In Mike Brunet’s April 16, 2012 post, he discussed the history and potential future of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) controversial requirement that hoteliers install permanent lifts at all swimming pools to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today, he writes about a recent extension on the deadline to satisfy DOJ’s mandate.
As of May 16, hotel owners and others operating swimming pools open to the public had a mere five days, until May 21, to install permanent pool lifts at their facilities pursuant to the DOJ’s interpretation of the 2010 Standards to the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, on May 17, the DOJ extended the deadline for compliance with its requirement by over eight months, to January 31, 2013. The fact that DOJ extended the deadline is not a total surprise, as the agency has been accepting comments on a possible six-month extension since March of this year, and interested parties, including hoteliers and trade associations, have been vocal in their support. However, the length of the extension is somewhat of a surprise, especially given DOJ’s hard-line stance on this issue in the past.
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 downturn. The earlier incarnation of the project asked for responses to a 2004 RFP for the project, available here, that called for 800 rooms.
The April 26th vote brings back to life a plan to develop a large headquarters hotel project that will serve as the designated hotel space for the Oregon Convention Center (albeit slightly smaller in scale than what had been considered in 2008), that will provide an additional 500 rooms for group visitors to the Rose City. Local revenue generated by attracting large conventions is big business for the hospitality industry and the region. Metro estimates that national events at the Oregon Convention Center, such as the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Convention that took place earlier this year in April and the 2012 World Brewing Congress scheduled for August of this year, result in millions of additional dollars flooding area businesses over just one weekend.
Bringing in an operator, restaurateur or celebrity chef to provide food and beverage service in a hotel can provide immediate and significant benefits for a hotel and its guests. Hotel owners and operators use the experience, vision and creativity of third party food and beverage providers to generate attention, energy and business for hotel properties. Further, while hotels brand their properties and earn their reputations over decades, pockets of a hotel property can be made available to third party food and beverage providers to create a more immediate change in brand direction or environment. Despite the lure, however, chemistry and contract details are important. To avoid being left with a bad taste, owners and executives should consider a number of important contracting details while evaluating or courting a third party food and beverage provider.
What do the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Timbers, NBC Universal’s television series Grimm, Timberline Lodge, the Oregon Brewers Festival, the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, the Intertwine, the Portland Highland Games and the Oregon Dental Association all have in common? They were all recognized at the 33rd Annual Tourism & Hospitality Industry Awards Celebration breakfast, hosted by Travel Portland. Hosted during the celebration of Travel & Tourism Week presented by the U.S. Travel Association May 8-15, 2012, Travel Portland had a lot to celebrate.
Unfortunately, Travel Oregon’s President Todd Davidson was unable to deliver the keynote address as he was busy in D.C. unveiling the United States’ strategy to attract a projected 100 million international visitors to the United States annually in the next decade. The strategy is the result of input from local government and business leaders, including the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB), which is chaired by Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) CEO Todd Davidson. Travel Portland did get to share “Brand USA,” the U.S.’s branding campaign to promote tourism at last week's breakfast. Those interested in the campaign can find additional information about the campaign at www.discoveramerica.com. Take note - Brand USA CEO Jim Evans provided testimony on "Where the Jobs Are: Travel & Tourism" before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade on May 16, 2012. Jim's prepared comments to the House Committee can be found here.
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.