Securing Hotel Parking Lots

By Alan Zajic Independent Security Consultant, AWZ Consulting | June 24, 2012

Co-authored by Derk J. Boss, CPP, CSP, CFE

As with any business in the world today parking areas are a necessary and vital component that has a tendency to be underestimated as it relates to guest or employee protection. Every hotelier is aware that parking lots generate a large expense in maintenance, lighting, cleaning and the associated landscaping and accesses. Everything has a direct cost and security is no exception.

The hotel ownership and executive management must balance those costs against revenues and realistically apply reasonable security measures into the overall business plan. Questions are always pondered and evaluated as to the cost and necessity of traditional security measures to include if “boots on the ground” are needed or required in a hotel or transient rental environment. There is not a simple yes or no answer to the question absent a professional analysis.

If an economy hotel with a low ADR as compared to the area competition does not provide security officers is that acceptable? Many operators feel that if they are not providing security services and have a lower rate as a result that it insulates them from liability which is incorrect. Every state has various statutory and common law provisions regarding the duty that a hotel has to provide reasonable security measures to provide some form of protection to people from foreseeable harm. Your attorney is best qualified to assist you in understanding what is required.

Conducting the Risk Assessment

The professional and accepted manner to assess what security measures should be deployed in a hospitality environment is to conduct a Risk Assessment. If the facility has a qualified security manager or director who knows how to conduct one it can use that person as the ranking security official. Many corporate security departments already have personnel who address risk and manage overall security policy. For those operations who do not have the benefit of a corporate security or risk department the task may involve retaining a qualified security consultant to conduct one for you. You can be assured that if you are sued for an incident in a parking lot one of the legal questions propounded to you will be did you complete one or hire an outside security consultant.

Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.