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5 things to know: 20 April 2012
April 20 2012

•’s Sustainability Showcase wraps up
• MGM shareholders amend lawsuit after stock prices tumble
• Jumeirah Group makes executive level personnel moves
• $350m earmarked for flagship Sheraton properties
• Underground malware aims to attack hotel POS systems

The focus on sustainable development and management practices is still relatively new to the hotel industry. But sustainable business practices continue to grow and evolve as they become more prevalent. In fact, in March, the U.S. Green Building Council announced the 12,000th commercial project earned LEED certification.

A special report this week on dove into the myriad ways the hotel industry is going green, from sustainable development and eco-friendly operations to green brand updates and case studies from hotels that are doing sustainability right.

View the Sustainability Showcase here.

MGM Resorts International shareholders and bondholders have filed an amended class-action lawsuit in hopes of recovering losses from the decline of the Las Vegas company’s stock and bond prices between 2007 and 2009, according to

Two and a half years ago, stockholders filed six lawsuits after the stock price fell from $99.75 on 9 October 2007, to $1.89 on 5 March 2009. Bondholders sued over similar steep losses.

The securities holders complained the prices fell because of problems related to the global recession as well as undisclosed cost overruns, construction problems and financial difficulties MGM faced with its half-owned $8.5-billion CityCenter casino resort complex on the Las Vegas Strip.

The lawsuits said MGM officials failed to promptly disclose many of these problems, causing the stock and bond prices to be inflated before tumbling after the market realized how serious the issues were.

Jumeirah Group on Thursday appointed Nicholas Clayton to COO and announced CEO Guy Crawford will retire in June 2012 following a 10-year stint with the company, according to a news release. Clayton joins Jumeirah from the Viceroy Hotel Group where he was president and later CEO. He previously worked with Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental.

Crawford's tenure saw Jumeirah Group grow to a portfolio of 20 luxury, 5-star hotels and hotel residences.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and owners of Sheraton Hotels have committed more than $350 million to enhance flagship properties around the world, according to a news release.

Starwood will unveil several large-scale renovation projects this year, including: the $160-million renovation of the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers; the multimillion-dollar refurbishment effort of the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh, Scotland; and the $20-million renovation of the Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast in Australia.

“We are delighted to follow our highly successful $6 billion brand-wide revitalization with a significant investment in several of our flagship properties,” said Hoyt Harper, global brand leader.

Cyber crooks are selling malware through underground forums, which they claim offers the ability to steal credit card information from hotel point of sale applications, according to a story in The Register.

The hospitality industry attack involves using a remote-access trojan program to infect hotel front-desk computers. The malware includes spyware components that steal credit card and other customer information by capturing screenshots from the POS application. The malware is capable of stealing credit card numbers and expiration dates, but not CVV2 numbers, according to the report.

The attack code is being offered for $280 in online forums.

Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.

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