On February 19, Bisnow hosted its 2019 Pacific Northwest Hotel Summit held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. Reputed real estate property developers, hotelier and principal consultant of an architectural and design services firm convened to share their insights on how Seattle’s booming tourism is impacting the hotel industry, specifically with regard to the increase in development, investment, supply, and branding of hotel properties.
A distributor is knocking on your hotel restaurant’s door, offering key chains from a hot new distillery for your customers. A brewery just dropped off coasters for use in the restaurant’s bar. And a winery offered cork screws for your sommeliers.
As a responsible retail licensee, you know that most states tightly govern the relationships among liquor retailers, manufacturers, and distributors.
But where’s the line? What kind of “swag” and other valuable items can your hotel restaurant accept for free without running afoul of the law? To find out, read on.
We rarely publicly celebrate the successes of our hospitality and tourism clients. Tuesday's launch of the proposed Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA) initiative at The Pacific Science Center is one of the best reasons I've seen in some time to break that rule.
Customer Internet access, preferably wireless, is expected in the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, some guests and customers use the Internet access and computer networks you provide to break the law. Specifically, they infringe copyrights by uploading and downloading illegally obtained copies of movies, songs and television clips that are probably themselves illegally obtained copies of copyrighted works, which enterprising persons then illegally post to publicly available Internet sites for download or further sharing (read: illegal copying).
Last week the Seattle Hotel Association presented the 6th installment of its annual symposium and economic forecast. Like years past, this year's program featured a terrific line up of local and regional experts, including Matthew Gardner (Gardner Economics), Vail Brown (STR), Lee McCabe (Expedia), Chris Kraus (PKF) and Tom Norwalk and Jerri Lane (Seattle King County Convention and Visitor's Bureau). Local general managers and directors of sales and marketing have come to rely on the Association's annual symposium as an important part of their annual budgeting process.
I am just back from the 5th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference, held in Washington DC last week. The Conference was an information-packed two and one-half days. There were terrific presentations, interesting panel discussions, great audience questions, and many opportunities to informally connect with others in the hospitality industry who focus on human resource issues. I have already marked my calendar for next year’s Conference to be held February 27-29 in San Francisco.
In today’s post, HT&T team member Mike Brunet (Employment and Litigation) discusses soon-to-be-impactful revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), with a specific focus on how it may impact those in the hospitality industry.
Approximately six months ago, in July 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department of Justice’s regulations governing the ADA. The revisions amend Titles II (applying to public entities) and III (applying to public accommodations and commercial facilities) of the existing regulations and -- with two important exceptions discussed below -- take effect very soon, on March 15, 2011. The remainder of this blog post discusses the basics of the revisions to the ADA that may be of interest to those in the hospitality industry.
Given the recent attention paid by clients to local security issues (including the recent and well received Hotel Industry Security Forum sponsored with the Washington Lodging Association – see Ruth Walter’s recent post on this event), I thought it a good time to review the obligations imposed by law on hoteliers and restaurateurs in Washington and Oregon to protect their guests and customers from crimes committed by third parties. In other words, what responsibility does a hotel or restaurant owner have for guests or customers who are injured (or whose property is damaged or stolen) by criminals. As I explain below, the more a hotel or restaurant owners knows about potential criminal conduct at her establishment, the more likely it is that she may be held responsible for not warning and/or protecting her guests or clients against it.
Missouri governor Jay Nixon signed HB 4211 into law on July 8, adding another point in the travel agent column in the contest with hoteliers, cities, counties and states over hotel/motel occupancy tax issues. The Missouri law codifies the current practice of all municipalities that assess occupancy taxes, namely, the hotels pay tax on the income they receive for their rooms and the travel agents (primarily on-line travel agents or OTAs) pay nothing. No occupancy tax, that is. Normal corporate income tax applies.
This is the latest in a series of disputes at all levels of play on occupancy taxes, including municipal lawsuits against large OTAs for back taxes owed as a result of the wholesale or “merchant” model used by those OTAs, to federal legislation proposed by the Interactive Travel Services Association and opposed by the AH&LA (but supported by, for example, the California Lodging Industry Association), to these types of state efforts to unify the taxation practices of their municipalities.
Greg Duff, Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs GSB’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.