NEWS

July 7, 2021: Are You Ready for your AAA Inspection with New Cleanliness Surface Testing?

AAA Adds Inspected CleanCM to its Diamond Hotel Inspections

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected your guests’ expectations for cleanliness. Hotels have adapted cleaning procedures and housekeeping standards to meet these higher expectations.

AAA standards for cleanliness and condition have long been a foundation for the Diamond Program, and now the program is even stronger with the addition of ATP surface testing.

Inspected CleanCM

Your Diamond designation will now require passing the same physical inspections for cleanliness and condition as before, along with ATP surface testing for cleanliness. This adds objective, scientific indication that your hotel’s cleaning protocols are effective.

EXPLORE ATP SURFACE TESTING TECHNOLOGY

Starting July 2021, properties that pass their AAA Diamond inspection with the addition of surface testing, will now be recognized as Inspected CleanCM, which will increase the relevance of a property’s Diamond designation.

DIAMOND PROGRAM OVERVIEW


June 18th, 2021: Federal Legislative Alert: Per Diem Rates

Dear Friend,

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced that will freeze per diem rates at pre-pandemic levels, benefiting hotels and federal travelers across the country. To get this bill passed we need your help today! 

Please take 60 seconds of your time and click here to send a pre-written letter to your Members of Congress urging them to co-sponsor the Restored, Equitable, Coronavirus Adjusted Lodging Act. This Bill will support federal employees when they travel and protect future federal per diem rates.

Please also ask your colleagues to do the same by forwarding them a link to this news article.

Thanks in advance for your continued support. Together let's make a difference for hotels and hotel employees nationwide!

 

EMAIL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

BILL BACKGROUND

Reps. Bill Posey (FL-8) and Charlie Crist (FL-13) introduced H.R. 2104, the “Restored, Equitable, Coronavirus Adjusted Lodging (RECAL) Act” which helps mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19 on federal employees and the lodging industry by freezing the Federal reimbursement rates at those that applied to employee travel for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20). 

Simply stated, the bill freezes the per diem rates at FY20 levels, which were set before the pandemic ravaged the lodging industry rather than letting these rates decline to pandemic depressed levels. Without this legislation, artificially low per diem rates will negatively impact federal workers by reducing their lodging options and hamper industry recovery for years to come. Absent a fix, Per Diem rates for FY22 could drop by as much as 25%-40% nationally. 

Under the current law, General Services Administration sets the Federal maximum lodging rates reimbursed to employees by location based on rate samples collected from surveys during the previous fiscal year. If market lodging rates go up, then reimbursable rates increase. And when market rates decline as they have during the pandemic, then reimbursable lodging rates decline. 

We need your help to urge your representative to co-sponsor H.R. 2104.


© Copyright 2021 American Hotel & Lodging Association

May 10th, 2021: Benefits of Utilizing  CONNECT

Benefits of Utilizing the Community Oriented Notification Network Enforcement Communication Technology (CONNECT) 

When criminal offenders break into vehicles that are parked in a hotel parking lot, or a vehicle that’s parked in a residential driveway, the impact that this crime has on the vehicle owner can be costly and severe, especially if the person is just passing through Albuquerque and all of their belongings were in their vehicle. When a business gets broken into, same type of damaging impact. Huge monetary losses where livelihoods are affected.

Our shared goal is to stop the criminal activity, the vehicle thefts, vehicle break-ins, the damage to property, the commercial and residential burglaries, and of course violent crime. Our goal is to stop this crime and to apprehend the offenders that are responsible so they can be held accountable for their crimes, and also keep them from victimizing our neighbors. We know through regular communication and information sharing between citizens/businesses and police, the chances to catch these offenders greatly increase. 

Good technology also plays an important role in providing information that can be used to identify an offender, and be used as evidence to charge and convict the offender. Example being, surveillance camera systems, these days compared to ten years ago, there are several high quality/resolution surveillance cameras that are affordable and have provided clear enough images to where police investigators have been able to identify the offenders. 

CONNECT is an interactive tool which links the police to community partners and provides a platform to communicate about crime and public safety issues occurring in Albuquerque. CONNECT operates like a business "crime watch" that allows stakeholders to communicate about criminal activity impacting their businesses on a real time basis. Community partners use the system to alert each other about criminal incidents impacting their business or geographic area, in an effort to prevent other partners from being victimized. 

CONNECT provides a means for law enforcement agencies to engage community partners/stakeholders in a public safety partnership. Every jurisdiction has business partners who want to help address crime in their community, but do not have a venue for proactive engagement. Community partnerships help police expand their ability to fight crime proactively. With CONNECT, members become additional eyes and ears for crime prevention, helping to minimize crime. 

Other examples of “crime watches” are pictured below. RING or Next Door are similar platforms. Users can post information real-time, whether if its surveillance photographs or just general information for neighbors to look out for. 

I urge you to sign-up for CONNECT, so you will start receiving the CONNECT emails that are generated by other business owners/stakeholders, providing that real time intelligence on what and who to look out for. The Albuquerque Police Department receives these CONNECT emails and investigators will utilize the information that is posted to help solve the reported crimes, and also distribute this information within APD, so Police Area Commanders can use the information to plan pro-active operations. 

If there are any questions please feel free to contact me at (505)228-4259 or llanguit@cabq.gov. 

Thank you so much for your partnership.

Respectfully
Commander Luke C. Languit 

Sign up here: www.cabq.gov/scan

April 29th, 2021: Crime Matters

The Greater Albuquerque Hotel & Lodging Association (GAHLA) knows all too well that crime matters. It matters to guests, it matters to associates, it matters to owners and it matters to the city coffers. There is a spike in murders at hotels due in part to policies that accept down and out local tenants at weekly or monthly rates. The out of control homeless population who occupy every area of the city create not a nuisance but a very dangerous environment for everyone. A rage in a hotel lobby, guns fired in the parking lots, needles, trash and belligerent attitudes are creating perilous situations.

Places of lodging, restaurants, breweries, shopping centers and attractions all have beefed up security measures. For years we have heard from every Mayor, every Chief of Police, and politician a goal to increase the police force. However, with the current toxic anti-police environment it’s time for a reality check. The judicial system and courts cannot continue to let the repeat offenders out on the streets. This increases the problems for the police and is a serious factor contributing to the low morale.

While we want and need our overnight visitors back, GAHLA worries that Albuquerque is not ready to roll out the red carpet. The pre-pandemic problems are still serious issues and in many cases have become more critical. The police are under great scrutiny for many reasons, but does this mean we don’t need them at our side watching our backs?  Do we give in to calls for no police or cuts to funding when crime is a communitywide threat? The police union here is calling for a Crime Matters campaign asking citizens and businesses to speak up about what is important to us. GAHLA supports the police and believes they are a paid for and needed resource. 

If tourism is to come back strong we must have a plan of consequences to combat the homeless issue, we must put repeat offenders in jail, and we must put more police on the streets and give them the authority to fight crime again. We are all Covid fatigued and ready for the city’s and state’s economies to open. But, are we ready for tourists to come back? The Mayor has gratefully recognized the city needs a good cleaning and we support this effort. If there is no plan to keep the city clean after the spring cleanup will it have been worth the effort? There needs to be consequences for defacing buildings, leaving trash, carts and tents on the sidewalks. What are the consequences for living on the streets?

Albuquerque has a system of support for those in need. There must be consequences for behaviors to change. If the police have the authority to move the street tenants to the service center appropriate to the individual need and the help is refused, there must be a consequence. Maybe it is a mental institution or possibly it is jail time. Then upon release there must be a path to the services needed or the consequences become graver. This is not an easy problem with easy answers. The city must address this problem, courts must keep repeat offenders off the streets, bail is necessary, constant vigilance is required. Taxpayers deserve a solution that works and our Police and Sheriffs deserve our support! GAHLA has met with both groups.

We stand behind law enforcement and we believe consequences matter. We ask our judicial officials, the court system and city leaders to stand up for a better Albuquerque. Help us bring a robust tourism economy back to our city. Tourism works for all of us and helps pay for the many “quality of life” amenities while instilling pride in our citizens. It is time to work together on change that matters because crime does matter. 

On Behalf of the Greater Albuquerque Hotel & Lodging Association,

Adrian Montoya

Adrian Montoya

President

General Manager, Hotel Albuquerque

April 28th, 2021: Albuquerque Police Chief and Top Brass Meet with GAHLA Directors

On Wednesday, April 28, 2021 Chief Medina and Area Commanders as well as other APD staff met with our group to discuss how we can better partner to make member hotels safer for guests and our teams. Concerns were expressed about parking lot crimes and homeless issues. The best way for hotels to help slow crime at our businesses is to communicate with the police about the problems we face. The way to do this is to post on Safe City Connect through the Hospitality partnership, and to report other issues to 311.  Need help with getting set up on the program? Contact Michelle Dressler, mdressler@hihsabq.net

The benefits of posting troubles at your hotels are the following:

  • The postings are distributed to many departments at APD, so many eyes are reading what happened and can react to it
  • The postings create a history of the types of crimes that are occurring in what areas of the city; this is cross referenced with what has happened in other industries that are posting on Connect in your area
  • The data is analyzed and collected for tracking and efficiencies to help find the culprits
  • Any photos or videos are most helpful and can be attached to the post on Connect and may be used as evidence in court proceedings
  • More information is better, guest making police reports is better, and the sooner you post the better

The Chief shared that they have started Project Green Light.  This is a program where businesses partner with the police and install cameras that provide a live feed to the police of your property. With this program reactions will be more immediate and businesses with a green light on their building are notifying the criminals that this business has a live feed to the police department. It is a deterrent and a bigger one if many of the businesses in your area show the Green Lights. The added benefit is that your guests learn that you are proactive in your security measures. 

There is a cost to the business for the purchase and installation of the quality cameras and high speed Internet service. More information can be found by https://www.research.net/r/ABQSCAN 

Get to Know your Area Commander:

The Albuquerque Police Department divides the city into six geographical areas called area commands.

Each area command is managed by a commander and staffed with between 82 and 119 officers, depending on size of the area command and level of calls for service.

All officers are dispatched through the Police Communications operators by calling (505) 242-COPS for non-emergency calls or 911 in an emergency.

View more information about specific area commands and meet your Commander:

April 28th, 2021: Security Camera Analytical Network 

Sign up here: www.cabq.gov/scan

GAHLA.org