Thinking Out of the Box: Our Top 10 Picks for Funkiest Hotel Amenities

When’s the last time you got excited about a 4oz bottle of shampoo? We thought so. Hotels are stepping...

Robot-Hotels in Your Future?

Could robot hotels be in our future? In Nagasaki, Japan, the future arrived last year and is planning to...

Human Trafficking on the Rise—How Hotels Can Help

How can 1.6 million photos of empty hotel rooms help curb human trafficking? Hotel pics that are uploaded to...

Creating a Work-Life Balance That Works

Work-life balance doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. Long hours, fixed schedules, different demands from guests, all while being part...

When Fido’s Bite is Worse Than His Bark

Ouch! More than four million people per year are treated for dog bites. Claims generated by bite victims and...
Hospitality & Restaurants
Thinking Out of the Box: Our Top 10 Picks for Funkiest Hotel Amenities
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights
Robot-Hotels in Your Future?
Hospitality & Restaurants
Human Trafficking on the Rise—How Hotels Can Help
Hospitality & Restaurants
Creating a Work-Life Balance That Works
Real Estate, Risk Insight
When Fido’s Bite is Worse Than His Bark
robot hotels
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

Robot-Hotels in Your Future?

Could robot hotels be in our future? In Nagasaki, Japan, the future arrived last year and is planning to clone itself exponentially.

The Henn na Hotel, staffed by 140 robots (and a half dozen “flesh and bloods” like you and me), takes care of guests’ needs from check in to check out via robotic assistance.

Maybe you’ve done self-check-in on your laptop at a Marriott or even used your smartphone to open your room door at a Hilton. In several California hotels, robot butlers have been working the hallways to deliver extra towels and amenities. But the Henn na Hotel is taking tech to a whole new level.

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Hospitality & Restaurants

Human Trafficking on the Rise—How Hotels Can Help

How can 1.6 million photos of empty hotel rooms help curb human trafficking?

Hotel pics that are uploaded to the TraffickCam website (by anyone—hotel guests, staff, management) are digitally compared to current online photos advertising the victims of sex trafficking. This helps law enforcement locate and rescue the victims. It also helps identify which hotels are serving as the location for an illegal industry that nets $32 billion per year in the US alone.

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Hospitality & Restaurants

Creating a Work-Life Balance That Works

Work-life balance doesn’t have to be an oxymoron.

Long hours, fixed schedules, different demands from guests, all while being part of a team that demands smooth operation 24/7 at Mach 1o speed? That sounds like the life of many in hospitality.

Toss in peak season changes, staff shortages, training needs, and the varying range of employee skill levels, and work-life balance can get, well, a little unbalanced. Addressing this for hospitality industry professionals can be vital for both the well-being of staff and the improved operation of the facility.

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dog bites
Real Estate, Risk Insight

When Fido’s Bite is Worse Than His Bark

Ouch! More than four million people per year are treated for dog bites. Claims generated by bite victims and dog owners can impact property owners and homeowner’s associations as well.We love these poochie pals, but sometimes their bite is worse than their bark.

To the tune of about $570 million, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average claim? Nearly $38,000. And even more unsettling, the dog bite incident occurred on the dog owner’s residence half of the time. 77% of times, the victim was a friend or family member.

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Kari's Law
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Making Hotels Safer for Customers at Risk with Kari’s Law

Earlier this month, the Senate introduced a bill, Kari’s Law, to improve 911 services nationwide for multi-line phone systems (MLTS), most commonly found in hotels and office buildings. The bill would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require phone vendors and individual buildings to make sure people could connect directly with emergency services without having to press ‘1’ or ‘9’ first. The bill would also add two new requirements—outgoing ‘911’ calls would connect directly to emergency services without local interference, while also notifying onsite personnel that a ‘911’ call was made.

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New York Brick and Brownstone
Real Estate

An Inside Tour of Our Enhanced New York Brick & Brownstone Program

Last month we announced our partnership with Zurich Insurance as the new underwriter for Distinguished’s hallmark New York Brick & Brownstone Program (NYBB). Developed in 2007, the program provides a diverse portfolio of owner- and tenant-occupied properties located within the Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan boroughs with property and liability insurance. NYBB today serves more than 11,000 building owners who represent 40,000 apartments, condos, and co-op units throughout the city.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

How Hotels Are Handling the Ban-the-Box Movement in Background Checks

More than 150 cities and counties in 25 states across the country have adopted what is widely known as “ban-the-box” laws so that employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record. More jurisdictions are also adopting policies in addition to ban-the-box, such as incorporating the best practices of the 2012 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions and strategies for compliance with existing anti-discrimination laws under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

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Credit Card Breach
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight, Cyber Liability

Hotels Under Cyber Attack: Intercontinental Properties Hit by Credit Card Breach

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which owns thousands of hotels worldwide, disclosed earlier this month that a credit card breach impacted at least a dozen of its properties. This is just the latest cyber attack that has hit some of the largest hotel and hospitality chains over the past years – from Kimpton Hotels to Trump Hotels, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Starwood Hotels and Hyatt.

According to IHG’s statement, malicious software was installed on point-of-sale servers at restaurants and bars of 12 of its managed properties between August and December 2016. The locations affected by the data breach include the Sevens Bar & Grill at Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley, the Bristol Bar & Grille at the Holiday Inn San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf, InterContinental San Francisco, Aruba’s Holiday Inn Resort and InterContinental Los Angeles Century City.

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Flood Readiness
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Oroville Dam Risk Highlights Importance of Flood Readiness for Property Managers

After a five-year drought throughout the state, Northern California’s surface water systems have now been pushed to the breaking point on the heels of weeks of rainfall. Nearly 190,000 people were evacuated on February 12 over fears that a damaged spillway at the nation’s tallest dam in Lake Oroville located in the Sierra Nevada foothills could fail and unleash a wall of water. Officials ordered residents and commercial businesses to stay away until they felt confident that the risk of flooding was reduced. Although the evacuation was changed to a warning two days later and residents and business owners were allowed to return to their communities, they were advised to be prepared to evacuate again at a moment’s notice should new problems arise.

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immigrants
Hospitality & Restaurants

How Would The Hospitality Industry Cope Without Immigrants?

Did you know that unauthorized immigrants represent about 10 percent of the U.S. labor force in the leisure and hospitality industry?

States like New York, New Jersey, California, and Florida typically employ more unauthorized immigrants in the restaurant and hotel industries, whereas jobs in construction are more available for immigrants in southern states, according to the Pew Research Center.

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Hospitality & Restaurants

Destination: Luxury Wedding Plans

Move over, holiday proposals, and make way for luxe wedding plans! Couples tying the knot in 2017 and beyond may be following the trends of vintage glamour, idyllic destinations, and tailored menus with local brews and bespoke spirits.

Gone are the days of a simple (read: ridiculously not simple) wedding day. Enter wedding extravaganzas, where the bridal party, family, and guests are treated to a multiple-day itinerary, chock full of the couple’s favorite activities.

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Pipe Bursts
Real Estate, Risk Insight

Who’s Responsible When That Pipe Bursts?

It’s that time of year again, and for much of the U.S. the freezing weather has set in and many renters flock to warmer destinations to soak up some warmth. Some renters may unplug appliances and turn off the heat when they leave, but the latter could cause major issues if the temperature plunges while the renters are away. If a pipe bursts it’s a very real issue this time of year, and renters can take some simple precautions so they’re not left footing a very large repair bill. That’s right, the property manager will most likely bill the renter or take the repair expense out of the security deposit.

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