Home Hospitality AHLA Releases Statement on New Jersey Legislation

AHLA Releases Statement on New Jersey Legislation

WASHINGTON—American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO Chip Rogers released the following statement after the New Jersey Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance approved legislation that would affect the hotel industry’s franchise model. The bill (A3495) is now awaiting further Assembly action, and companion legislation (S2336) has been introduced in the Senate.

“New Jersey bill A3495 and its Senate companion S2336 would severely limit hotels’ ability to enforce the quality, service, and safety guidelines guests know and trust. In doing so, the legislation would destroy the hotel industry’s franchise model—a beacon of success that has created millions of jobs and helped thousands of Americans realize the dream of owning their own business.

For more than two years, AHLA has sought to engage with proponents of this misguided legislation about our concerns. Yet today—on a two-hour notice—this extremely damaging proposal was scheduled for a vote. A change to state law that will have such an immense impact on hoteliers, travelers visiting the state, and the entire tourism economy must be subject to honest debate. With major sporting events heading to the Garden State, we look forward to working with lawmakers to defeat this dangerous and ill-advised legislation, which could drive well-known and respected hotels out of New Jersey and cost the state thousands of jobs.”

New Jersey bills A3495 and S2336 would:

  • Require brand improvements such as WiFi, mobile check-in, breakfast, etc., to be negotiated property by property, which will weaken brand standards.
  • Allow hotel owners to use “comparable” products to those required by brands, which will weaken brand standards and lead to increased litigation as both parties try to determine what is comparable.
  • Cause hotels to allow their federally registered trademarks to be used on “comparable products,” undermining the value and destroying the trust in these trademarks.
  • Undercut the loyalty points system that many brands use to reward loyal customers, which could force many brands to terminate these loyalty programs in New Jersey.

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