MHLA September Monthly News

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Ocean City hotel bills will go up after Worcester County approves room tax increase
Source: Salisbury Daily Times
Hotel guests in Ocean City should expect to pay a little more when they book their beach trips after the Worcester County Commissioners unanimously voted to raise the room tax from 4.5% to 5%. The 0.5% increase will only increase hotel bills a couple dollars per night, but according to Joseph Mitrecic, vice president of the Worcester County Commissioners, it could generate an additional $1.1 million for Ocean City in revenue. READ MORE
Ocean City hotels battle short-term rentals over room tax
Source: The Daily Record (subscription required)
Some hotels and motels in Ocean City and Worcester County are pushing back against short-term rental services – platforms they argue are cutting into their sales and operating at an unfair advantage because they fail to collect or remit room tax. “The challenge with short-term rentals comes down to enforcement, and that’s where the platform accountability is critical,” said Amy Rohrer, MHLA President and CEO. READ MORE

U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Santa Monica’s Home-Sharing Ordinance
Source: Santa Monica Mirror
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reaffirmed its rejection of Airbnb, Inc. and Homeaway.com’s challenge to the City of Santa Monica’s Home-Sharing Ordinance, which penalizes the online platforms for unlawfully booking short-term vacation rentals of unlicensed properties in Santa Monica. READ MORE

MHLA NEWS & EVENTS
MHLA at LAS
September 10 – 11, 2019
Each September, MHLA attends AHLA and AAHOA’s Legislative Action Summit (LAS) in Washington, D.C. At this event, hundreds of hoteliers from across the country unite to network and meet face-to-face with Members of Congress. We strongly encourage Maryland hoteliers to attend. Amy Rohrer, MHLA President and CEO will be attending and meeting with the Maryland delegation. Click here to register.
Annual Golf Outing
October 2, 2019
Whiskey Creek Golf Club

The deadline to register is approaching, September 18th! A portion of proceeds will be donated to MHLA’s scholarship fund. Thank you to our Title Sponsor Ecolab, Presenting Sponsor Live! Casino & Hotel, and the many other sponsors who support this annual event. Click here to register.

Membership Updates
Congratulations to the newly named General Managers at the following properties: TownePlace Suites Baltimore BWI – Jeffrey Webb
Commander Hotel – Jill DouglasHampton Inn & Suites Frederick – Irfan Mian
Welcome to the following new member properties:Crowne Plaza Baltimore Downtown Inner Harbor – Adam NovotnyHome2 Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor – Alicia OwensHomewood Suites Largo – Andron Evans
July 2019 STR Report
Smith Travel Research data for Maryland shows occupancy is down slightly, ADR has increased .8%, and RevPAR has increased .1% YTD through July 2019 compared to the same period last year. Maryland data is provided monthly to MHLA by Smith Travel Research. Members may view the full report online. Go to https://mdlodging.org/members/ and select “Industry Statistics and Research.” (Member log-in required.)

INDUSTRY NEWS & INFORMATION
How pre-Labor Day school start dates might hurt Maryland businesses
Source: Salisbury Daily Times
Summertime can be a make or break time for tourism-based businesses across Maryland. But what happens if people stop coming at the busiest time in the season? For business owners such as Michelle Knopp, an Ocean City restaurant owner, August can make “the biggest difference.” READ MORE

New Hotel Breaks Ground In Owings Mills
Source: Patch
A hotel and conference center in the Metro Centre at Owings Mills is under construction. READ MORE


Live! Casino & Hotel gets ‘4 Diamond’ hotel rating
Source: WTOP
Live! Casino & Hotel at Arundel Mills in Maryland has new hotel bragging rights after landing AAA’s “4 Diamond” rating. While it is one diamond short of AAA’s top hotel rating, only 6.3% of hotels in North America visited by AAA inspectors earn the “4 Diamond” rating. READ MORE

Marriott pulling tiny shampoo bottles from hotels to reduce plastic waste
Source: Fox Business
Marriott International said it will pull all “tiny, single-use” bottles of shampoo and other toiletries from the rooms of its 7,000 hotels by the end of 2020. The Bethesda, Maryland-based hospitality company said it had already switched more than 20 percent of its properties to include larger pump-topped bottles in showers as part of an initiative that began last year to reduce waste. By expanding the toiletry program to all its properties, the company said it will prevent about 500 million tiny bottles — 1.7 million pounds of plastic — from going to landfills. READ MORE

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