Monthly Archives August 2016

Firefighters inspect local hotel and motel safety ahead of football season

Fire inspections are often overlooked and under-appreciated. The inspections help fire personnel protect properties and save lives. A good fire inspection focuses on ensuring that fire codes are complied with and compromising situations are corrected in a timely manner. An inspection also serves as education for fire personnel to become familiar with buildings, unusual access issues, alarm systems and other fire protection systems surrounding the property.  As a hotelier, by complying with local fire standards and establishing a fire prevention and preparedness program, you can help minimize injuries to your guests and employees, costly damages, and potential fines and litigation to your business...

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Hilton Garden Inn, Gateway Hospitality Group pay $4M settlement after withholding tips from servers

Although service charges and automatic gratuities has become a momentous legal burden for hospitality employers, the potential liability for mishandling service charges or automatic gratuities is impactful. Because some employers keep a portion of service charges, the IRS considers automatic gratuities to be revenue for the business and the dollars distributed to staff as non-tip wages. Employers must calculate automatic gratuities as part of employees’ wages and use them to determine the regular rate of pay for a particular day or week for purposes of correctly calculating overtime. The $4M settlement over mismanaged service fees Hilton Garden Inn, Gateway Hospitality face will surely impact their bottom line. Montana Standard, Ashley Nerbovig has outlined the details of the suit.

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Solvang’s Holiday Inn opens doors to firefighters

With temperatures soaring to the 90s in recent days, the Rey Fire has burned 31,225 acres in Santa Barbara County and is currently only 34% contained.  Shifting winds has played a major role spreading the fire quickly and making it difficult for fire fighters to determine what has burned and what might burn next.

To some people, paying it forward isn’t just a nice gesture, it is second nature. Jennifer Bledsoe’s (General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express Solvang) incredible and selfless contributions to the Rey Fire firefighters are sure to inspire others and have a positive effect on her and the hotel.  Lompoc Record, Mike Hodgson, shares the story below.

Trucks from Orange County Fire Authority line Highway 246 in front of the Holiday Inn Express in Solvang, where some of the ...
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Family of man killed by drunken driver in Puyallup sues driver, hotel where she worked

“Serving alcohol is risky business.” The stakes are high for owners and operators licensed to serve alcohol. With a liquor license, comes high exposure for liquor liability. One large claim can cost your business enormous amounts of money and damage your reputations for years to come.

Like all businesses that serve alcohol, hotel facilities must be vigilant establishing policy and procedures that minimize the overall cost of risk. Ultimately, training your staff, clear protocols and overall monitoring of employees to ensure compliance with your program, can reduce the potential for alcohol-related litigation. The News Tribune, Alexis Krell, presents a recent alcohol-related lawsuit tied to a hotel in Auburn, Washington.

Nathalee Gonzalez, 16, talks about her dad, Jose Luis Gonzalez-...
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As a hotel facility, while you may never completely eliminate the possibility of an ADA lawsuit, a well-trained staff that can anticipate and properly address most ADA inquiries will significantly aid with ADA compliance and minimize the likelihood of ADA litigation.  As part of an on-going effort to comply with the ADA, specific written policies should be implemented to eliminate any uncertainty handling specific ADA questions. Lack of knowledge and training surrounding the ADA issues may very well hand you unexpected litigation as Travelodge La Mesa was quickly informed. East County News Service outlines the case.

August 17, 2016 (La Mesa) — A lawsuit alleges that the Travelodge hotel in La Mesa discriminated against a deaf woman traveler, due to her service dog.

The plaintiff, ...

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Seattle Ballot Initiative Targets Hotel Industry

No worker should feel unsafe at work! Seattle Initiative 124 will protect Seattle’s hotel housekeepers from sexual harassment and abuse as well as harsh workloads. The initiative will impose a wide-range of compliance regulations on the city’s hotel industry giving hotel workers the right to sue their employer or file a complaint with the city if requirements are not met. Voters will decide on the movement in November. JD Supra and Littler outline the details surrounding the proposal.

According to Ballotpedia, 140 state ballot initiatives in 35 states have already been certified for the November 8, 2016 election. This number does not include the many city-wide measures that will be before voters on Election Day...

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Network of 330,000 cash registers is hacked

Point-of-sale systems have been under attack for years. The intrusions are not slowing down any. They only continue to gain speed and increase in intensity. Data breaches have become the number one threat facing businesses today. A malicious hack has the potential to completely handicap a business’s functionality.  USA Today, Elizabeth Weise, reports what may be one of the largest global point-of-sales payment systems hacks yet, affecting restaurants and hotels worldwide.

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the largest point-of-sale payment systems in the hospitality industry, used in restaurants and hotels globally, has been breached by a Russian organized crime group,computer security writer Brian Krebs reported Monday.

The breach occurred in systems run by MICROS Systems, which was purc...

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33 cars broken into outside two Memphis hotels overnight

Although hotels are in the business of providing a safe living environment for its guests, the parking facilities are often underestimated and overlooked leaving them vulnerable and unsafe for guests and employees. It is the hotels duty to provide reasonable protection from foreseeable harm throughout the property. Securing a parking facility can be a challenge. Hotel operators must balance parking security costs against revenues and realistically apply practical security measures into the universal business plan. Unsecure parking often invites unwanted theft. Fox13, Shelby Sansone’s report should be inspiration to all hoteliers to secure their parking facilities.

At least 33 vehicles were broken into outside of Memphis area hotels, according to the Memphis Police Department.

On Mon...

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High-rise fire forces hotel evacuation in North Phoenix

Fires are never routine! In fact, they usually occur when we least expect them. Seconds count during emergencies. As a hotel facility, it is vital to be as prepared as possible when an emergency arises. The safe, orderly, and prompt evacuation of hotel guests and associates should be your number one priority.  Knowledgeable calm employees are the key to a successful emergency response. 12 News outlines one employees triumph when a nearby fire threatened a Holiday Inn in Phoenix recently. Many can learn from his exemplary reaction.

A construction site was engulfed in flames forcing people to evacuate a nearby hotel.

PHOENIX – a high-rise building fire caused the evacuation of a nearby hotel early Tuesday.

The fire, breaking out after 3 a.m...

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Are the parking attendants at your hotel just handing out cars? A nice car holds a special place in a person’s heart. They love it, cherish it and guard it intensely. Hotel guests have high expectations that their vehicle will receive exceptional care and unmeasured security when they hand over their car keys to a parking attendant. An untrained or poorly trained employee may in fact ruin your reputation and devastate your business. ABC13 reveals how one couples stay at a hotel in Houston turned into a nightmare.

A trip to Houston turned in a nightmare for a couple after their high-performance sports car went missing in a valet blunder.

Carlo DiMarco says he came to the city of Houston in May 2015 for a weekend car race from Austin...

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