Monthly Archives September 2017

How Hotel Owners Can Fight Back Against Chargebacks

Targets of “friendly fraud”, the hotel industry has lost millions of dollars each year in avoidable losses. It is no secret that the hospitality industry has a notably high ratio of chargebacks when compared to other sectors, 80% of them related to friendly fraud and impacting their bottom line. Hospitality Net, Robert Harrow, recommends fighting back using the tips below.

Chargebacks can be quite costly. When a customer reverses a charge on their card, not only are you slapped with a $25 fee but you may have also lost revenue for a particular room if no one else books it in time. If your property becomes a hotspot for fraud-related chargebacks, you may even run the risk of losing the privilege of accepting card payments.

According to Kirsten Rebello, a chargeback manager for Cha...

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ADA In The Digital Age: Federal Court Strikes Down Inaccessible Website

If you haven’t already, add website accessibility to the growing list of unintended consequences of the ADA. Evolving definitions of what constitutes a physical or mental disability, senseless mandates, hefty compliance costs for business owners and waves of abusive litigation that have developed under ADA have proven that enforcement of the law is nothing more than a disaster that has lined the pockets of a small number of opportunist lawyers and their clients.

Clear rules for applying the ADA to websites have yet to be established leaving the door open for interpretation by the courts...

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Lawsuit doesn’t always mean a hotel is at fault

The settling of unjustified claims in the hotel industry not only opens the door for more underhanded claims, it may also be seen as an admission of carelessness and neglect. It is virtually impossible for hotels to accept responsibility for every mat that gets wrinkled or every guest that slips and falls due to circumstances out of their control. Travelers know that hotels cannot afford to have adverse criticism because they fear a damaged reputation so some take advantage. Hoteliers should work with their lawyer to identify defenses before settling a claim. Hotel Management, Karen Morris, cites a few hotel claims from various areas of the country that have been dismissed.

A hat trick for hotels! In three recent cases of interest, the hotels prevailed. Let’s take a look.

The first...

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Navigating hotel insurance claims following hurricanes can be tricky, experts say

Hurricane-wrenched islands, towns, residents, and businesses inundated with flood waters, debris, contaminated water and no power. Some still scrambling through the next storm, others assessing damage and picking up the pieces left behind, yet many still struggling to adapt. There is no shortage of damage claims to go around!

With high insurance deductibles and repairs to be made, hotels often wrestle with how to pay the bills. Pull out your policy and understand the policy with regards to damage and entitlements. Hotel Management, Elliot Mest, provides sound advice and direction from experts in the industry to help hotels mitigate damage, control costs, and navigate insurance claims.

Floods from Hurricane Harvey left many businesses completely submerged.

No hoteliers in Texas are prayi...

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Chicago woman found dead in hotel’s walk-in freezer

Although rare, they are also tragic! Nobody should ever go through the pain of freezing to death. The death of this young woman is a stark reminder of how important it is for businesses to develop safety procedures and training surrounding walk-in freezers, and just as important, that businesses limit access to them. Hoteliers you must set the standards with your staff and be attentive to ensure that the guidelines are fully respected and followed. Fox News reports the recent incident that brought complete devastation to the family of a guest, the victim.

The woman was discovered in a freezer at Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center.

A Chicago woman was found dead in a hotel walk-in freezer Sunday, just hours after she was reported missing from a party at the venue, ...

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Union-backed hotel safety ordinance poses danger to Long Beach: Guest commentary

The City of Long Beach, following behind Seattle, is set to impose multiple worker safety requirements on hotels. The City of Long Beach ordinance would affect hotels with 100 rooms or more and limit housekeeper workloads to cleaning 4,000 square feet per day. Although it provides for other safety features as well, many hotels in the area have already implemented panic buttons for housekeepers, which the bill is also including. The measure would inflict hoteliers with needless cost that may ultimately hurt the workers and blacklist guests. The ordinance will be heard by council Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Press-Telegram, Sandy Cajas, outlines the key points surrounding the ordinance.

A 2015 file photo shows a person in Long Beach walking past protest signs created by UNITE HERE...
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Analysis reveals Hurricane Harvey’s impact on hotel markets

Already under-performing, Houston’s hotel market met Harvey with some resistance. In the end, some hotels were more damaged than others.  Hotels located in the four sub-markets directly hit by Harvey saw a decline in occupancy while other submarkets were met with substantial occupancy increases. Although most rooms remain online, those under construction at the time Harvey barreled across Houston will likely remain offline for an extended period of time. Hotel Management, Alicia Hoisington, reveals a recent STR report giving analysis of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Houston Hotel Market.

Source: STR

All Houston hotel submarkets reported occupancy growth after the initial days of Hurricane Harvey, according STR...

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Hurricane Irma, Harvey hoteliers picking up the pieces

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are a reminder of how vulnerable we are when faced with such wide spread natural disaster. Both leaving risky conditions miles long and miles wide; huge amounts of debris covering cities and blocking roads, unstable infrastructure, millions without power, contaminated water, flooding, shortages of supplies, and entire islands wiped out. Some hotels and resorts fared well through the storm while others will have to rebuild or close the doors completely. Although it is too soon to know the total magnitude of the damage, the recoveries are expected to be long-term.  Hotelmag.com, Jeff Weinstein, gives a breakdown of what to expect from hoteliers impacted by the storms.

From Antigua to Havana in the Caribbean and Miami to Naples and across to St...

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Hoteliers Weigh in on Hurricane Irma: ‘It’s Time to Hunker Down’

Destroying entire islands in the Atlantic already, Hurricane Irma continues her destructive path towards Florida and Georgia; expected to make landfall in those areas Sunday morning. There is much hotel operators can do to prepare for the storm now. The key to hurricane safety is to prepare, be ready, and act once you’ve been alerted by emergency officials. Hotel Business, Corris Little, outlines important steps some hoteliers are taking to prepare for Irma.

NATIONAL REPORT—Just as the waters are beginning to recede in Texas after Hurricane Harvey touched down and caused catastrophic damage to the area, hoteliers in the path of Hurricane Irma are making preparations as the Category 5 storm threatens to make landfall in the Caribbean and several counties in South Florida.

Miami-Dad...

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Accommodations Industry Hurricane Planning Guide

 

 

Some hotels are finding themselves in the path of Hurricane Irma or some of the destructive weather surges it has created or may create. Quick and complete hurricane preparations are necessary to ensure the best possible outcome from the storm for you, your staff and your hotel – if that is even possible.  We came across this valuable resource, “Accommodations Industry Hurricane Planning Guide,” published by Pinellas County, Florida that we thought some of you may be able to use.

https://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/PDF/Hotel_Motel_Planning_Guide.pdf

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