Earlier this month, Stephen Barth and HospitalityLawyer.com hosted the most recent installment of their successful hospitality law conference held each February in Houston. This year’s conference saw attendance return to pre-recession levels with representation from many of the in-house legal departments of the largest national and international hotel operators. The conference dedicated the first day to three all-day pre-conference boot camps on real estate, privacy / PCI compliance and the unique issues faced by the restaurant and lodging in-house lawyer. I sat through the real estate presentations, which although a little slow at times (you can only define REVPAR so many times), did a reasonable job of summarizing the variety of issues associated with the development, purchase, sale and management of hospitality properties in one coherent presentation. Ruth sat through the privacy / PCI discussion and found it very informative. The second day was filled with a wide variety of topics – from alcohol compliance, to sweepstakes, to franchise negotiations, to receiverships to tips – in one of four breakouts dedicated to food & beverage, lodging, human resources and loss prevention. The highlight of the third and final day was the annual hospitality case update.
A pair of recently effected state laws makes clear that information security remains a significant issue that receives and will continue to receive considerable legislative and commercial attention. Hoteliers, restaurateurs and others in the hospitality industry use personally identifiable information (PII) of their guests and customers to improve services and create a personalized experience.
Greg and I attended the annual Hospitality Law Conference in Houston this February, which devoted an entire track to data privacy issues. It’s the definition of a hot topic, and important, so please take note!
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.