The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trade (OFT) is currently evaluating and accepting public comments on whether formal commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (Booking.com), Expedia Inc (Expedia) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG) sufficiently address its competition concerns regarding the online offering of room only hotel accommodations by Online Travel Agents. The OFT is soliciting feedback… Continue Reading
Don Scaramastra has provided an update for our readers on the status of the class-action involving online distributors and certain hotel operators with regards to antitrust laws related to online distribution. Catch up on the original post here and continue reading for an update on this topic. – Greg On May 1, 2013, plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended… Continue Reading
We all know the importance of appearance and design in the hospitality industry. We also know the importance and priority of saving money. Garvey Schubert Barer’s client, V*Starr Interiors, founded and led by another inspirational client Venus Williams, was kind enough to put together a guest blog post on staying in budget through re-purposing. V*Starr Interiors’ experience… Continue Reading
Several clients have lately been asking about notices they’ve received that look like this. If they come from the Eastern District court in New York, they’re legitimate, and if you are a merchant who accepted Visa or MasterCard or both between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012, you are a probably a member of… Continue Reading
Our Portland, Oregon partner, Joy Ellis, updates us on what’s “bugging” the hospitality industry. Thank you Joy. It’s no secret that bed bugs are a stubborn and growing problem for the hospitality industry. All it takes to jeopardize a hotel’s reputation is one TripAdvisor or Yelp review that mentions bed bugs. And with travel on the… Continue Reading
The success of our hospitality practice through the years has relied on the skills and experience of a number of industry consultants and advisors. John Hutson of the Seattle office of Navigant Consulting is one of those advisors. John is an Associate Director in Navigant’s Dispute, Investigation & Economics practice. John has a deep specialization in… Continue Reading
First-time contributor and resident litigation expert, Don Scaramastra, has offered to update the status of the much discussed class-action involving online distributors and certain hotel operators, and to discuss antitrust laws related to online distribution. Thank you Don for this informative piece. On December 11, 2012, the federal Panel on Multi-District Litigation ordered the consolidation of… Continue Reading
In May 2012, I blogged that the Hospitality Industry is on the road to recovery and Metro, Portland’s regional governing body, was once again considering an Oregon Convention Center (OCC) hotel. On September 13, 2012, Metro approved a proposal by local developers to construct a Hyatt Regency Hotel. The full development team consists of Mortenson… Continue Reading
Portland received another sign that the local hospitality industry may be on its way to a full recovery late last month. On April 26, Metro, Portland’s regional planning entity, voted to issue again a request for proposal (RFP) on a large hotel project that was brought to a halt in 2008 due to the economic… Continue Reading
Our newest post comes from my Portland, Oregon colleague and partner, Joy Ellis. For those of you who have not met Joy, Joy serves as the Portland Chair of our Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Practice Group. She also has over 15 years of legal experience in the areas of commercial litigation, employment litigation and employment-related advice, and brings us important news on… Continue Reading
Days 2 and 3 at this year’s ALIS conference were filled with numerous highlights, including a very well attended presentation (or should I say, political commentary) in the Nokia Theater by "the Donald" himself, Mr. Donald Trump. Days 2 and 3 were also filled with hundreds of meetings by conference attendees in nearly every hallway… Continue Reading
Room Key, a brand new player in the on-line hospitality market, launched in beta on January 11, 2012 to some excitement and some hard questions. Room Key is a joint venture among six U.S.-based hotel chains—Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels*, InterContinental Hotels, Marriott International* and Wyndham Hotel Group—that allows users to search for… Continue Reading
This week’s post comes courtesy of Cairncross & Hempelmann attorney, Margaret Breen and highlights changes to the Washington State and United States definition of "service animal’ as it relates to required accommodations in public places, such as hotels, motels and restaurants. Both the Washington legislature and the U.S. Department of Justice have acted recently to specify what… Continue Reading
Lately, we’ve been hearing from a number of our clients and friends in the industry of a startling increase in the number of letters and emails alleging patent infringement. As hospitality- and restaurant-industry businesses become bigger and bigger users of patentable technology, we expect we may see many more of these claims. In an effort… Continue Reading
We rarely publicly celebrate the successes of our hospitality and tourism clients. Tuesday’s launch of the proposed Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA) initiative at The Pacific Science Center is one of the best reasons I’ve seen in some time to break that rule.
Customer Internet access, preferably wireless, is expected in the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, some guests and customers use the Internet access and computer networks you provide to break the law. Specifically, they infringe copyrights by uploading and downloading illegally obtained copies of movies, songs and television clips that are probably themselves illegally obtained copies of copyrighted works,… Continue Reading
Last week the Seattle Hotel Association presented the 6th installment of its annual symposium and economic forecast. Like years past, this year’s program featured a terrific line up of local and regional experts, including Matthew Gardner (Gardner Economics), Vail Brown (STR), Lee McCabe (Expedia), Chris Kraus (PKF) and Tom Norwalk and Jerri Lane (Seattle King County… Continue Reading
In this week’s post, Employment Law guru, Diana Shukis, offers insight into the complex and fascinating conflicts arising from Washington state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act.
After some delay, the new federal regulations giving gift card holders greater protections took effect recently, adding to a patchwork of state consumer laws already in place. The new regulations apply to both issuers and sellers of store gift cards, gift certificates, and general use prepaid cards, such as prepaid Visas or Mastercards, sold after August… Continue Reading
I am just back from the 5th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference, held in Washington DC last week. The Conference was an information-packed two and one-half days. There were terrific presentations, interesting panel discussions, great audience questions, and many opportunities to informally connect with others in the hospitality industry who focus on human resource issues. I have already… Continue Reading
Our friends at Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau have issued a “Call to Action” regarding Substitute House Bill 1371: Boards and Commissions. They have requested our help with the following:
Wednesday marked the end of another Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Conference. This year’s Conference celebrated the 10th anniversary of the venerable hospitality development and investment conference held each year in sunny Southern California.
In today’s post, HT&T team member Mike Brunet (Employment and Litigation) discusses soon-to-be-impactful revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), with a specific focus on how it may impact those in the hospitality industry. Approximately six months ago, in July 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department of Justice’s regulations… Continue Reading
Given the recent attention paid by clients to local security issues (including the recent and well received Hotel Industry Security Forum sponsored with the Washington Lodging Association – see Ruth Walter’s recent post on this event), I thought it a good time to review the obligations imposed by law on hoteliers and restaurateurs in Washington… Continue Reading