT securities transactions, including the initial public offerings by Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. and Entertainment Properties Trust.
  • Lehman Brothers, as underwriter, in an initial public offering and follow-on offering by Boykin Hotel Properties.