Is It Legal? What Detroit Innkeepers Need to Know

Modified: February 15, 2018 | Story by Amanda Walgrove

Picture this: It’s the day of a big event at your hotel. The group has collected the RSVPS, customized the conference center, and arranged the welcome posters. It’s all going off without a hitch. And then someone comes in with a service dog, but your property doesn’t allow pets. Another guest room is double-booked, and the guest is upset.

What do you do? Are you liable? How do you solve this issue in a split second?

These are questions you need to be able to answer ahead of time. And you can do so by understanding the ins and outs of innkeeper laws in Detroit.

That’s why, on October 11, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting the “Is It Legal?” seminar in partnership with Demorest Law Firm from Royal Oak, Michigan. Presented by three attorneys — Melissa Demorest LeDuc, Charlie Barnes, and Lisa Okasinski — the event will cover:

  • The legalities and realities of the laws of innkeepers
  • The differences between good customer service and the exact letter of the law when it comes to the hotel industry
  • Examples from actual cases that have gone to trial

Expert Advice

“It’s geared towards hotel management, employees and event planners,” Demorest LeDuc said. “It’s a run-down of what they can and can’t do — what’s legal and what’s not — for guests and other patrons of the hotel, such as if guests are causing disturbances or if there’s an incident that happens.”

From prepping your event contract and dealing with unclaimed property to understanding the Dram Shop Act, this seminar will cover it.

“Event planners may not always be familiar with the same kind of regulations that someone like a front desk employee is,” Demorest LeDuc said. “Still, they need to make sure that employees are aware of what they can and can’t do, and say to guests.”

For example, in a recent, high-profile case, celebrity journalist Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in damages after her stalker filmed her from an adjacent room at the Marriott Nashville. The stalker was found to be 51 percent responsible, and the hotel was found to be 49 percent responsible.

“[To be prepared], we would recommend that hotel managers have a contract in place that their attorney has either drafted or reviewed, and that outlines everything the organizer needs to know,” Demorest LeDuc said. “That would be our starting point.”

The hospitality business can be stressful. But it’s crucial that you don’t skip over this part of the process. By understanding the ins and outs of innkeeper laws, you can best prepare your organization, event partners, and guests for a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Is It Legal?

Oct. 11, 2017
1:30 – 4 p.m.
Registration begins at 1:30 p.m.

The Henry Autograph Collection
300 Town Center Drive Fairlane Plaza
Dearborn, MI, 48126
For more information, please contact Angela Jones at ajones@visitdetroit.com.

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    The Henry, Autograph Collection
    300 Town Center Drive, Fairlane Plaza, Dearborn, MI 48126
    313-441-2000