Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hospitality Industry Guest Issues: “Operator Of ‘Mobile ID Theft Lab’ Sentenced To Prison For Bank Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft”

“…In asking for a lengthy prison sentence, prosecutors noted that Suryan’s operation not only enriched him, but also helped thieves and burglars profit from the information they stole.  Suryan ‘served as a lynchpin of identity theft activity in Snohomish County in the latter half of 2012;Image the forgery service provided by the defendant helped incentivize countless break-ins of mailboxes, homes, and vehicles by criminals searching for victim data…”

The man who forged multiple ID documents and financial documents for mail thieves in Snohomish County was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 65 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $59,177 in restitution, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  MICHAEL JOHN SURYAN, 54, formerly of Everett, Washington was arrested in January 2013, in a Shoreline, Washington motel where he had set up a mobile identity manufacturing operation.

Using documents his co-schemers stole from burglaries, mail thefts and car prowls, SURYAN manufactured fake IDs, and forged checks with the co-schemers listed as the payees.  A search of the room revealed more than 50 fake Washington State driver’s licenses, handwritten notes listing the names, addresses and personal information (including dates of birth, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and credit card or checking account information) for numerous victims.

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Filed under Crime, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Privacy, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Managing by Text: Using Tech in Back of House”

“…For many hotels, it starts on the guest services side. For example, guests who need assistance can send a text that will be routed directly to the appropriate department, such as engineering or roomservice.Image This simple interaction already removes a traditional element of hotel operations—the front desk—from the equation. From there is a progression for hoteliers to use similar methods to communicate internally among staffers…”

Hoteliers are increasingly using electronic formats such as text, email and FaceTime for back-of-house communications, and are finding the strategy is both highly effective and cost-efficient. Just like in the front of the house, where guests increasingly rely on phones and handhelds while traveling, mobile devices are now becoming critical for back-of-house operations, according to sources.

With cellphones essentially ubiquitous and younger staffers particularly reliant on them, many hoteliers are smartly tapping into this technology base to replace outdated procedures, reshaping everything from staff meetings to service calls.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry News Update: “Deadly Hotel Fire Raising Safety Concerns in New Jersey”

“…One woman, who stayed at Mariners Cove days before the fire, says the motel had battery-operated smoke detectors, but fire victims say they never went off.  ‘That’s the thing, they were battery-powered fire alarms. Once they get hot and they melt, they are not going to work,’ said Tammy Tilton…”

The deadly motel fire in Point Pleasant, New Jersey is raising safety concerns at other motels in the area.

Activity has died down at the scene, but the probe continues into Friday morning’s deadly fire at the Mariners Cove Motor Inn in Point Pleasant Beach.

The blaze killed four people, including 66-year-old Albert Sutton, formerly of Mount Laurel.

Based on surveillance footage pulled from the rubble and restored by computer experts at the Ocean County prosecutor’s office, detectives have determined the cause of the fire was careless smoking.

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Filed under Claims, Fire, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Bed Bug Lawsuits: Reducing Your Clients’ Risk”

“…Your clients, of course, are responsible for their own actions, or lack of action, when dealing with bed bugs. But there are actions you can take to help your clients avoid these kinds of deviations, minimize their risk of lawsuits, and reduce their liability if a lawsuit is ultimately filed. Of course, by doing so, you also reduce your own liability and risk from any bed bug litigation. But you must be proactive…”

Until they experience a bed bug crisis first hand, property managers usually can’t comprehend the full impact on their property. Most fail to appreciate just how difficult it is to control bed bugs once they have spread and become established.

That’s why property managers often address bed bug complaints with the same casual approach as complaints about cockroaches or ants. They typically do not respond aggressively, at the first sign of trouble, and before the bed bugs become entrenched and spread to other areas of the building. And property managers often resist investing the time, money and effort necessary to control a bed bug outbreak. That puts both of you at risk of a lawsuit.

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Hotel Sues Fla. Sheriff Over Unwanted Guests”

“…Florida law ‘clearly sets forth that [as] a hotel operator of a transient establishment — you can go in and say, ‘I don’t wish to entertain you anymore,” Blair said. ‘The statute says you can call the sheriff, and he has a duty to remove them.’Image A separate group of independent hoteliers has sued along similar grounds. It is seeking a declaration on whether the Sheriff’s Office is properly interpreting state law, but that case is still pending in state court…”

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Dianna Chane says she cannot get the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office to remove unwanted guests from her HomeSuiteHome hotel, even if they aren’t paying, are using drugs or committing assault.

Once a supporter of Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Chane has sued Sheriff Bob Hansell, saying he is forcing independent hotels on U.S. Highway 192 to become homeless shelters.

“What has crushed me is I have been denied the right to manage my own property,” Chane said. “I feel like we’ve been taken hostage.”

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Hospitality Industry Liability Update: “3 People Killed in Deadly Fire At New Jersey Hotel Read”

“…The New Jersey Hotel is only of few blocks from the beach and most of its guests work in the fishing industryImage or are building contractors in the area. Many of the residents at the hotel have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy and forced to stay in the hotel until they can afford to repair their homes…”


A deadly fire took the lives of three people and critically injured at least three more, when a New Jersey hotel burst into flames.

Mariner’s Cove Motor Inn at Point Pleasant Beach, suddenly caught fire early this morning and had firefighters struggling to control the flames.

The Jersey shore hotel was completely destroyed by the blaze and upon entering the building firefighters discovered the bodies of three guests that couldn’t escape the inferno.

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Filed under Fire, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Liability Update: “Palm Springs Hotel Guest Died of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Coroner Says”

“…’There was a dangerous condition that posed an immediate and grave risk to the health of any customer,’ Kaufman said. Image‘It’s remarkable to me that a condition this dangerous could be allowed to persist for not days, but almost two weeks, and take the life of a successful, caring and wonderful man.’…”

An Ohio attorney whose body was found in a Palm Springs hotel room in November died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Riverside County coroner’s office said Wednesday.

The Palm Springs Police Department has been investigating the death and will present its findings to the Riverside County district attorney’s office for possible criminal charges, said Palm Springs Police Lt. Mitch Spike.

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa, Risk Management