Pennsylvania hotel breaking all the rules

When inspectors from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture responded to a consumer complaint at the Holiday Inn in Lancaster County, they were surprised by what they found — but given the hotel’s laundry list of offenses, perhaps it shouldn’t have been such a shock.

When the hotel’s walk-in refrigerator failed, they moved its contents to a guest room for cooling. The room’s air conditioner was turned all the way down to 65 degrees — 24 degrees higher than the maximum temperature allowed by state public health guidelines. This is but one of many ridiculous incidents that begs the question: Why is this Holiday Inn still open?

On the same day of the food inspection, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement officers searched the hotel and found that it was selling liquor without a license, and had been doing so for over a year, when ownership changed hands and the new owners never sought to renew the liquor license.

The problems don’t end there.Treasury officials say the hotel has failed to pay taxes since July 21. There is no way to know how much the hotel owes, because those figures come from the hotel’s monthly reports, and guess what? Those aren’t accurate or complete, either. However, the state Department of Revenue recently placed a lien on the property for $29,259.28 in unpaid sales taxes for November and December of 2007.

Employees paint an even grimmer picture for the Holiday Inn. They say paychecks have been late and have bounced, and they have been paying insurance premiums out of their paychecks, yet the hotel isn’t actually carrying insurance. One employee found this out the hard way when he went in for surgery and was told he didn’t have insurance, even though he’d been paying for it through his employer.

Housekeeping employees have been instructed to rinse out and reuse disposable supplies in guest rooms. This includes refilling used shampoo bottles and — ew — rinsing out and reusing trash bags. The job market in Lancaster must be pretty dismal for these workers to stick around.

On top of everything else, utilities and cable have been shut off at the hotel due to failure to pay bills, and the building has failed fire code inspections as well.

What does a hotel in Lancaster County, PA have to do to get shut down?!

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Gadling Take FIVE August 24-29

First off, Happy Labor Day weekend if you happen to be in the United States. For anyone else, happy weekend and don’t work too hard. If you’ve read Gadling this week, perhaps you noticed posts on changes occurring , new additions to the travel field and what this means for travelers.

1. Josh, for example, talked about the upcoming opening of the Holiday Inn in Hanoi and what this signifies for the city. My first trip to Hanoi was in 1994 and I’ve been back four more times. As he noted,and what I’ve also noticed with each visit, the increased affluence has brought considerable change. Josh muses about the outcome.

2. If you’re one of those people who have noticed how air travel just isn’t what it used to be (how could you not notice) Scott’s read “The top eight things I miss most about the current state of air travel” may seem familiar. Oh, how I long for the good old days, and I’ve never been on the Concorde.

3. Abha pointed us in the direction of a new travel guide resource called Trazzler.com that tailors recommendations to your location and the type of travel you are interested in such as culinary arts.

4. In case you’re looking for the latest food snob trend, Jeffery found the answer at Forbes.com and added his two cents into the discussion. For all you backpackers who settle for cheese and bread while hopping on and off trains in Europe, you can go more upscale than those little triangles of cheese that doesn’t need much refrigeration. Jeffery, is not a cheese wiz, but you might be able to convince him with a bottle of wine. (In case you missed it, I made a play on words. Cheese wiz = Cheez Whiz)

5. Here’s a trend in weight saving that I, for one, don’t hope other airlines start using. Grant wrote about how Jazz Airlines, a subsidiary of Air Canada is doing away with life vests. If the plane lands in water, passengers need to hold onto their seat cushions as flotation devices.

Hanoi Holiday (Inn)

Though the rapid rate of development has not hit Hanoi as hard as it has Ho Chi Minh City, the capital city of Vietnam still seems overwhelmed with new constructions. How this affects tourism numbers in the long term remains to be seen, but, for now, the number of visitors is rising (2 million international visitors projected by 2010).

Hanoi is known for its lakes and for being a city built by many different influences. Tourists are drawn by the unique blend of French, Chinese and Vietnamese architecture, art and cuisine. Hanoi is rushing to compound its tourism success. New roads, shopping centers and hotels are a big part of the effort. One wonders if the charm and urban quaintness that has attracted people in the past will be lost amidst the blitz of all things new.

An example of this modernization: a Holiday Inn, Hanoi’s first, will be completed in 2010. The glitzy 300 room hotel will sit at the middle of a large upscale shopping, commercial and entertainment complex in the central Dong Da District. InterContinental Hotels Group, which is responsible for bringing the well known hotel brand to Vietnam, is banking on its name to help it succeed. Holiday Inn is a familiar hotel and, in an up-and-coming destination like Hanoi, that might lead to many people choosing it as a default when it comes to accommodation.

The coming of Holiday Inn and its ilk might be a bad signal for all the family-run guest houses and locally owned inns that dot the city. I’m not going to say that all this development is ruining the Hanoi experience. I’m going to think it, but I won’t say it. You can’t really criticize a city for trying to modernize and bring more dollars into its economy. At the same time, those of you who want to experience the deep sense of history and the diverse cultural influences might want to start booking your flight soon, lest you find nothing but Holiday Inns and KFCs.

Waterpark Hotel in Chi-Town

Mayan Adventure Indoor WaterparkMust have
been one heck of a cold day in Illinois when creators of the Mayan
Adventure Indoor Waterpark
came up with the idea, but regardless of the circumstances the area is pleased to
welcome the new family fun venue and hoping to keep tourism dollars in Illinois. Up until this point residents of the
area had been driving three or more hours to reach a similar attraction in Wisconsin. $30 million went into the new indoor waterpark located in the Holiday Inn Elmhurst at 624 North
York Rd., in Elmhurst. Having just celebrated
the grand opening
I’m sure the hotel will generate mucho dinero and a splashing good time for families and children
with spring here and summer around the corner.

via
HotelChatter