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Hospitality Headlines
March 12, 2009
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It has come to our attention that prank phone callers are targeting New York State hotels.
How it happens: A phone call is made to the hotel, usually in the middle of the night. The caller asks for specific room numbers. With the guest on the phone, the caller tells them there is a dangerous gas leak in the hotel and they must immediately put a wet towel under the door, smash the window and/or jump out. Multiple rooms are called during the course of the prank.

A hotel targeted this week in New York State suffered substantial property damage from shattered windows, but fortunately no guests were injured.

Please make your front desk staff aware of this prank so they take the proper steps to keep guests safe.

If you have additional questions about the prank, please contact NYSH&TA Membership Services Manager, Darcy Lyle, at 518-465-2300 ext 111 or

Details on NYS Green Lodging Pilot Program
Over the past year, NYSH&TA has been a key participant in the New York State Governor’s Initiative: Green Hospitality Partnership. We applaud the governor for spearheading this initiative, which will hopefully establish green hotel benchmarking and New York-endorsed green hotel certifications.

At a recent meeting of Tourism Promotion Agencies (TPA), facilitated by I Love NY, information was provided to attendees regarding a Green Certification Pilot Program for New York State hotels. Please be advised that this Pilot Program is contingent upon grant money being awarded to participating properties. The grant funding, when made available, will cover approximately 75% of the cost for participating hotels. The TPA in your region may be contacting you about participating in this Pilot Program, which will involve three properties from each of the state’s 11 vacation regions.

NYSH&TA has been working directly with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on this initiative since its inception and will be delivering details to members as they become available. If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact NYSH&TA President Dan Murphy / 518-465-2300 ext 101or NYSH&TA Vice President Jan Marie Chesterton / 518-465-2300 ext 102.

Card Check Legislation Introduced in Congress
from Hotel Interactive
Card check re-emerged today in Congress when the new version of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. A similar bill was also introduced in the U.S. Senate. Both bills are strongly opposed by America’s lodging industry and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. More

Paving the Road to Maximizing Employee Retention and Development
from Hospitality Net
Investing in employee and organizational development seems like a luxury -- even a burden -- during chaotic times. Then again, such initiatives seem unnecessary when business is good. However, the most successful organizations believe and consistently invest in talent management as a core business strategy. More

Liquor License Renewals
The New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) has recently released a new “Renewal Application Notice Form” to provide thirty (30) day notice to municipalities and community boards of a licensee’s intention to submit a renewal application for an On-Premises Alcoholic Beverage License. Use of the Renewal Application Notice Form is now mandatory for all On-Premises licensees.

The SLA has implemented a policy imposing fines upon licensees who do not comply with the thirty (30) day notice requirement, or fail to use the new “Renewal Application Notice Form” even if such licensee obtains a waiver from the municipality or community board. The current fine is one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for a first offense. The Renewal Application Notice Form may be found at

Treasury Plans Small-Business Aid
from The Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration is looking to steer new assistance to the nation's small-business community, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told members of Congress Monday night. In a closed-door meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill, Mr. Geithner said Obama officials are working on plans to boost liquidity for small businesses as part of the administration's broadening efforts to spur lending and arrest the pace of job losses, said individuals familiar with the meeting. More

Bandwidth Demands Force Hotels to Rethink Internet Connectivity
from Hotel News Now
When Don O’Neal tried to access the Internet from a Washington, D.C.-area hotel during a recent stay, he couldn’t get a signal. It’s not that the systems weren’t functioning properly at the upper-upscale property at which he stayed; they were simply overwhelmed by 95-percent occupancy crowds drawn to the city for the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. But while a U.S. president may only get elected every four years, more and more hotel Internet systems are beginning to falter under the increasing demands of video-streaming, file-downloading, bandwidth-hogging guests. More

Hotels Build Connections Through “Friends” and “Fans” on Social Networks
from Hospitality Net
With the increasing number of social media and consumer-generated content (CGC) sites, people are spending their time online differently. Today it’s about conversations—interactions that go beyond the one-on-one to one-to-many through a series of networked relationships that connect us to people, places and events like never before. To avoid being left behind, hotels need to consider being on the sites where consumers now spend their online hours. More

NYSH&TA Upcoming Events

April 26 -28, 2009
2009 Conference & Expo
Saratoga Hilton & The Saratoga City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Complete schedule of events

If you are interested in having this publication sent to members of your staff or peers, please contact Membership Services Manager Darcy Lyle at 800-642-5313, ext. 111, or e-mail her directly at

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