Immigration Laws, Stances Threaten Hospitality

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I recently attended the Elite Meetings Alliance, a gathering of luxury hotels and meeting planners at the new Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, and spoke to several directors of sales from luxury resorts in Arizona and every single one said they have had at least one group cancellation because of the state's stringent law on immigration. They also said several potential bookings were on hold because of the law and boycotts. Early reports indicated backlash from the law could cost the Phoenix area $90 million in revenue.

And now maybe the one place hurting more than Arizona after last year's recession and industry downturn, Las Vegas is facing similar legislation. Monday the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Nevada Resort Association filed a joint legal challenge to an initiative to enact legislation mirroring Arizona's, according to this Las Vegas Sun story. The Nevada Immigration Verification Act could be voted on in 2011 and if enacted, could be the knockout punch to Nevada hospitality.

And a city's recent proclamation nearly cost one of its hotels a convention, according to this LA Times story. After Costa Mesa's declaration of being a "rule of law" city with regard to immigration, a California association looked into canceling a meeting at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa.

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