Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gabrielsen

Rick Gabrielsen

President, Kupuna Hospitality, LLC

Passionate involvement and infinite horizons are what defines Rick Gabrielsen — be it as an industry leader admired by his peers for a reputation of peak performance, a trusted advisor and loyal business partner, or a compassionate community volunteer. With 35 years experience in hospitality management for a variety of corporate, independent and bank owned hotels, he is one of the foremost experts in asset management and operations of boutique hotels and limited service properties. Prior to forming Kupuna Hospitality, Mr. Gabrielsen held the position of Area Vice President for Hilton Worldwide, managing company-owned and or managed brands of Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites hotels in the Mountain — West region and Mexico. He has opened 12 hotels and has transitioned 15 new hotels in the past ten years, and was responsible for a combined portfolio of 60 locations, with consistent recognition for team results in RevPAR, IBFC growth, Guest Service and Team Member Loyalty. Kupuna Hospitality's vision is to provide guidance and strength for dynamic growth to hotel owners and dedicated individuals able to implement sound strategic plans that yield optimum profits at hotels we manage. Mr. Gabrielsen is a C.H.O (Certified Hotel Owner) AAHOA Class of 2010-2011. He actively participates within various groups of sustainability and Green awareness and was recently awarded the EnergyStar certification for the Homewood Suites by Hilton, Oakland - Waterfront, a hotel within the portfolio of Kupuna. Passionate about the community and making a difference for others, Mr. Gabrielsen actively participates in Meals on Wheels and the Boulder Rotary Club. He has held Board positions in each and has been recognized as a “Silent Hero” and “Humanitarian of the Year” for his contributions in the community.

Mr. Gabrielsen can be contacted at 303-376-6313 or rick@kupunahospitality.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.