Library Archives

 
Leora Halpern Lanz

Today, it appears that the digital marketing discipline has been stopped in its tracks in the face of new laws or regulations and creative lawsuits. The recent developments in litigation regarding the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to website accessibility for the visually impaired, are important to note. An interesting legal question is whether "places of public accommodation" are limited to physical locations, or whether the definition can be broad enough to include digital locations - websites.To best understand what is involved, it is helpful to understand the background of this topic, the nuances, and points to consider. READ MORE

William A. Brewer III

On January 31, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") implemented revised regulations covering what is required by public accommodations to meet the Americans With Disabilities Act standards for accessible design. The new standards mandate for the first time that pools and spas be made accessible at most places of lodging, including hotels. Advocates for people with disabilities have made clear that the time has come for the hospitality industry to comply or face the risk of sinking in a pool of private lawsuits and federal enforcement actions. Here is what you need to know about the new ADA standards and what to do if your venue does not comply. READ MORE

Clara Rose

The growing number of travelers that need special accommodations or access is changing the face of the hospitality industry forever. Currently there are more than 54 million Americans with disabilities. Additionally, somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 everyday of the year and will do so for the next 19 years! How many of these baby boomers have - or will have in the future - different abilities that require special accommodations? Is your brand being proactive and making the adjustments necessary to meet the changing needs of the multigenerational travelers? How will you stay relevant? READ MORE

Clara Rose

Social media allows anyone with an internet connection (web based or mobile) to interact with others in a personal or anonymous fashion and to engage in a non-threatening way. For consumers with different abilities, the benefits are even more profound since it offers them opportunities for participation. As the internet has morphed from an informational only resource to a more conversational style of interaction; the growth in social media interaction has become a tidal wave. Consumers can now enjoy the benefits that come from engaging with goods and services providers as well as socializing, enjoying entertainment or even working from a remote location or at home. READ MORE

Clara Rose

With the recent ADA Compliance extension granted by the Department of Justice, the deadline for installation of water feature lifts have been has been pushed out until January 31, 2013. During this compliance extension, the department of Justice has announced that it will not enforce the fixed elements provision in the 2010 standards against those owners who purchased otherwise compliant portable lifts prior to March 15, 2012, as long as those owners keep the lifts in place for use and operational during all times that the water feature is open to guest. While this short reprieve has created a collective sigh of relief in the hospitality industry, it should not give license to complacency. It is almost certain that there will be very little leniency for those not compliant by this new deadline. READ MORE

Stephen Barth

What if someone told you that by spending an estimated $5,000 (sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more), you could show exceptional appreciation to the men and women that became disabled while protecting our rights during a war? Or what if you had a child that was disabled but loved to swim. Would you want them to be able to enjoy all of the amenities that a place of public accommodation has to offer, or would you want them to have to sit on the side of the pool while all of the other children were playing in it? Perhaps it is time to take a different perspective on the ADA. READ MORE

Clara Rose

Many hospitality properties have taken a proactive approach to the ADA changes and hired an independent firm to conduct an ADA compliance inspection or survey, others have decided to wait and see. While these new regulations promise positive change for those with different abilities; much more can be done in an effort to offer an ADA Friendly environment for those guests. Go beyond the required ADA access; consider adding some of the measures or ADA Friendly features from the 2012 Checklist and become a truly ADA friendly property. READ MORE

Clara Rose

Disability is one small fact about a person with different abilities, just like having red or black hair, green or blue eyes or wearing glasses. Looking beyond the disability, one will see an individual whose life is more similar to theirs than it is different. Discrimination - especially subtle discrimination - continues to thrive. It is everyday stereotypes and assumptions about our differences that are the basis for most discrimination. It is probable that many of these acts are not committed with malice but are the result of a lack of education about proper terminology and etiquette. READ MORE

William A. Brewer III

The hotel industry has become a target of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enforcement actions and lawsuits. Whether action is prompted by a single guest complaint at a particular hotel or a sweeping DOJ investigation covering hotels in a designated geographical area, one thing is clear - no hotel is immune. Boutique, luxury and limited service hotels are all within the scope as the DOJ widens its target range. READ MORE

Clara Rose

Since ADA sensitivity is a growing concern in the hospitality industry, a proactive plan for training would seem prudent. Discrimination - especially subtle discrimination - continues to thrive. It is the everyday stereotypes and assumptions about our differences that are the basis for most unintentional discrimination and a lack of training about sensitivity issues that can result in these inadvertent offenses. READ MORE

Soy Williams

It's hard to believe a year and a half has passed since the new Americans with Disabilities Act regulations were published by the U.S. Department of Justice. The deadline to comply with many new requirements have come and gone, and in two months all requirements become mandatory. The new regulations include general as well as specific provisions for lodging establishments and facilities. Read on for a list of policies, practices and procedures that should be part of every day operations along with a summary of capital improvements that might be necessary for continued ADA compliance. READ MORE

Clara Rose

ADA compliance changes are coming; most businesses are already aware of this fact and have at least started talking about how it will affect them. The question is - how painful and complicated will this process be? Compliance changes are inevitable, they can be daunting and overwhelming or with a few simple steps and some professional advice they can be manageable. With nearly a quarter of the U.S. population looking for accessible places to stay or vacation - the hospitality industry can greatly benefit from being ADA compliant. So where do you start? Do you have a plan? What do these changes look like? Do you need some help understanding the ADA compliance changes? READ MORE

Kathleen Pohlid

Hotels and other establishments that emphasize architectural appeal at the expense of accessibility are making a big mistake that can cause a loss of potential business, tarnish their brand, and increase their potential for legal liability. The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) sets forth accessibility standards to allow persons with disabilities to enjoy places of public accommodation to the same extent as those without disabilities. ADA compliance and architectural appeal are not mutually exclusive and achieving both can greatly enhance a hotel's success. We will look at ten important principles and considerations to integrate into hotel architecture and design elements. READ MORE

Clara Rose

How does the ADA community affect your bottom line? Is your property ADA compliant? Beyond compliant, is it actually ADA friendly? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this demographic (the ADA community) has more than $175 billion in discretionary spending power. The business owners and hospitality properties that recognize the ADA community and their potential revenue contributions, surely have the edge. Such companies are working hard to be not just ADA compliant but truly ADA friendly. They are making a difference, while capturing some of the revenue dollars that affect their bottom line. READ MORE

Kathleen Pohlid

There is only one chance to make a good first impression. Trite as it may be, creating a good first impression can pave the way to attract business, establish a positive brand, and thwart potential liability. Hotels and other establishments which neglect their parking lots miss out on the opportunity to attract business. Worse yet, they may raise the potential for costly litigation and non-compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act. As we will discuss, ADA compliant parking involves much more than designating a few parking spots as handicap accessible. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.