Header graphic for print
Duff on Hospitality Law

Category Archives: Hotels

Subscribe to Hotels RSS Feed

Portland Convention Center Hotel Moves a Step Closer

Posted in Hotels

On Monday March 3, 2014, a Multnomah County Circuit judge agreed with the Multnomah County Elections Director and brought a new hotel at the Oregon Convention Center one step closer to fruition.  A Convention Center Hotel has long been desired by a variety of tourism and economic development interests who argue that such hotel will… Continue Reading

WaterSense H2Otel Challenge

Posted in Hotels

On February 5, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the “WaterSense H2Otel” challenge, a program encouraging hotels to implement best management practices for reducing their water usage.  As part of “WaterSense H2Otel,” the EPA is providing technical assistance using webinars and other forms of outreach including case studies on the “lessons learned” from other… Continue Reading

Carbon Monoxide: Protecting Your Guests and Protecting Yourself

Posted in Hotels

Today’s blog is a litigation update on the devastating North Carolina hotel carbon monoxide leak. Please make sure that your business and hotel guests are protected. Thank you to Roger Hillman, GSB Hospitality Team member and Litigation Group Chair, for the post.  - Greg The recent deaths of three hotel guests (a husband and wife from Longview, WA, and… Continue Reading

The Search for a Uniform 911 System

Posted in Hotels

The recent death of a hotel guest in Texas has again brought attention to guest access and use of our nation’s public safety system. Colin Andrews, a member of our communications practice in Washington, D.C., has been monitoring the situation and provided us with the timely update and call to action below. Thank you, Colin, and… Continue Reading

Clamping Down on “Apartment-Sharing” Website AirBNB

Posted in Hotels

New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has made waves in recent months by subpoenaing the popular “apartment-sharing” website AirBNB for information on more than 15,000 of the website’s hosts in New York City.  The subpoenas were issued as part of Schneiderman’s campaign to enforce a 2010 New York law that took effect last year, clamping… Continue Reading

Important OFT Update: OFT Issues Notice to Accept Proposed Booking Commitments

Posted in Hotels

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

Update on the Online Travel Company/Hotel Booking Antitrust Litigation: Plaintiffs Add New Defendants

Posted in Hotels

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

Duff on Design: Staying In Budget

Posted in Hotels

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

Visa, MasterCard Propose 6+ Billion Dollar Settlement in Merchant Class Action Litigation Over Interchange Fees

Posted in Food and Beverage, Group Sales and Events, Hotels, Liquor, Travel, Update

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

The Changing Meaning of the Word “Suspension” in Hospitality Losses

Posted in Hotels

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

Online Travel Company/Hotel Booking Antitrust Actions are Consolidated in Texas

Posted in Hotels

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

Metro Makes Hyatt’s Day

Posted in Hotels

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

Tax Fight Over Hotel Rooms Booked by Online Travel Companies Now Hits Close to Home

Posted in Hotels

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 – Recap of Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) at LA LIVE in Los Angeles

Posted in Conference Notes, Hotels

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

Buzz, Skepticism about Room Key Hotel Search Site

Posted in Hotels, Technology

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

No More Service Parrots

Posted in Employment Law, Hotels

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

Patent Trolls – Not Just for Technology Companies Any More

Posted in Hotels, Music Licensing/Copyright, Technology

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

Seattle Tourism Improvement Area Proposed

Posted in Group Sales and Events, Hotels

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. 

Do You Know What’s Happening on Your Network? Copyright Infringement

Posted in Food and Beverage, Hotels, Music Licensing/Copyright

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

Highlights from Seattle Hotel Association’s 6th Annual Hotel Symposium (June 22nd)

Posted in Conference Notes, Hotels

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

New Federal Gift Card Regulations

Posted in Food and Beverage, Hotels

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