MHLA Monthly News – February 2017

 LEGISLATIVE

Lodging Industry Bills in the Maryland General Assembly

MHLA’s Legislative Committee is in full swing, with committee members, listed here, meeting weekly to review bills introduced during the 90 day Maryland General Assembly Session that could impact Maryland’s lodging industry.  Go to www.MDLodging.org > Members > Legislative Reports to view our most recent tracking sheet and the Association’s position on each bill.  A member log-in is required.

Among our highest priorities this session is SB463, titled Business Regulation – Limited Residential Lodging. Introduced at MHLA’s request, this bill addresses registration of short term residential lodging hosts and platforms (such as Airbnb, HomeAway, etc) doing business in Maryland. The legislation emphasizes the need for compliance with state/local licensing, zoning and other requirements. It also empowers county and municipal governments to notify hosting platforms of the need to cease renting individual units until a specified violation is rectified.  SB463 is set for a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on February 22 at 1:00.

Some of MHLA’s other high priority bills include:

  • SB93/HB935 – Hotel Rental Tax – Accommodations Intermediary – Collection Requirement
  • HB673 – Business Regulation – Innkeepers – Records, Human Trafficking Awareness Training, and Hourly Accommodations
  • HB597 – Public Health – Clean Indoor Air Act – Repeal of Exception Regarding Hotel and Motel Rooms
  • HB317 – Labor and Employment – Wages and Benefits – Preemption of Local Authority
  • HB1/SB230 – Labor and Employment – Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

Contact Amy Rohrer, MHLA President & CEO, with questions on these or any other legislative issues.

Minimum Wage and Statewide Preemption

Del. Dereck Davis has introduced a bill that would pre-empt local governments from passing minimum wage bills by making wages and benefits the domain of the state.  MHLA testified in support of HB317 at the hearing on Feburary 7.

Introduction of this statewide preemption bill follows Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s veto on legislation that would have made Montgomery County the first jurisdiction in Maryland to require a $15 minimum wage.

Baltimore City Council is revisiting the issue and a bill has been introduced that would incrementally increase minimum wage to $15 by July 1, 2026 for small employers (defined as employing fewer than 50 people or having an annual gross income of $400K or less) and by July 1, 2022 for all other employers.

MHLA plans to testify at the Baltimore City Council Labor Committee public hearing on March 1.  Members operating in Baltimore City are urged to contact members of the Council to weigh in on the impact of a $15 minimum wage on their business.   

More on this Issue:

Md. lawmaker’s bill would stop local governments from raising minimum wage

A majority of City Council members say they support a $15 minimum wage in Baltimore

Pugh says $15 minimum wage could force her Baltimore small business to close more often

Leggett vetoes $15 minimum wage in Montgomery County

 

December 2016 STR Report

Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR in Maryland are provided monthly to MHLA by Smith Travel Research. To view the report, go to https://mdlodging.org/members/ and select “Industry Statistics and Research.” We anticipate the January STR report will also be posted on our website soon. This report is provided to MHLA members as a member service and requires log in to access. For assistance email Christine@MDLodging.org

 

 

MHLA NEWS & EVENTS

MHLA 28th Annual Stars of the Industry

The 28th Annual Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon took place on February 7, 2017.  It was a record year in terms of nominees, attendees and support from sponsors!  Click here for the post-event email announcing our winners and more.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor:

LOCAL INDUSTRY & MEMBER NEWS

New hotel sought for University of Maryland BioPark 

The board of the University of Maryland BioPark in March will receive details on two unsolicited proposals to build a new hotel on the sprawling West Baltimore campus. The new hotel is expected to be built in the 800 block of West Baltimore Street and would have 150 rooms and a conference center. 

To read the full Baltimore Business Journal article, click here

Preliminary site plan approved for new hotel in Aberdeen

A new 91-room motel is planned to be built off Route 40 in Aberdeen, behind the Golden Corral restaurant.

The preliminary site plan for the project was approved 4-0 by the Aberdeen City Council. The hotel, Woodspring Suites, in the 700 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard, will be for guests staying for extended periods and will look more residential than a traditional hotel.

To read the full Baltimore Business Journal article, click here

Maryland Tourism Day

March 3, 2017, 8am – 1pm

The Maryland Tourism Coalition’s annual Tourism Day is a legislative advocacy event in which we encourage MHLA member participation. Join tourism industry professionals from across the state as they meet with legislators and share stories about their businesses and the impact they have on Maryland’s economy. For more information and to register, visit mdtourism.org.

Ocean City Spring Trade Expo

March 5-6, 2017

Make plans to attend the 43rd Annual Ocean City Trade Expo featuring over 400 exhibits, educational sessions and lots of sampling! Hours are Sunday, March 5th 11am – 5pm, and Monday March 6th 11am – 4pm. Guests must be 21 to attend. FREE pre-registration is available until March 1st. After that you can register on site for $15 (make sure you take a business card with you to prove you’re in the hospitality industry). For more information, check out www.oceancitytradeexpo.com or call (410) 289-6733. 

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