5 things to know: 13 December 2017
 
5 things to know: 13 December 2017
13 DECEMBER 2017 10:24 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Las Vegas hotel testing gun-detection system
  • Florida hotel fined for price gouging after hurricane
  • SoCal wildfires disrupt business for nearby hotels
  • Napa County hotel revenue fell 36% in October after fires
  • Scottish hotel breaks world record for whisky collection

Las Vegas hotel testing gun-detection system: The Westgate Resort & Casino has been testing a microwave detection system as an added security precaution, Las Vegas Now reports. The scanner is supposed to be able to differentiate between a gun or a knife and a cellphone.

The hotel has been testing the scanner since April, but hotel industry interest in such technology has grown since the 1 October shooting at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The system can be set up in a wall, a door frame or possibly at a front desk, according to the article. The hotel industry has been wrestling with how to better improve security on property without inconveniencing guests with long security lines and searches of luggage.


Florida hotel fined for price gouging after hurricane: The Florida Attorney General’s office has reached a settlement with a Miami hotel over complaints of price gouging during a hurricane, the Miami Herald reports. The Miami Princess Hotel raised prices by as much as 138% over Labor Day weekend before Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys, according to the article.

During the settlement process, “the hotel admitted overcharging customers during the emergency, in a violation of the state Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” the article states. The hotel has agreed to pay restitution of $17,259 plus $7,500 in civil penalties for a total settlement of nearly $25,000.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is investigating another 10 complaints of price gouging, including a Mexican restaurant, hotels in Tarpon Springs and Coconut Grove, gas stations and propane distributors.


SoCal wildfires disrupt business for nearby hotels: Wildfires in Southern California have only closed a few hotels and have not caused any physical damage to the physical structures, but industry experts are keeping a close eye on what effect the wildfires will have on bookings going forward, reports HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

Bobbie Singh-Allen, EVP of the California Lodging Industry Association, said the combination of poor air quality and images of the fires in the news and on social media might cause travelers to avoid the area despite the fact that roads, airports and many hotels remain open.


Napa County hotel revenue fell 36% in October after fires: The wildfires in Napa County caused hotel revenue to drop 36% year over year based on data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, the Napa Valley Register reports. Average daily rate fell 19% while occupancy dropped 22%.

Mary Haney, owner of the Hotel St. Helena, told the newspaper that her hotel is receiving calls from people asking whether it’s safe to visit and whether wineries are open.

“I just think it takes a little time to get back people’s confidence,” Haney told the newspaper. “It’s very important that we advertise we’re OK up here in the Napa Valley. The restaurants and wineries and hotels are open, and we welcome everyone back up to Napa Valley. And we’re stronger than ever before.”


Scottish hotel breaks world record for whisky collection: It should come as no surprise a hotel from Scotland would break the world record for having the largest whisky collection, The Drinks Business reports. The Glenesk, located in Edzell, Scotland, has 1,031 different varieties of whisky.

The owner of the hotel, Dylan Wren, has 1,500 bottles of whisky in his personal collection, the article states. When he purchased the hotel, its collection included about 200 bottles. Since then, the collection has surpassed the 800 varieties offered by the Millionaire’s Casino in Ayrshire, the previous titleholder.


Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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