Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “The Hotel of the Future”

“…’The cookie-cutter in-room experience has to die,’ says internationally recognized keynote speaker Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean, UW-Stout School of Hospitality Leadership, Menomonie, WI…timthumb‘We’ve talked about customization for a long time now,’ she notes. ‘We’ve talked about the colors of the room changing, about what’s on the walls changing to be more reflective of the person who is in the room. But it’s not just the physical, it’s the intangible.’…”

At the YOTEL New York, a towering robotic arm takes guests’ luggage and stores it in bar-coded storage bins. The Nine Zero Hotel in Boston uses iris-scan technology that opens the door to its presidential suite, while the Hotel Éclat in Taipei, Taiwan, has toilets with lids that open automatically. The hotel experience is changing, and the future will be here faster than you think. We asked planners, hoteliers, and hospitality experts to make some predictions on what the guest experience will be like; what follows are 20 features that are already here, or will soon be here before you even know it.

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Hospitality Industry Guest Safety Update: “Placing Guests at the Heart of Safety”

“…Risk, along with return, is perhaps the most important part of any business calculation. Risk has to be managed correctly and one way of doing this is to have a risk strategy. A risk strategy helps everyone understand the importance of risk awareness.  It is useful because it sets down in black and white the kind of things you will and won’t do. It’s always difficult to look away when there is an opportunity to make more money and in the heat of the moment one can throw caution to the wind…”

When one purchases a high-priced item, it is natural and reasonable to expect a high-quality of performance. For most people, cars and holidays count as the two highest priced items of regular expenditure. People save money to take their annual holiday and also put aside money to be able to purchase a newer car.
During the past two to three decades, the automobile industry has made vast strides towards improving the quality of their products to the extent that faults on new cars are now a rarity. Yes, occasionally, manufactures ‘recall’ certain models owing to production defects, but the percentage of recalled cars is a tiny fraction to that of the thousands of cars that are globally sold daily.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Va. AG Sues Richmond Magnuson Grand Hotel”

“Virginia consumers have every right to expect that agreements will be honored when it comes time for delivery of goods and services,” Herring said.Richmond-Magnuson-Grand “I will not tolerate businesses that misrepresent themselves or mislead customers and my office is absolutely committed to protecting Virginia consumers from such practices.”

RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced a lawsuit on Friday against the operator of a Henrico County hotel for allegedly violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the state’s bait and switch statute.

GRM Management LLC, the operator of the Richmond Magnuson Grand Hotel and Convention Center, allegedly offered and confirmed room rates for one price but overcharged customers upon check-in or told them their requested room was unavailable.

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Hospitality Industry Guest Safety Update: “Florida Police Ask for Tourist Tax Dollars to Fight Crime”

“…The move is likely to face resistance from Florida’s influential tourism industry which has fought similar plans in the past Imageto use tourism tax dollars for anything other than marketing expenses in driving more business to the Sunshine State…”

“…Jim Preston, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Florida said police, fire and ambulance services invest lots of money and resources protecting tourist areas. ‘I think it’s reasonable that some of those tourist-tax dollars should be going to those agencies to help offset those costs,’ he said…”

Following a spate of robberies in hotels in Orlando’s tourist district in recent weeks, a law-enforcement group proposed extra spending on public safety, directly financed by the local hotel tax.

The Fraternal Order of Police wants the Florida Legislature to let local councils use some of their tourist tax dollars to fund public safety improvements in tourist areas.

There has been over a dozen robberies targeting hotels and restaurants in the Orlando area, thought to have been carried out by the same armed gang.

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Hospitality Industry Guest Issues: “Can You Legally Smoke Marijuana in a Seattle Hotel Room?”

“…According to the Washington Lodging Association, there are no universally enforced protocols within the hospitality industry as to smoking marijuana inside the hotels for medical or recreational purposes. Image Because of this, it is completely up to the hotel owners whether to allow marijuana use in the designated smoking rooms or not…”

With legal recreational pot shops set to open for business at some point in the spring, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and others have been pushing the state to okay places where marijuana tourists in Seattle can smoke up. (So far to no avail.)

Their fear is that our streets will be crowded with tourists smoking in public and annoying everyone, as well as breaking the law against public “display” of weed. The fine is only $27, but the backlash could be bigger with too many puffers wandering around.

But in a state where it is illegal to smoke anything inside or around public places, things can get tricky for these tourists wanting to exercise their newfound freedom in hotel rooms.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Plaza Hotel Using Noise as Legal Reason to Remove Bike-Share Rake”

“…Steven Sladkus, attorney for the luxury hotel and condos, told The Post when he first filed the case last fall, Image “The public should enjoy unobstructed or unblemished landmarks. This isn’t just for the ‘wealthy’ in The Plaza. This is for the benefit of everyone. Don’t mar it.” He declined to comment on the city’s response…”

A city attorney blasted The Plaza hotel for using “red herrings” such as traffic, noise and historical import in its legal quest to remove a bulky bike-share rack near its entrance.

“It is clear that this proceeding is motivated instead purely by The Plaza hotel’s aesthetic concerns,” Nicholas Ciappetta, a lawyer for the city, said in a Jan. 28 court filing revealed Tuesday. “In other words, The Plaza hotel does not want the station anywhere in its vicinity,” Ciappetta added, asking a judge to toss the “meritless” case.

Ciappetta called the high-priced hotel “self-serving” for trying to oust one of the city’s most popular kiosks.

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Hospitality Industry Security Update: “Mission Valley Travelodge Owners Agree to Increase Security Measures to Thwart Prostitution”

“…Tourism is one of San Diego’s largest industries, guests to our city should feel safe and secure during their stay,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.Image “Our office will continue to combat illegal activity such as prostitution and will work diligently to hold business owners accountable and clean up neighborhoods…” 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The owners of the Travelodge motel in Mission Valley have agreed to increase security measures to thwart prostitution activity, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Mission Valley Travelodge Joint Venture and WW Lodging Ltd. are to hire onsite security guards and reimburse the city of San Diego more than $18,000 in investigative costs, according to the deal reached last week.

The partnership that owns and manages the motel at 1201 Hotel Circle S. already have installed more security cameras, posted signs to deter criminal activity and improved registration policies to include the photocopying of all guest and visitor identification cards and registering of all guest and visitor vehicles, the City Attorney’s Office said.

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