Hotels Crack Down On Smokers, Charge For Housekeeping
Hotels are struggling to deal with shifting winds when it comes to smoking, according to a Courier-Post article. That includes some states’ legalization of recreational marijuana use and the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes.
At the same time, travelers allege that companies are turning customers’ tobacco habit into a profit center by overcharging them for smoking in hotels or rental cars. One hotel added a $150 “smoking fee” to a guests bill to cover the housekeeping costs.
The article reports that depending on your perspective, the travel realm is either becoming a less accommodating place for smokers or a healthier place for nonsmokers. Cruise lines are at the forefront of this change, with Carnival and Norwegian recently banning smoking on balconies. Guests will still be able to smoke in the casinos. Communities from Ketchum, Idaho, to Fort Collins, Colo., have clamped down on e-cigarette use, also known as “vaping,” including in hotel rooms. At least three states — North Dakota, New Jersey and Utah — restrict e-cigarettes statewide, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.
And even though the recreational use of marijuana is now approved in Washington and Colorado, the travel industry hasn’t exactly welcomed it. In fact, there’s a considerable amount of confusion about where visitors can light up.
That said, smoking can be expensive for managers running a hotel.
Courier-Post spoke to Marti Mayne, a lodging industry consultant, who says that smaller inns, like bed-and-breakfasts, can suffer as a result of illicit smoking.
“It means that every single piece of bedding and towels must be removed and washed, rugs will have to be steam-cleaned, as will curtains, lampshades and anything else that might be fabric and can absorb the smell,” she says. The cleaning takes time, too, which means that the room must be taken out of inventory. That loss, which Mayne says could be anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of an inn’s revenue, is a “double whammy” of financial loss and cleaning expense.
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