Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, Trump — these are some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry, and Nelson Migdal has had a hand in some of their most high-profile projects. His latest ventures are a wide range of major waterpark resort projects with the size and scope to change the shape of the industry.
Migdal’s message: Get ready to start playing with the big boys.
“The environment is highly competitive and waterpark operators have to recognize that they are now competing with large, established hospitality companies and entertainment destinations like Las Vegas,” says Migdal an attorney with the Miami-based international law firm Greenberg Traurig. “This is impacting waterpark resort trends and development, and I’ve been able to use my experience in hospitality to help my waterpark resort clients meet this competition.”
Migdal focuses his practice on hotel acquisitions, operations development and finance, and he understands all aspects of the business through representing owners, managers, lenders and brokers. To date, he’s been responsible for drafting many of the key agreements for waterpark resort projects, including several of the Great Wolf Resort developments and other projects throughout North and South America.
One of his most recent projects is Echelon Place in Las Vegas, a $4.2 billion development by Boyd Gaming that includes a 120,000-square-foot casino and 300,000 square feet of retail space. This along with Migdal’s other large mixed-use projects such as the Trump Ocean Club in Punta Pacifica, Panama, involve a wide range of amenities beyond the pure hotel aspects of the development, such as casino, spa, golf and residential offerings — and he believes this is the future direction of the modern-day waterpark.
“The waterpark resort industry is closely tracking the hotel industry, [with] developers looking at multiuse projects with waterparks not as free-standing amenities, but as part of bigger packages that may include high-end restaurants, retail and residential components,” Migdal says.