Welcome to SecureHotel.US. Here, you will find news and commentary on hotel attacks, hotel security, and related legal and insurance issues. It’s also the portal to the Muir Analytics SecureHotel Threat Report; an analysis of global hotel attacks that the hospitality industry can use to help improve the protection of patrons, staff, and assets.

Hotel Attacks

7 November 2018, Sexual assaults endemic at Jamaican resorts, says US State Department and news reports; other Caribbean locales experience similar problems

An endemic problem On 7 November, the Chicago Tribune ran a disturbing story about rapes of tourists at Jamaican resorts, citing multiple case studies, interviews, and US State Department threat warnings. The Tribune’s story was, in part, based on the State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) report on Jamaica: Jamaica 2018 Crime and Safety Report. It says that 12 U.S. citizens were raped or sexually assaulted in 2017 alone. Half of these were done by hotel/resort employees. The Chicago Tribune cites other State Department statistics that say from 2011-17, 78 U.S. citizens were raped in Jamaica. Statistically, that’s nearly one a month for a six-year timeframe (13 a year). The Chicago Tribune also cautioned, “The U.S. government suspects this number [of rapes/sexual assaults] may be higher as sexual assaults are often underreported, and the embassy figures don’t include victims from other countries.” Some of these were gang rapes, … Continue reading

29 October 2018, Tunis, Tunisia

Eturbonewsreports that, at 1:50 pm on 29 October 2018, a female suicide bomber, most likely Tunisia’s first (Muir Analytics is conducting research to confirm), detonated her explosives on the pedestrian walkway on Habib Bourguiba Avenue between the Municipal Theater of Tunis and the El Hana International Tunis hotel. The hotel did not suffer damage. The apparent target of the bomber was a police checkpoint that was next to a police van. Brinkwire reported that Tunisian Interior Minister, Hichem Fourati, said the detonation injured 15 police officers and five civilians. (Muir Analytics conducted a photographic and video analysis to pinpoint the apparent seat of the blast. If additional data causes this to change, Muir Analytics will adjust its analysis. The Mirror has a photograph of the deceased bomber – pixilated to blur the woman’s wounds – lying directly in front of the El Hana hotel. … Continue reading

Insurance

28 November 2017, Bloomberg article speculates Mandalay Bay/Vegas concert massacre might cost over $1 billion in insurance payouts

Bloomberg writers Hannah Levitt and Sonali Basak penned the article, “Las Vegas Massacre Could Cost Insurers More Than $1 Billion,” on 10 November. To date, the exactitudes of insurance payouts, the companies involved, what policies did and did not cover, etc., are not forthcoming because it is too early in this sure-to-be contentious liabilities case. Nevertheless, Levitt and Basak offer insight into some of the pressing issues at stake. Highlights of the article are as follows: A multitude of lawsuits could drive the insurance bill for the Las Vegas massacre (called a “man-made disaster” by the insurance industry) to over $1 billion, and that they might continue for years The insurance sector this year (2017) has had to deal with a series of massive payouts, perhaps $130 billion, because of hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires, [and, therefore, it is likely to resist additional payouts…commentary here by … Continue reading

10 September 2017, Insurance AND legal issues impact Regency Hotel Dublin over Feb 2016 gangster attack

The assassination of Irish gangster David Byrne at the Regency Hotel Dublin on 5 February 2016 provides a textbook case study of hotel vs. insurance company wrangling over policies and payouts. The hotel suffered only slight physical damage from the attack, but business losses mounted, and the insurance company did not want to issue a payout. In the end, all parties lost out. The lesson here is that clear and decisive policies – especially regarding violence against hotels – can improve the insurer-client relationship, and justifiable payouts do not have to drown in a sea of litigation. The Regency Hotel Dublin (aka, The Regency Hotel) is a three-star, independent, family-run hotel. Its parent company is Regan Development Ltd. The hotel has a reputation as a lively, warm, and bright gathering place for sporting events, weddings, and other celebrations. The Regency website says it has … Continue reading

Security

28 November 2018, Personal security suggestions to lessen sexual assault risks at hotels/resorts in light of multiple rapes reported at Caribbean resorts

The recent accusations of sexual assaults at Caribbean resorts, particularly in Jamaica, are based on professional research and analyses by the US State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), and multiple, recent press reports such as this disturbing story run by the Chicago Tribune. While no threat mitigation methods or procedures are 100% effective, there are precautions travelers can take to reduce the risks of being caught in specific attack scenarios. Being familiar with these scenarios and how they happen is key to avoidance. This requires a “know before you go” attitude and doing “security homework” prior to visiting a particular destination, especially at those hotels/resorts that just pay mouth service to guest safety and security. Muir Analytics listed multiple such assault scenarios in a threat analysis, here. A few threat mitigation suggestions, based on these attack scenarios, are as follows:* First, if sexual assaults … Continue reading

21 June 2017, List of security/fire failures, Resorts World Manila attack (updated from 20 June)

Below is a list of security/fire failures regarding the 2 June 2017 active shooter assault on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) complex – specifically, the Maxims Hotel and the casino attached to it. These issues were identified by Philippine lawmakers,* RWM staff, the Manila Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Muir Analytics. They are arranged by major category. This is by no means the final analysis, and hoteliers, security specialists, liabilities lawyers, and insurers are urged to continue to refine this list as more pertinent information becomes available. *Official hearings, Wednesday, 7 June 2017, held at NAIA-3, the Committee on Public Order and Safety, and the Committee on Games and Amusement. It should be noted that, despite the many failures listed here, RWM security did successfully evacuate over 12,000 guests through 13 exits during the turmoil. This demonstrates the guard force did have … Continue reading

Legal

24 November 2017, lawsuits over the October 2017 Las Vegas MGM hotel/concert venue attack pile up

On 20 November, Newsweek reports that a massive lawsuit was filed on behalf of 450 victims against the MGM Mandalay Bay Resort (and others, see below,) for negligence regarding the 1 October mass shooting (effectively, a machinegun attack) by Stephen Paddock on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Paddock killed 58 and wounded 500. The case was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Muir Analytics covered the initial attack at its SecureHotel.US website here. Newsweek reports that, immediately following the attack, MGM’s revenue fell 72 %, decreasing from $535.6 million to $149.1 million over the same quarter from 2016 (a loss of $386.5 million.) Hundreds of employees at the Mandalay Bay have been laid off, and multitudes of others have had their hours cut back. This 450-person lawsuit is one of many filed in the wake of the shooting. Newsweek reports … Continue reading

Kate Taylor of The Business Insider writes about potential lawsuits RE: Mandalay Bay Vegas shooting

On 5 October, Kate Taylor of the Business Insider wrote an article titled, “The hotel where the Las Vegas gunman stockpiled weapons for 3 days has been quiet about what happened — and legal experts say it could be in hot water.” Ms. Taylor’s main points in the piece, heavily condensed here, are as follows: Because the Las Vegas gunman took three days to stockpile as many as 23 firearms in his room in as many as 10 suitcases, it seems that someone in housekeeping, management, or security might have noticed this oddity and said something. Lawsuits against the hotel are likely. Liabilities pressure from the Mandalay Bay case could cause hotels to rethink their security, which could include assessing potential threats from guests, which would change various privacy issues. The potential success of any lawsuit in this case “would depend on many … Continue reading

Features

26 November 2018, 10-year anniversary of Mumbai attacks that hit three hotels: the Taj Mahal, The Oberoi, and the Trident

This year, 26 November 2018, marked the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks by the terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. Scores of articles recently ran on the attacks, the counter attack, and the rebuilding of the impacted hotels. Here is a list of suggested reading to remember what happened and apply methods to mitigate such violence: “10 years of 26/11 terror Attacks: From Sachin Tendulkar to Consulate General of Israel, people pay tribute to the victims and martyrs,” Mumbai Mirror, 26 November 2018: Provides a quick recap of the attack and tributes to the victims from all over the world. “Mumbai attacks – 10 years on: Remembering the brutal terror strike that rocked the nation,” Moneycontrol News, 26 November 2018: Provides a quick recap of the attack and photographs from that day that emphasize the carnage and human tragedy. “Mumbai attacks: Police officer VN Patil recalls … Continue reading

22 June 2017, Resorts World Manila offers victims support in wake of 2 June active shooter attack – other brands usually abandon victims of violence

In the wake of the 2 June 2017 active shooter attack on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) facility – specifically, the Maxims Hotel and attached casino that killed 37 plus the gunman – RWM officials have made several pledges to compensate the families of the deceased and the wounded. On 2 June, RWM Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly said the company would offer the victims’ families “full support and assistance.” On 7 June, RWM president Kingson Sian made additional statements regarding educational support for the victims’ families. The combined extent of this support so far is as follows: $21,000 USD per deceased victim’s family (at least half has reportedly been paid out already) Funeral and burial assistance per deceased victim’s family $11,000 USD per injured victim Medical expenses for injured victims Education of the children of the deceased paid for up to college … Continue reading