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Christine Samsel

When does your hotel remodel trigger an obligation to become ADA compliant? From ensuring the correct number of disabled-accessible guest rooms to pool and spa accessibility, attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Christine Samsel, Jonathan Sandler and Nick Santucci, address key questions and provide answers on making sure your updates are ADA-compliant. Read more in their latest article... Read on...

Steven D. Weber

When disaster strikes in the hospitality industry or something bad happens, bad publicity almost inevitably follows. A hospitality player might try to take actions to mitigate the impact of this publicity. However, in today's day and age, once the information is out in the news or social media, it may never be erased - or forgotten. The information may sit there for years misinforming and causing damage to a brand. When does publicity cross the line from being merely damaging information about a hospitality industry player - or any business - to information that they might seek to rectify through a lawsuit. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

Viva Las Vegas - "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" - not anymore, at least not when it comes to hotel security in the aftermath of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States by an individual. Hotel owners, operators and brands are taking a hard look at their security policies and procedures with an eye on balancing the safety and privacy of their guests, and safety of members of the community surrounding their hotel, with the comfort and "hospitable" environment that guests expect in hotels. This article will explore whether the Las Vegas shooting will significantly change the way hotel owners, operators and brands approach their security procedures. Read on...

John Mavros

Local legislatures in states, counties, and cities across America are implementing new Paid Sick Leave laws to build a healthy workforce, but employers have no simple task in making sense of them. What is the difference between an accrual cap, a use cap, and a rolling cap? What are the pros and cons of the accrual method versus the frontload method? How does a PTO plan interact with new Paid Sick Leave laws? Check out this article for guidance from employment attorneys to help understand and successfully implement these viral laws. Read on...

William Shepherd

Marriott recently announced the implementation of global anti-human trafficking policies and a training program for all employees. The company's efforts highlight the growing national and international trend toward requiring companies to proactively weed out trafficking from their business and supply chains. Both domestic and international laws are making fighting trafficking a business imperative for hotels who want to avoid brand and liability risks. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

No contemporary workplace challenge is more immediate for employers than sexual assault and harassment. Such wrongdoing, once veiled in secrecy, denial and inattention, is now receiving the consideration it deserves, thanks, in part, to the #MeToo movement. Employers from every business imaginable have taken notice and are making an effort to eliminate inappropriate behavior on the job. Still, there is much work to be done. For their part, hotel and resort owners, operators and management face a particularly acute crisis with respect to sexual misconduct in the workplace, and must take affirmative steps to address this growing epidemic which uniquely impacts their industry. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

A cyberattack, a natural disaster, an injured guest - bad things can happen in the hospitality industry. Hospitality industry players should not have their heads in the sand when it comes to bad events. Instead, hospitality industry players should take steps to prepare for the bad event and practice their response to the bad event. This preparation might include training, preparing a response team, and understanding any legal obligations that may apply in light of any such bad event. Aside from risking bad publicity, a failure to prepare may have legal ramifications. Preparation may mitigate those risks. Read on...

Christine Samsel

Is your hotel website accessible to those with disabilities? If you don't think this will impact your property, think again. More than 800 federal lawsuits claiming lack of website accessibility were filed in 2017, including many against hospitality companies and hotels. Christine Samsel and Jonathan Sandler, shareholders at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, dive into what the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) has to do with websites and why the hospitality industry is particularly susceptible to individuals filing claims against them. Read on...

Josias Dewey

Earlier this year, the travel company Webjet announced it was in the process of converting a blockchain pilot it had developed into a commercial grade application. The blockchain-based application will be able to provide accurate information about hotel inventory, on a real-time basis, for hotels around the world. This article will discuss these and other possible use cases important to the hospitality industry, including their business justification. Beyond the explanation of use cases, the article highlights several legal considerations that hotel counsel will need to confront and consider as the technology is deployed, including intellectual property, privacy laws in the United States and the European Union and FinCen's current guidance on convertible virtual currencies and the potential relationship between money laundering and blockchain-based loyalty programs. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

There is a growing shortage of qualified and skilled hospitality employees. This shortage may lead hospitality brands to hire from competitors. While the idea of hiring a skilled employee with access to a competitor's information may be tempting, hiring from a competitor may have negative repercussions for the employee, the employer, and for the hospitality brand that is hiring them. To mitigate the risk of such a repercussion, a hospitality brand may wish to consider the below when hiring from a competitor. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Hoteliers may ask: "isn't cannabis illegal under the federal law?" The short answer is yes, but that is a qualified response at best. As the scale tips toward marijuana becoming legal throughout the country, pot continues to be against the law federally. The resulting dichotomy between the relaxed view of cannabis and its extracts at the state level and the current federal position on marijuana is an interesting one. According to the Controlled Substance Act, by which the federal government regulates drugs, there is no recognized difference between cannabis, cocaine, heroin or LSD. Likewise, the CSA does not distinguish between the medical and recreational use of marijuana. So technically, pot is illegal and users (even those with valid prescriptions for the substance) can be arrested, convicted and sentenced to jail under the federal law as it stands. Read on...

Leon Fresco

There are two main challenges the hospitality industry faces from the new Administration's immigration policies - increased labor costs and decreased demand. With regard to labor, policies are likely to be promulgated that may remove millions of non-U.S. citizen workers from the U.S. workforce and make it far more challenging for the hospitality industry to obtain the labor needed operate its facilities. With regard to demand, policies have already been put in place, and are likely to continue to expand, that will reduce the demand from foreign visitors to enter the United States and consume hospitality resources. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

Competitive intelligence is a powerful tool used to maintain an advantage over competitors. A wealth of competitive intelligence can be obtained through public documents like public filings, earnings reports, and legal documents. Compiling, reviewing, and extrapolating the competitive intelligence from those documents takes time and money. Succumbing to the temptation to shortcut the necessary effort can have costly legal consequences. Hospitality industry companies must thus be wary of engaging in methods that cross legal and ethical boundaries. Companies must also be watchful of any efforts by their competitors to gather intelligence from them. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

The matters weighing on the minds of hotel and resort owners and operators are many: average daily rates, occupancy levels, market penetration, revenue generation, operating costs, growth trajectories, tourism trends, customer service demands, real estate concerns, budget constraints, inventory management, cyber security and effective marketing strategies are a few of the major ones. Labor and employment issues are an unusually significant source of concern for hotel executives as well, demanding a disproportionate amount of their attention given the burdensome legal requirements imposed upon employers. Read on...

John Mavros

The Family Medical Leave Act, the American with Disabilities Act, and worker's compensation provide employees that are injured or disabled with various rights to leave or reasonable accommodation. An employer's understanding of these laws is imperative to avoid disability discrimination lawsuits. This article will explore each law's parameters and the interplay among them. Read on...

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Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.