Hospitality Industry Financial Update: “The New ABCs of Hotel Financing”

“…Dual branding is a mechanism that’s gaining steam and attractive to lenders.ABCs By placing two brands in one building, you’re maximizing efficiency in a number of ways: increasing the number of rooms on the land parcel; sharing a common lobby, public areas, and housekeeping staff; and employing one general manager and one salesperson…”

The fundamentals of hotel investing have never been better, and opportunities abound for getting deals done. The current funding landscape isn’t as crazy as the Wild West days of 2007, but a rebounding economy and rosy RevPAR optimism, coupled with new financing schools of thought and plenty of competition, mean opportunities are out there for buying, selling, and refinancing properties. This quick primer from hotel financing insiders tells you what’s really working now.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Mahwah Hotel to Pay $110,000 to Settle Sandy Price-Gouging Lawsuit”

“…State law prohibits price increases of more than 10 percent than normal during declared states of emergency. GavelComfort Suites Mahwah allegedly charged more than $100 more than the allowed increase in some cases, according to the state lawsuit…The state filed 27 lawsuits against businesses accused of price gouging after Hurricane Sandy…”

A township hotel will pay $110,000 to settle claims that it gouged prices after Hurricane Sandy, authorities said.

Comfort Suites Mahwah allegedly engaged in 473 instances of illegal price gouging after the storm, a lawsuit filed by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs said.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Blame Flies Over Drowning Death in Seattle Hotel Pool”

“…The lawsuit claims that Deboch’s body was dragged by suction from a pump to a drain in the middle of the deep end,WA pool where it was held for nearly three hours. The suit claims that the pump’s emergency shut-off, which would have released suction after detecting a blockage, had failed. The suit also claims poor water quality prevented rescue attempts by firefighters…”

The family of a man who drowned a year ago in the swimming pool at the Quality Inn & Suites Seattle Center has filed a wrongful-death suit against the owners of the hotel, claiming poor maintenance made the water unusually murky and contributed to a botched rescue operation by firefighters.

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Hospitality Industry ADA Update: “Best Western Responds to Property That Refused Family With Service Dog”

“…Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,service dogservice animals can accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed. Staffers are allowed to only ask two questions: Whether the dog is a service animal and what tasks he has been trained to perform…”

Best Western International has responded to its Baton Rouge property that refused the reservation of a North Carolina family traveling with a service dog by temporarily restricting the hotel from accepting reservations.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hot-Sheets Bronx Motel Kept Bloody Mattress in Room Years After Customer Died of Overdose on Bed”

“…A room attendant who photographed the soiled mattress in room 230 weeksbronx hotel before the inspection told an arbitrator it had been in use up until April, 2014…The firm also found that hotel management had failed to properly train staff on how to handle sheets and towels contaminated with human waste and other substances…”

Working in this Bronx motel is a bloody hell.

The owners of a hot-sheet motel where union laborers have been protesting wage and benefits cuts failed to replace a bloody mattress two years after a dead man was found on the bed, workers claim.

Owner Ankoor Naik has also ignored two independent reports that found inadequate training and protection for employees at the 94-unit flophouse despite hazardous conditions and bedbug infestations, workers and safety experts attest.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Should You Use Internal or External PR Staff?”

“…But in certain situations, outside agencies can bring their own set of attributes, including: a fresh, “out-of-the-box” perspective;Meeting specialized expertise on such issues as brand/property marketing or positioning, big events, labor relations, financial communications and crisis work; digital/social media; specific media contacts; and arms-and-legs support for internal staff. Additionally, from a cost standpoint, you can turn the faucet on and off as needed…”

When tackling a public relations issue (positive or negative), be it at the property or at a corporate level, the factor to be weighed most carefully and objectively is the understanding as to what resources are at your disposal and how they should be utilized.

Generally speaking, the most important decision is whether to use internal PR staff (to the extent it exists) or an outside PR firm. There is no one right answer, but this large and potentially expensive decision does require several factors to be carefully considered.

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Hospitality Industry Liability Update: “Hotels Don’t Need CO Alarms, New Rules Say”

“…CO is a very real danger, and CO alarms should be in hotel rooms,”CO says Stephen Thom, a University of Maryland professor of emergency medicine and a CO specialist. “CO incidents happen in every major city regularly, and people only pay attention to the need for CO detectors when there is a tragedy…”

New international building and fire codes that will be published this summer may provide hotel guests less protection from deadly carbon monoxide.

The 2015 codes eliminate a 2012 requirement that required a CO alarm in each guest room or a detection system in all common areas, according to Michael O’Brian, a member of an International Code Council committee that recommended the new codes.

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