hotel industry

Preventing Legionella
Risk Insight

Preventing Legionella Before It Infects the Masses

Legionnaires’ disease may not make front-page news every week, but when it hits a community, it can be devastating.  Hotels with pools and hot tubs, property owners with buildings that have cooling towers or fountains—and anyone nearby can be affected. If the naturally occurring bacterium Legionella gets out of balance, it can make people very sick, and it causes fatalities every year. Sometimes, all it takes is the mist coming off a cooling tower to infect a host of people.

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Background Checks
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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keyboard - internet connections
Hospitality & Restaurants, Sustainability

What Will the Internet of Things Connect to Next?

An egg carton that digitally lets you know when to buy more eggs.
A football helmet that reports head injuries immediately.
An elevator that sends out an error message before anyone notices a problem.

More and more people are living in a world where their coffee is ready before their feet even touch the kitchen floor, their car knows the fastest route to an appointment based on a calendar invite, and their business is implementing serious financial savings by monitoring its energy usage. Welcome to the ever-growing Internet of Things.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights, Sustainability

More Fun in the Sun for Hotel Owners

Going solar: You can go big or you can go small.

Baby-stepping into solar? Pick up a little solar generator to charge up your cell phone. Cue winking emoji.

Looking for a mongo tax incentive? Go ahead and search Google images for “Mandalay Bay solar panels” to take a peek at a hotel industry leader that went solar. Cue wow emoji!

Luckily most businesses fall somewhere in between a solar-powered calculator and a twenty-acre solar array for a grand resort. And, in the past few years, prices to install solar panels have dropped, making it an affordable solution for many establishments.

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Hospitality & Restaurants


No one wants to read this story. It’s horrifying. The families involved are surely experiencing a pain that none of us should ever know. But there is a lesson to be learned. Actually, there are a couple. First and foremost, drunk or “buzzed” driving can take and ruin lives in a matter of minutes. No one is a “good drunk driver.” No distance is short enough to get home safely when your judgement is impaired.

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Hospitality & Restaurants

Virtual Reality Customer Service Training

How cool is this? Some hotels are using Virtual Reality to train employees and wow investors. That’s right. Those goofy headsets aren’t just for gamers anymore. Simulating actual customer interactions and reactions as means of coaching employees through the customer service process is a hot new technology that well surely see more of in the next handful of years. Surely hotels won’t be the only organizations to utilize the tool, but they are some of the first.

Check out the article below to read more about this exciting use for VR technology. As the virtual customer might say after reading your facial expressions, “I’m glad you think this is funny.” Read more at lodgingmagazine.com.

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Hospitality & Restaurants

A Hotel Based on Craft Beers: Yes Please!

The Stone Hotel in San Diego is going to be one of the first boutique hotels to pair up with a brewery and restaurant. San Diego’s brewing industry is steadily growing with 114 local breweries that generated a whopping $851 million in sales last year. This new 99-room boutique hotel will feature more than locally crafted Stone Brewing beer — it will offer a whole cultural experience.

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Hackers Hit HEI Hotels
Hospitality & Restaurants, Cyber Liability

In the News: Hackers Hit HEI Hotels… Hard

According to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, the “Accommodations” industry topped the lists of number of security incidents and number of confirmed breaches with compromised data. One of the most recent victims was HEI Hotels & Resorts, an owner and manager of more than 50 high end hotel properties around the US. Franchisees are wise to remember that their franchisors’ cyber policies don’t always provide protection for individual locations in the event of a breach. Read more about Cyber Liability here.


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Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Temperatures Rising: Precautions Needed for Hotel Employees and Guests

At the start of summer the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reinforced the need for businesses and establishments – including hotels – to take extra measures to prevent heat stroke and other related illnesses among employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2014 alone 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 individuals actually died on the job from heat stroke and related causes. Moreover, it’s not only hotel employees, particularly landscape and maintenance crew, who need to worry about heat-related illnesses, but also guests, who are basking in the sun poolside, using a sunbed, or enjoying the establishment’s sauna or steam room facilities.

Under OSHA, employers have a duty to protect workers from recognized serious hazards in the workplace, including heat-related risks. How do heat illnesses occur? The body normally cools itself by sweating; however, during hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating alone is simply not enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

To Lift or Not to Lift? A New Dilemma for Your Resort’s Pool

When a hotel guest wants to unwind after a long day of meetings, a few laps in the pool is often the perfect place to retreat. However, this isn’t always an option for guests with disabilities. It’s worth evaluating your pool’s accessibility — as well as your company’s risk factors for litigation and its current liability insurance coverage.

Newly constructed pools must adhere to the latest ADA compliance regulations, but existing pools can be altered to meet these requirements, too. A pool lift, the mechanical seat anchored to the side of the pool or spa, creates accessibility for those who have difficulty entering and exiting the pool. These can be purchased and installed for around $5000.

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