Should Hotels Tighten Security After Las Vegas Mass Shooting - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Should Hotels Tighten Security After Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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Should hotel security change after Las Vegas shooter turned hotel suite into staging site for massacre? Should hotel security change after Las Vegas shooter turned hotel suite into staging site for massacre?

After the latest mass shooting in our nation was staged from a hotel suite, Erie News Now wanted to know if the hotel industry will be be forced to make security changes, to prevent an event like this from happening again?

We took that question to Chris Scott, of Scott Enterprises, owners of a family of hotels in the region. Scott tells us the biggest challenge is, when someone checks in, the hotels have only a name on the record, not a criminal history. In the case of Las Vegas shooter, even if that information was available, police said Stephen Paddock, carried no criminal history on the record.

As investigators review how a Mandalay Bay Resort guest was able to get twenty-three weapons, and a large amount of ammunition into his hotel room, how will hotel managers respond to the tragedy.  Chris Scott tells us they must strike a balance between guest privacy rights, and the need to keep their properties safe, from an unexpected evil. "It's extremely frustrating and sad and I think what we do is we train our staff that if they see something suspicious to report it to management," Scott said.  "We also have panic buttons around the hotel that would immediately call the police if there was an incident and security cameras also, so we do our best to try to protect," he added, "but if somebody's that crazy, and willing to do something that violent, it's very challenging, especially when they're willing to take their own life."

Scott Enterprises doesn't expect hotels to add metal detectors, or baggage screening as is done at sporting events, because of privacy issues and because of how often guests come and go.  "It might be a little tough in our industry to keep checking bags 24/7...in a sporting event they're usually going there for three hours and leaving, here they're coming in and out maybe four times a day, they're golfing, they're leaving, hunting or fishing or whatever," Scott said. "Plus, some people do have the right, obviously, to carry guns if they're hunters or for self protection, so if they do have a gun it's even tough, what do you do about it.?"  He added, "...it's something that our industry's looking at, trying to deal with, it's very tragic an sad situation."

Attorney A.J. Adams believes it's lawyers actually who will set the ground rules for any changes in hotel security, but he also doesn't expect shifts in the industry.  "I don't think the hotels are going to have to change their policies frankly given the way rifles are made these days," said Adams. "Any building is going to be susceptible to those types of incidents."  He doesn't believe it will go the way of the travel industry after 9-11.  "If you start that with hotels you're going down the slippery slope of department stores, theaters, I mean i don't think you're going to be able to go through a scenario like that just for hotels," Adams concluded.

Gannon University senior Melissa Valenty doesn't agree. "Now three times in my lifetime it's been like the deadliest mass shooting in the United States, and it's just crazy that nothing's been done about it in my opinion," she said.  While Valenty is most concerned about gun laws, she does not think the hotel industry should be immune from a shift in security practices. "I definitely think they are going to revamp their security systems, there's no reason why someone should be allowed to have those kind of weapons in a place like that where you're going on vacation to have fun," Valenty said.

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