Editorial Board   

Mr. Benton

David Benton

Vice President and General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel

David G. Benton, recognized as one of the hospitality industry's most innovative and visionary leaders, serves as the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominium Residences, and serves as a board member of many prestigious organizations including the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, The Restaurant School, the Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council and the Hero Scholarship Fund. He is presently vice president of the Philadelphia Art Alliance; and in the past has served on the International Visitors Council and the Arts & Business Council. Previously, Mr. Benton served as the general manager of Denver Place, a 335-suite hotel which included 193 luxury apartments, 2 1/2 million square feet of office space, and 100,000 square feet of retail space in downtown Denver, Colorado. Prior to his time in Colorado, Mr. Benton was the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for Fiesta American Hotels located in Mexico City, Mexico. In 1989, Mr. Benton became the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel, a 98-room luxury boutique hotel overlooking Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, The Rittenhouse Hotel is recognized as one of the world^aEURTMs foremost luxury boutique hotels and has received numerous awards by top travel and hospitality organizations and publications. These awards include the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award since 1991, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award. In addition, Esquire Magazine named the Hotel^aEURTMs renowned restaurant Lacroix at The Rittenhouse "Restaurant of the Year" in 2003, The Rittenhouse Hotel has been voted as one of the "best places to stay in the world" by Cond~A(c) Nast Traveler, Departures magazine named The Rittenhouse as the sixth best boutique hotel in North America and the Official Hotel Guide named The Rittenhouse the only Philadelphia hotel among its list of 101 Superior Deluxe Hotels worldwide in 2002. David Benton has been recognized as a highly focused innovative business leader with strong entrepreneurial, consumer visionary skills, particularly in corporate restructuring and rapidly changing business situations within the travel and hospitality industry. Born and raised in London, England, Mr. Benton is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School of Administration in Ithaca, New York. He is married with two children.

Mr. Benton can be contacted at 215-790-2527 or dbenton@rittenhousehotel.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.