Editorial Board   

Mr. Benton

David Benton

Vice President and General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel

David G. Benton, recognized as one of the hospitality industry's most innovative and visionary leaders, serves as the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominium Residences, and serves as a board member of many prestigious organizations including the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, The Restaurant School, the Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council and the Hero Scholarship Fund. He is presently vice president of the Philadelphia Art Alliance; and in the past has served on the International Visitors Council and the Arts & Business Council. Previously, Mr. Benton served as the general manager of Denver Place, a 335-suite hotel which included 193 luxury apartments, 2 1/2 million square feet of office space, and 100,000 square feet of retail space in downtown Denver, Colorado. Prior to his time in Colorado, Mr. Benton was the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for Fiesta American Hotels located in Mexico City, Mexico. In 1989, Mr. Benton became the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel, a 98-room luxury boutique hotel overlooking Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, The Rittenhouse Hotel is recognized as one of the world^aEURTMs foremost luxury boutique hotels and has received numerous awards by top travel and hospitality organizations and publications. These awards include the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award since 1991, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award. In addition, Esquire Magazine named the Hotel^aEURTMs renowned restaurant Lacroix at The Rittenhouse "Restaurant of the Year" in 2003, The Rittenhouse Hotel has been voted as one of the "best places to stay in the world" by Cond~A(c) Nast Traveler, Departures magazine named The Rittenhouse as the sixth best boutique hotel in North America and the Official Hotel Guide named The Rittenhouse the only Philadelphia hotel among its list of 101 Superior Deluxe Hotels worldwide in 2002. David Benton has been recognized as a highly focused innovative business leader with strong entrepreneurial, consumer visionary skills, particularly in corporate restructuring and rapidly changing business situations within the travel and hospitality industry. Born and raised in London, England, Mr. Benton is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School of Administration in Ithaca, New York. He is married with two children.

Mr. Benton can be contacted at 215-790-2527 or dbenton@rittenhousehotel.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.