“…There were reports from some parents who said they’d been told an employee had added muriatic acid (another name for hydrochloric acid) to the hot tub….Mixing hydrochloric acid and chlorine produces chlorine gas, which can be toxic…According to the Material Safety Data Sheet for chlorine, symptoms of inhalation include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and vomiting. Inhaling high concentrations may cause unconsciousness and death…”
A nasty mix of chemicals turned a leisurely night by the pool into a horror show for more than 50 people at the Carling Avenue Travelodge hotel on Saturday night.
It remained unclear on Sunday what exactly caused the cloud of chlorine gas at the indoor water park that left hotel guests — mostly children — coughing, vomiting and having difficulty breathing.
Paramedics treated 54 people for chlorine exposure, with several experiencing severe respiratory distress. Three people were sent to hospital, though all were in stable condition upon arrival.
For more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Children+treated+chlorine+exposure+hotel/9597878/story.html
“…Starwood Hotels has been testing radio frequency identification technology at 14 Aloft hotels, where Starwood Preferred Guest members who’ve opted in to the program and received an advanced SPG card can receive a text message with their room number. Then the guest can bypass the traditional check-in process and use their SPG card to enter their room…’With the evolution of smart check-in, Starwood has a true industry first on its hands,’ McGuinness said. ‘Never has there been a system which allows guests to completely bypass the front desk.’…”
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—To help accommodate rushed travelers and stay on the cutting edge of innovation, hoteliers for years have been fixated on adopting mobile keys. But because of a fragmented smartphone manufacturing industry, varying worldwide cell signal standards and expensive locking system upgrades, mobile keys have yet to become more than just a fixation.
Many brands and operators have announced “mobile check-in” solutions that allow guests to check into their hotel and even select a room from their mobile phone before they arrive. But true keyless entry, which allows guests to bypass the front desk and use their mobile phone to unlock their guestroom door, remains on the distant horizon.
For more: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Article/13296/Mobile-keys-slow-to-gain-traction
“…Mrs. Robinson, who declined to give her first name for fear of retaliation, said she and most of her neighbors were victims in the last few months. Robinson said she lost about $400 in electronics and fishing supplies after burglars kicked in her back door…Keefe and Jensen said they hope plans to shut down and renovate the motel will make an immediate impact. They said they plan to add extra lighting around the building and install surveillance cameras…”
A Cumberland County commissioner and a Fayetteville city councilwoman told Cottonade residents Tuesday night that a longtime motel the officials own will close temporarily in efforts to curb neighborhood crime.
Cottonade neighbors and Fayetteville police, who have ramped up efforts to end a surge in area break-ins, said the Cottonade Square Guest Inn was housing the culprits.
“…’The proliferation of public Wi-Fi is one of the biggest threats to consumer data,’…’A hacker can monitor the network traffic of an entire store with an iPad-sized device hidden away in his backpack.’ The issue isn’t just that the networks are so easy to attack. With little public awareness that the threat even exists, users routinely expose valuable personal data over Wi-Fi hotspots, making the networks an even more attractive target…”
Each week seems to bring news of yet another security breach that puts our personal information into the hands of hackers. The username and password theft here at Forbes.com, the hack of Kickstarter users’ contact info, and of course, the massive data breach at Target are just a few examples highlighting the ongoing battle for data security. But the recent emphasis on data theft from websites and retailers makes it all too easy to lose sight of an even more prevalent security and privacy disaster: the public Wi-Fi networks that we eagerly seek out in coffee shops, hotel rooms and airports.
For more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/amadoudiallo/2014/03/04/hackers-love-public-wi-fi-but-you-can-make-it-safe/
“…The hiring of Katherine Lugar last year as president and CEO of the AH&LA was another smart move. She is a seasoned Washington lobbyist who has brought a sense of urgency to the group’s core mission of advocacy on behalf of the industry.Since Lugar arrived, the AH&LA lobbying team has been rebuilt and retooled and is now a much stronger voice on the industry’s key issues…”
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the American Hotel & Lodging Association was teetering on irrelevance. During the 1970s, ‘80s and even the 1990s, the association was strictly an “old boys’ club,” run mostly by provincially minded independent hotel owners whose visions of the industry barely went beyond the borders of their small towns, much less the rest of the United States or beyond.
Even though it represented an industry as large and economically powerful as the hotel business, the association had little clout in Washington and little respect among many hotel executives, especially those in large brand and management companies who felt underrepresented within the association and, by extension, in the federal bureaucracy and the halls of Congress.
For more: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Article/13275/The-hotel-industry-is-in-AHLAs-good-hands
“…There is no way to consistently have superior customer service without every employee performing to their fullest. But how do we know if any of our employees are truly performing at that level…”
“…There are two basic ways to evaluate and monitor any staff within any department and it is a shame that most managers wait until something goes wrong to focus on either of them…”
You have hired a few new employees; whether they were a waiter, bartender, front desk agent, cook, etc., so what is next? You put them through your usual training program and now they are “on the floor” working on their own. A few weeks go by and your new recruit has been doing a decent job and you know that their speed & efficiency will only get better. You think “great, that position is filled and I can now move on to the next challenge”.
But how do you monitor this new employee over time? Frankly, how do you monitor ANY of your employees over time? What process do you use to evaluate your staff, and not just the newly hired ones?
For more: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/column/global/154000392/4064225.html
“…Technology, to a large extent, desensitizes people, and it has the potential of rendering our industry into a commodity. If the hotel is nothing but self-check-in and kiosks and you don’t have interaction with anyone, then that type of experience can be easily copied. We all read comment cards and letters that come to us. They almost never write about the product experience. It’s always about people, whether it’s a compliment or a complaint. It’s always the front desk people, how they were received, or the housekeeper. This industry is called the hospitality industry for a reason. If we, for the sake of technology and efficiency, give that up, then we’ll be like the airlines. We’ll be a commodity…”
The hotel industry is thriving once again as more Americans hit the road for business and for pleasure. But today’s travelers are ever-more demanding and tech-savvy, and they’re expecting hotels to adapt.
USA TODAY assembled five of the industry’s top executives last month at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles in the L.A. Live JW Marriott hotel for a discussion of the industry’s latest developments and challenges. Participating in our third annual roundtable were: Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson; Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants CEO Michael A. Depatie; Choice Hotels International CEO Stephen Joyce; InterContinental Hotels Group President of the Americas Kirk Kinsell; and Best Western CEO David Kong. USA TODAY’s Nancy Trejos moderated the discussion. The text has been edited for clarity and length.
For more: http://www.pnj.com/usatoday/article/5495223