The hospitality industry thrives on conventions and conferences. Hotels secure lucrative deals with event organizers, blocking off a specific number of rooms at a guaranteed rate. However, unforeseen circumstances can lead to unfilled rooms, resulting in hotel attrition charges. These charges, outlined in the contract’s attrition clause, can significantly impact a hotel’s bottom line.

Are you a hotelier or a legal representative of a hotel owner facing the complexities of hotel conference attrition clauses? Here at Lippman Recupero, we have extensive experience advocating for prominent hotel chains like Caesars Entertainment. We understand the challenges associated with attrition and are dedicated to helping you navigate these clauses effectively.

Hotel Attrition Clauses

An attrition clause specifies the minimum number of rooms an event organizer guarantees to fill. If the actual booked rooms fall below this number, the organizer is liable for the difference, often at the contracted room rate. Attrition clauses protect hotels from lost revenue due to cancellations or no-shows.

Here are some key terms to understand within an attrition clause:

  • Room Block: The designated number of rooms reserved by the event organizer for a specific timeframe.
  • Pick-Up Date: The deadline by which the organizer must confirm the final number of booked rooms.This directly impacts the calculation of potential attrition charges.
  • Attrition Percentage: The allowable number of rooms below the block that the hotel absorbs without penalty. Negotiating a favorable attrition percentage is crucial.
  • Attrition Clause Triggers: Events that trigger these charges, such as cancellations or no-shows, should be clearly defined.

Different Types of Attrition

Not all cancellations are created equal, and hotel contracts often differentiate between various types of attrition. Here’s a breakdown of some common categories that can impact your bottom line.

Standard Attrition

This refers to cancellations that occur within the designated cancellation window outlined in the contract. These typically trigger the standard attrition charges as spelled out in the clause.

Last-Minute Attrition

Cancellations happening very close to the pick-up date, often within 24-72 hours, might be subject to stricter penalties. These can be a significant financial blow, as the hotel may have limited time to re-sell the rooms.

Group Block Bust

This occurs when the entire event or conference is canceled by the organizer. Contracts may have specific terms regarding cancellation fees or alternative methods for recouping lost revenue in such scenarios.


Guests who reserve rooms but fail to arrive without prior notification are considered no-shows. No-shows present a unique challenge for hotels. Unlike cancellations, where guests might notify the hotel well in advance, no-shows leave hoteliers scrambling to fill vacant rooms at the last minute. 


This can be particularly frustrating  when dealing with large conference blocks, where a significant number of no-shows can create a substantial financial gap. Attrition clauses typically treat no-shows the same as standard cancellations except when otherwise noted.

Attrition Due to Force Majeure

Events beyond human control, like natural disasters or travel restrictions due to pandemics, can lead to cancellations. A well-crafted force majeure clause protects both parties from financial penalties in such situations.

Common Challenges with Attrition Clauses

Attrition clauses can be a source of contention between hotels and event organizers. While this is sometimes an inevitability, there are some problems that can be avoided altogether. Here are some common challenges hotels face:

  • Unreasonable Attrition Percentages: Hotel contracts may stipulate high attrition percentages, limiting the hotel’s ability to recoup lost revenue from unfilled rooms
  • Unforeseen Circumstances: Events beyond anyone’s control, like natural disasters or travel restrictions, can lead to increased cancellations and unexpected attrition charges
  • Ambiguous Clause Wording: Vague language within the clause can create confusion and disagreement regarding what triggers a charge or the calculation methods used

Tips for Effective Attrition Clause Management

Hotel conference attrition clauses are a necessary evil. While they protect your revenue stream, they can also lead to unexpected financial burdens. Fortunately, there are strategies you can employ to minimize these risks. 

Here at Lippman Recupero, our extensive experience in the hospitality industry empowers us to be your partner in navigating hotel conference attrition clauses effectively. Here are some key strategies to mitigate these risks, ensuring you maximize your revenue from conference bookings.

  • Negotiate Favorable Terms: Our experienced legal team can advocate for a lower attrition percentage and clearly defined clause triggers.
  • Proactive Communication: Maintain open communication with event organizers. Discuss potential challenges and establish a clear timeline for room confirmations.
  • Force Majeure Clauses: Include a force majeure clause in your contract that outlines events like natural disasters or pandemics that excuse both parties from attrition charges.
  • Data-Driven Support: We can leverage industry data on historical occupancy rates to support your negotiation efforts for a realistic attrition percentage.

Attrition clauses are a necessary part of hotel conference contracts. However, by understanding these clauses, negotiating favorable terms, and having an experienced legal team on your side, you can minimize the financial impact of unfilled rooms. 

Lippman Recupero: Your Hotel Contract Ally

At Lippman Recupero, we are committed to protecting your hotel’s interests and ensuring you maximize your revenue from conference bookings.

Don’t let hotel conference attrition clauses leave you burned. Contact Lippman Recupero today for a consultation. We can help you navigate these clauses effectively and safeguard your hotel’s bottom line.