Editorial Board   

Mr. Van

Steve Van

President & CEO, Prism Hotels

Steve Van, President and CEO of Prism Hotels & Resorts, founded the Dallas-based company in 1983 and continues to lead the company on its mission to have The Most Satisfied Owners. A prominent speaker and sought-after expert in the hospitality industry, Mr. Van was recognized by Hotel Business Magazine as one of the trade's “People of 2012.” In the past few years Mr. Van has focused his teams' efforts on going from Good to Great with the primary focus on operational excellence. Prism's current successes include managing the largest Hyatt Regency franchise, the 580 room Hyatt Regency LAX, the 420 room Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, the historic 300 room Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center, the 1,000,000 square feet and 600 room state-of-the-art Las Vegas Training Center for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the award-winning Embassy Suites Medical Center in Oklahoma City among many others. Mr. Van currently serves on a number of industry boards including the Hilton Doubletree Hotel Owner's Advisory Council and served on the Starwood Hotels Owner's Advisory Council for creation of Aloft Hotels. Mr. Van earned his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas, attended The University of Texas Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas. He has served as the Assistant Attorney General of Texas and as a Director of the Texas Turnpike Authority. Since 2008 he has been a Founding Director of AHMSA, a nonprofit based in Bogota, Columbia to teach internal refugees entrepreneurial skills to lift their families out of poverty. AHMSA is now supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the United Nations. Mr. Van was the youngest Director of NATO's US Arm, the Atlantic Treaty Assembly, and was presented with the Vincentian Ethics Scholar Award in 2006 in recognition of his valuable contributions in fostering business ethics research. Mr. Van is also the co-founder of the Texas Lyceum Association.

Mr. Van can be contacted at 214-257-1011 or steve.van@prismhotels.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.