Attorneys from Ballard Spahr's Resort, Hospitality, and Timeshare Group represented Grupo EMR—developer of two signature resorts in the most sought-after tourism regions of Argentina—in franchising and branding the properties as Tribute Portfolio Hotels under the banner of Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott recently announced it will debut Tribute Portfolio, its aspirational independent hotels and resorts brand, in Latin America with the signing of the two resorts in Argentina: Arelauquen Lodge in Patagonia and Auberge du Vin in the heart of Argentina's wine country—with Grupo EMR as owner and developer of the properties. The brand will add the two independent hotels to its portfolio by December 2016, according to an announcement by Marriott, the world's largest hotel company, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

"We are incredibly thrilled to be a part of Tribute Portfolio and Marriott International," said Eddie Rubio, CEO of Grupo EMR, which has offices in Park City, Utah, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. "Tribute Portfolio gives us a tremendous platform to share our unique lifestyle properties with Marriott International's loyalty members, while providing the highest level of customer service and standards Marriott guests have come to expect."

Nicole C. Evans, a partner in Ballard Spahr's office in Salt Lake City, Utah, represented Grupo EMR in negotiating and documenting the franchise agreement—the first of its kind for that region of Argentina—along with related contracts and agreements for management and operation of the resorts. Ms. Evans advised on business aspects of the transaction as well as on compliance with various condominium hotel requirements under U.S. laws and regulations.

Ballard Spahr's Resort, Hospitality, and Timeshare Practice Group is well-known in the industry for its ability to provide comprehensive legal advice and business insights to manage even the most complex projects. The Group's attorneys bring in-depth legal, industry, and market knowledge to each project and offer inspired solutions for clients.

Expansion of the Tribute Portfolio to the two Argentina properties represents a significant milestone for the brand, Marriott said. The move reflects growing traveler demand for independent travel experiences worldwide and is a direct response to loyalty reward members' desire for more hotel options in both adventure travel and wine country destinations.

Arelauquen Lodge, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is located near San Carlos de Bariloche, a town in the heart of the Patagonia region, alongside Lake Nahuel Huapi and within the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Set amid vast landscapes of lakes and mountains, the region is famous for hiking, trekking, and mountaineering. Arelauquen Lodge, with 28 luxury rooms featuring dramatic vistas, is part of the Arelauquen Golf and Country Club, including an 18-hole golf course, two polo fields, an equestrian center, tennis and squash courts, trekking trails, and a yacht club at nearby Gutierrez Lake.

Auberge du Vin, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is nestled in its own vineyard about 50 miles from Mendoza, a city in Argentina's wine country and the source of some of the world's best wine. The property, with 29 luxury rooms offering stunning views of vineyards and mountains, is part of Tupungato Winelands, a country club development comprised of private residences, private vineyards, a polo field, and golf course in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.