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Theme parks & resorts : Pondering safety and legal liability


By Greg Van Gompel.

At one hotel I recently stayed at, they had a desk by the elevator banks for a person to ensure that all people who passed by had a room key before entering the elevators.  This feature would have been an excellent approach for guest safety, if a person was actually at the desk.  In fact, the only time I saw an employee at the desk was on the weekends and then he never even asked me to produce a hotel key before I entered the banks of elevators and proceeded further into the hotel.

If it is considered too expensive to have a person physically at the location, a hotel could install a set of impact-resistant plastic doors that require the guest to insert a room key into before going into the bank of elevators.  Some of the hotels I visited had either other public events happening or were part of a casino. In all cases, I was able to walk directly to a bank of elevators, press a button to go to a floor and be off without anyone asking me where I was going. Yes, there were security cameras watching every move of the employees and guests – I’m sure the hotel has my every move on film, but how preventive is that? An enclosed Motel 6 has better security measures.

Since more and more amusement parks are becoming resort destinations and since casinos more and more are becoming a part of the attractions industry, I think it is time to ask how we can keep a more vigilant eye on guest safety.  Let’s take a fresh look at access to elevators and other guest areas to make our guests feel more secure – and in fact to make them be more secure. It is fairly routine to secure employee-only areas, but what about our guests?

Image: Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder’s classic film, The Apartment

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