Monthly Archives: August 2011

Hospitality Industry Guest Security: Police Arrest Man Taking Pictures Of Women In Bathroom At Missouri Hotel

“Right after that we got another call from another hotel saying the exact same thing,” said Ofcr. Darrin Snapp with KCPD. “A lady was in a public restroom and she was actually washing her hands, looked up and there was a gentleman standing over the stall with a camera phone appearing to take pictures of her.”

“If you stay somewhere with a big name like that you think there is security and safeguards and people aren’t walking through their front door getting inside of the hotel,”

A man is behind bars for invading the privacy of two women at Kansas City hotels. Police say the man was taking pictures of women as they tried to use the restroom. One incident happened at the downtown Mariott and the other happened at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Officers were first called to the Marriott after a woman saw a man standing on a toilet and looking over the bathroom stall.

For more:  http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-man-behind-bars-peeping-hotels-20110830,0,3067600.story

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Hospitality Industry Security Risks: Hotels Are Targeted By Terrorists For “Worldwide Attention”; Housekeepers Should Be Trained To “Report Suspicious Activity”

“…Terrorists are increasingly targeting hotels because of the worldwide attention such attacks receive…so it’s important to have a plan in place. Marriott, for one, uses a multi-point crisis management program that is reviewed semiannually…”

Preparedness should extend beyond a company’s executives, said Tom Whitlatch of Hospitality Risk Controls. Housekeepers, those employees who spend a considerable amount of time in hotel hallways and guestrooms, need to be trained to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

Housekeepers, he said, should not be afraid to challenge people they see in hallways to show room keys. “We have to train them and get them to understand it’s OK to do that,” Whitlatch said.

Further, housekeepers need to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity in guestrooms, too, Durham said.

“It’s the housekeeper who might go into the room who might notice something unusual about a piece of equipment or luggage sitting on the bed,” she said.

For more:  http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/6312/Experts-detail-hotel-security-plans

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Hospitality Industry Security Risks: Wisconsin Hotel Employee Responsible For Spotting And Reporting Thief On Property

“…A housekeeper saw a man with a metal tool in his hand get out of a Chevy Malibu and peer into the window of a car in the lot. The employee recognized it as the same car involved in a break-in the prior week…”

An observant hotel maid helped nab people believed to be responsible for thefts in a number of communities. According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An 18-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft and retail theft and a 17-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for retail theft after they were seen prowling in Crowne Plaza Hotel parking lot, 10499 Innovation Drive, at 3:56 p.m. Aug. 14.

The vehicle also matched the description of a car seen driving away from a retail theft at Advanced Auto Parts on 121st Street and Capitol Drive in July. The stolen auto parts were found still in the trunk.

Menomonee Falls, Germantown and Greenfield police believe the duo also is responsible for thefts in their communities.

For more:  http://www.wauwatosanow.com/news/128324293.html

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Hospitality Industry Guest Privacy Risks: Virginia Hotel Sued For Violating “Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act”; Receipts “Bore Expiration Date Of Credit Card”

“…(the suit) would include individuals who received electronically printed receipts for transactions at Marjac Suites after June 30, 2008, and whose receipts bore the expiration date of their credit or debit card…”

A willful violation of the statute, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, can trigger damages of $100 to $1,000 per transaction, along with attorneys’ fees and costs.

A Virginia Beach hotel broke a privacy-protection law by including restricted information on a credit-card receipt, a hotel guest alleges in a suit filed in federal court in Norfolk.

The plaintiff, James T. Buechler of Baltimore County, Md., contends that Marjac Suites on Atlantic Avenue and its owner, Burlage Hotel Associates, violated a federal statute in January by printing Buechler’s card-expiration date on his receipt at checkout.

Buechler is seeking damages “on behalf of himself and the thousands of other consumers placed at risk by defendant’s unlawful practice,” according to the suit, filed Aug. 10.

Buechler is asking the court to certify his suit as a class action. Members of the proposed class would include individuals who received electronically printed receipts for transactions at Marjac Suites after June 30, 2008, and whose receipts bore the expiration date of their credit or debit card.

For more:  http://hamptonroads.com/2011/08/guest-claims-va-beach-hotel-violated-privacy-law

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Hospitality Industry Spa Safety: Hotel Spas And Saunas Usage Can Be Monitored And Regulated With New Heat-Resistant, Waterproof RFID Bracelets

“…a heat-resistant waterproof RFID bracelet -08, specially designed to be used in high temperature environment like sauna and spa hotel, etc. Incorporated with silicone and RFID tag, this heat-resistant RFID bracelet tag can be used in the sauna as admissions, payment and security…”

This waterproof RFID bracelet is perfectly used in high temperature environment, since it can survive in the extreme temperature from -30 Celsius degree to +60 Celsius degree while still maintaining high identification accuracy. With this heat-resistant contactless bracelet worn on wrist, the guests of the sauna can get in or out of the place freely and pay the fee without cash or credit card. Thus, it can guarantee the safety of the guests.

For more:  http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/162586-1313742730-heatresistant-rfid-bracelet-waterproof-for-sauna-and-spa-hotel.html

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Hospitality Industry Safety Concerns: Survey Ranks Hotel’s “Cleanliness” Over “Security” As Most Important Factor In Making Reservation

Americans rank cleanliness (43%) over security (11%) as the most important factor in selecting a hotel, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

The survey also showed that 84% of Americans would not refrain from traveling for business on September 11, 2011, the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Fewer than one in five of Americans are fearful of flying on September 11, 2011, while only 16% are fearful about flying on an airplane on a national holiday.

“Travelers should take safety precautions more seriously, and travel security should be higher on their checklist than cleanliness,” said Jim Villa, a senior vice president and North American manager for Chubb’s Accident & Health business. “It seems that more people are concerned about housekeeping than security.”

In other survey findings regarding the 9/11 anniversary:

  • Nearly one-third of respondents would be concerned about being near a nuclear power plant on September 11;
  • 22% would avoid a chemical plant;
  • 18% would avoid entering a sports stadium or entertainment venue with a large crowd of people;
  • 16% would be concerned about being near an oil refinery;
  • 13% would be concerned about being near a military base;
  • 14% would not take a cruise;
  • 11% would not take a train; and
  • 9% would avoid taking a ferry.

For more:  http://www.chubb.com/corporate/chubb14110.html

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Hospitality Industry Continues To Face “Threat Of Bed Bug Infestations” As 80% Of Pest Professionals Have Treated Bedbugs In Hotels During 2011

CLICK ON “BED BUG” TO VIEW ONLINE REGISTRY

* 99% of pest professionals have seen bedbug infestations in the past year (up from 95% in 2010)

*80% of pest professionals have treated bedbugs in hotels/motels, compared with 67% in 2010

*73% of pest professionals believe bedbugs are the most difficult pest to treat
*54% have treated bedbugs in college dorms, up from 35% in 2010
*46% have treated bedbugs in nursing homes, vs. 25% in 2010
*38% have treated bedbugs in office buildings, compared with 18% in 2010
* 36% have treated bedbugs in schools and day care centers, vs. 10% in 2010. That’s an amazing increase, as is the 31% who say they’ve found bedbugs in hospitals, vs. 12% in 2010
*18% have treated bedbugs in trains, buses or taxis, compared with 9% in 2010
*17% have dealt with bedbugs in movie theaters; 5% in 2010

For more:  http://pestworld.org/Bed-Bug-Survey-2011

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Hospitality Industry Employee Risks: Hotel And Lodging Groups Remain Opposed To Pending California Legislation “Mandating The Use Of Fitted Sheets”

“.. Senate Bill 432.. would create “new occupational safety and health standards for all hotels, motels and other similar transient lodging establishments in California…”

“.. It would mandate the “use of fitted sheets … on the bottom sheet on all beds” at such lodging. And it would mandate the “use of long-handled tools,” such as mops, to reduce stooping “to clean bathroom floors, walls, tubs, toilets and other bathroom surfaces…”

 “A 2009 report in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that housekeepers have higher (7.87 per 100) injury rates than other hotel workers…”

The California Hotel & Lodging Association pointed out that the medical study didn’t even mention fitted sheets as culprit in the injuries. And it charged it would cost up to $50 million to replace the regular sheets with fitted sheets. Mr. Hayes said the high number is “a bunch of nonsense” and that Sen. De Leon and other legislators are working on the bill to “find a way to implement it without added costs,” within the hotels’ economic structure.

He said the major hotels are in favor of working for a compromise bill. But the association remains adamant against any bill. And he said that, as only about 10 percent of housekeepers are unionized, including the sheet rules in future contracts wouldn’t help much.

For more:  http://articles.ocregister.com/2011-08-16/news/29897915_1_sheets-housekeepers-hotel-workers

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Hospitality Industry Theft Risks: Valuable Original Artwork Stolen From Los Angeles Hotel Located After “News Coverage” Leads To Tip; Hotel Security Video Holds Key To Finding Suspects (Video)

“We got an anonymous tip because there was so much news coverage…That really was the turning point. The news coverage led people to call us and say, ‘Hey, I’ve seen this, and this is where I’ve seen it.’

“…High-tech specialists are scouring hotel security video, and authorities may release a sketch or stills of the suspects later this week or next week…”

 

Owners of the drawing, known as “The Judgment,” verified just after midnight that the recovered 11 X 16 inch pen-and-ink artwork was indeed the original that had vanished from an exhibit on Saturday night, said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Police Department.

An anonymous tip led investigators to the church around 7 p.m. on Monday. Experts from the Linearis Institute, which owns the drawing, later verified its authenticity, he said.

There are no suspects in custody, and authorities are not commenting on how the drawing — valued at $250,000 — ended up at the church on Ventura Boulevard in the city about 25 miles from Los Angeles. They also are not confirming the name of the church.

The drawing was in “a building on the church grounds, not in the sanctuary,” Whitmore said. It wasn’t hanging on a wall or otherwise displayed, he said.

For more:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/16/us-rembrandt-heist-california-idUSTRE77F49620110816

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Hospitality Industry Information Security: Hotels And Resorts Are Targeted For Cyber Attacks Because Of Faulty “Data Collection Practices”

“…The report said the largest share of cyber attacks — 38% — were aimed at hotels, resorts and tour companies…”

“… large hotel chains are most vulnerable because hotel management companies may not be able to monitor how data is collected and stored at dozens or even hundreds of properties throughout the world. Independent contractors who work for individual hotels can also open the door to hackers and computer viruses…”

A business traveler who books hotel rooms via the Internet, may be at higher risk of being victimized by computer hackers and identity thieves.

Insurance claims for data theft worldwide jumped 56% last year, with a bigger number of those attacks targeting the hospitality industry, according to a new report by Willis Group Holdings, a British insurance firm.

That could spell trouble for business travelers who submit credit card numbers and other personal information to hotel websites, said Laurie Fraser, global markets leisure practice leader for Willis.

For more:  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-travel-briefcase-20110815,0,65581.story

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