Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “2015 CTSSA Fraud Conference”

The 2015 California Tourism Safety and Security Conference is being held Thursday, September 17, 2015 at the beautiful Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California.  This half day conference is centered around fraud4d30d4d05aa65b796643a506d93fc01a and forgery detection and prevention at your business. With subject matter experts instructing in hands-on, nuts and bolts training format, you will see first hand how criminals forge fraudulent credit cards, wash checks, and take advantage of your unsuspecting business.

Together with several California law enforcement, security, and tourism industry organizations, the Association plans and hosts the nation’s largest training conference dedicated to issues of safety & security for visitors and visitor venues.   The annual conference features timely new training topics each year, presented by experienced practitioners and subject matter experts.   Content and logistics are planned and coordinated by a committee of CTSSA volunteers, chaired by Dave Wiggins.

The event includes a full day of training, plus the Tech Expo which showcases emerging tools & technologies, as well as a keynote address, and hosted luncheon and cocktail reception.   The conference has been praised for its timely and relevant “nuts-n-bolts” training content, as well as its valuable networking opportunities.  The conference has been held at various locations throughout California.  Participants come from all across the United States.  Participation is by pre-registration, and is open only to qualified working professionals.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Mt3G6e

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Why Union Leaders Want L.A. to Give Them a Minimum Wage Loophole”

“Some see thinly veiled self-interest at work in labor’s quest for waivers in minimum wage laws. Glenn Spencer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that Southern CaliforniaLA minimum wage in particular shows the potential benefits of such provisions for private-sector unions at a time when many are struggling to stanch long-term declines in membership”

One of the most divisive issues that Los Angeles City Council members expect to confront when they return this week from a summer recess will be a proposal by labor leaders to exempt unionized workers from the city’s new minimum wage.

The push for the loophole, which began in the final days before the law’s passage, caused a backlash rarely seen in this pro-union city and upended perceptions of labor’s role in the fight to raise pay for the working poor. Union activists were among the most stalwart backers of L.A.’s ordinance raising the wage to $15 by 2020, and argued against special consideration for nonprofits and small businesses.

Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said the union waiver would be a routine protection against challenges to the ordinance under federal labor law. “This is about staying consistent with previous provisions and crafting something that will withstand legal scrutiny and delay,” Hicks said in May. In California, he added, “we’ve seen every city that has passed a minimum wage include this kind of a provision.”

A Times review of other cities’ minimum wage laws, as well as interviews with labor leaders and legal experts, suggests the truth is more complicated.

Guarantees that organized workers should be allowed to bargain for a subminimum wage appear to have scant legal justification, some experts said. They are not a universal feature of local wage ordinances, in California or other states. San Diego, the largest California city to raise its minimum wage in recent years before L.A., did not include such an exception.

For more: http://lat.ms/1OLyDlk

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Northwest Dallas Hotel is ‘hub for drug use, prostitution and violent crime,’ Says City Hall”

The city of Dallas has had enough, and late Thursday filed suit against the owners of the motel that looks decent enough on the outside but is anything but on the inside, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The city wants the court to order the owners to clean it up immediately or face thousand-dollar-a-day penalties until the laundry list of problems are remedied.

In early December, two men were shot and another man was injured (after he jumped out a window to escape being shot) at the Orange Extended Stay Motel on Finnell Street in Northwest Dallas, near Northwest Highway and N. Stemmons Freeway. Several residents told our Naheed Rajwani at the time they feel unsafe at the Orange and that, perhaps, it was time to move away from the crime-ridden (and poorly reviewed) hotel. Said one woman, “I’m scared, and I don’t want to end up losing my life being in this area.”

She had good reason to be concerned: On May 30, someone was shot to death at the hotel.

The city of Dallas has had enough, and late Thursday filed suit against the owners of the motel that looks decent enough on the outside but is anything but on the inside, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The city wants the court to order the owners — Carrollton-based Dynasty Hotel Group — to clean it up immediately or face thousand-dollar-a-day penalties until the laundry list of problems are remedied.

“The relatively well kept facade of this business belies the abhorrent physical conditions, habitual drug offenses, and violent crime that have pervaded its interior and for which the property has become known,” says the suit, signed by Assistant City Attorney Melissa Miles.

For more: http://bit.ly/1KkzKtx

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “6 Ways to Prepare For the Next Downturn”

“Providing an exceptional guest experience is the best investment any hotelier can make.20150714_downturn_feature This is why we as a brand have rolled out a membership-wide training program all about the importance of unlocking the personalities of the staff and the story of the hotel when guests stay,” she said.

Good times continue to roll for the global hospitality sector with growth in the travel and tourism industry expected to increase by 3.9% this year, according to Ernst & Young’s “Global hospitality insights” report for 2015.

But in the cyclical fashion of the industry, the upswing can’t last forever.

So what should hoteliers be doing now to prepare for the inevitable down cycle, and how much can investing in their products and services now set them up for not so good times in the future?

For Eric Danziger, president and CEO of Debut Hotel Group and Hampshire Hotels Management, preparation now is absolutely key to success in a future downturn.

“Hoteliers should be pragmatic, preparing for when it is a bit more difficult to get those much-needed guests through a property’s doors,” he said. “Hoteliers that are prepared with a product and with services that guests value, appreciate and are willing to pay for will be ahead of the game.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1IflBgM

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “DOJ Releases Supplemental Guidance on Service Animals Under the Americans With Disabilities Act”

“Public accommodations and facilities covered by the ADA (including, but not limited to,those noted above) are well-advised to review the new guidance,Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svg which provides practical insight into these and other thorny issues that frequently arise with regard to service animal access.”

With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) just two weeks away, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has released a new technical assistance document addressing frequently asked questions regarding service animals and the ADA.   This additional guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with the DOJ’s previous July 2011 technical assistance on Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals, which remains in full effect.

The DOJ has stated that this additional guidance is meant to further assist people with disabilities as well as places of public accommodation covered by the ADA – such as retail shops, restaurants, hotels, medical facilities, theaters and event spaces, and other places open to the public – in understanding how the ADA’s service animal provisions apply to them. Among other topics, the additional guidance addresses in detail:

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Three Rules of Renovation”

“In an era when the next big tech invention seems to arrive every week, we recognize that our guests require us to stay on trend,” Spillett says.Renovation “We know that traveling can take its toll and sometimes leaves us vulnerable, without the comforts of home. These comforts increasingly fall in the technology category, so we make every effort to ensure that our guests have convenient access to the latest tech amenities and services.”

Lodging’s current robust performance is creating a competitive environment when it comes to product freshness. The industry fundamentals have never been better, and these conditions are driving a flurry of construction projects, rebranding and conversion activity, and renovations of every scope throughout the United States.

In the last three years, an estimated 1.2 million hotel rooms have been renovated, representing more than 20 percent of the existing supply, Lodging Econometrics (LE) data reveals. According to Bruce Ford, LE’s senior vice president and director of global business development, the number of renovations will likely trend downward as strong hotel operating profitability discourages owners from making rooms unavailable while being renovated. However, for those hoteliers willing to take the plunge and make some upgrades, here are some key takeaways for making the best renovation decisions for your bottom line.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Are You Breaking the Law by Recording Calls?”

“Regardless of the content of the call, hoteliers should be ensuring that they are using automatic disclosures—in order to obtain consumer consenthotel-phone—if using an automatic recording system. If an operator becomes the target of one of these consumer privacy class actions, taking an aggressive approach and attacking these claims as incongruent with the legislative purpose and intent behind the respective statute is a recommended.”

In the past few years, class action plaintiffs have recovered billions of dollars in punitive damages by exploiting strict liability laws that punish businesses for failing to properly notify customers when a phone call is being recorded.

Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes, businesses including hotels are prohibited from using certain tactics when telemarketing or making calls to solicit potential guests or customers. Hotels and other businesses are precluded from making calls or using any kind of prerecorded message, unless the caller has obtained a recipient’s prior express consent in writing or electronically.

Additionally, hoteliers are prohibited from making calls to residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and a future hotel guest calling to confirm a reservation also must be notified if the call is recorded. Hence, under these laws, if a hotel receptionist in Montana receives a call from a California resident to confirm a reservation but never notifies the recipient that the call is being recorded, it could result in damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per call under federal and state laws.

This seemingly innocuous business practice of recording customer service calls without providing some variation of the oft-heard disclosure, “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes” has the potential to financially cripple a business.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CBRlu6

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