How does a hotel in one of the busiest tourist attractions keep their guests safe?
That's something people found themselves asking following the mass shooting in Las Vegas that took place October 1.
The Las Vegas strip is a unique place, and that provides some added challenges when it comes to security. Hotels are tasked with providing safety while maintaining a laissez-faire and often wild atmosphere.
While there are no standardized procedures for the hospitality industry across the board, large hotels on the Strip have made up their own culture around security. For example, visible security measures like armed officers on the casino floor have been frowned upon, while hotel entryways and corridors tend to have far more cameras than the average hotel.
Take Two's A Martinez spoke with Dick Hudak, former FBI agent and a longtime expert in global hotel and resort security.
Securing a very busy place takes teamwork
It takes a great deal of communication and coordination between the hotels and casinos and law enforcement.
Part of all security in a hotel-casino environment is to include more than security officers in that plan. It includes communication with active-duty metropolitan police officers. And typically, a property of this size, would have one or two on premise. So, coordination with the active-duty police officers relevant. Internally, security directors like to include housekeepers, valets, bellmen, room service, registration, bar and restaurant personnel to tip them off when they see something out of order or suspicious.
Balancing entertainment and security
We realize that security requires inconvenience and customers and guests really try to avoid inconvenience. Flying out to Las Vegas, waiting in line, and taxis and so forth.... so when they arrive at the hotel, they do not want to be inconvenienced.... In order to create less inconvenience, hospitality may be moving toward a situation where the use of a cellphone may allow you to go directly to your room and open your guest room door, which security professionals do not want to see because we feel that the more eyes upon an incoming guest, the better, so that we possibly recognize danger as it comes into our property.
Vegas quirks aside, this event was unprecedented
As any security program which is dynamic, it has to consider risks involved forseability, things that happen like this and other situations. And I don't know of another situation involving a hotel quite like this one. A case like this, it's the first one of its kind. So, we have to consider other responses... and really double down on training on staff and better communication with law enforcement.