Fake hotels, panic buttons and The Rolling Stones
Fake hotels, panic buttons and The Rolling Stones
17 JUNE 2019 8:14 AM

New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to mandate hoteliers provide panic buttons for housekeeping, which will never be required for one hotel in Manchester that in fact does not exist. And if we think such stories are of a world gone mad or downhill, then we can rely on one thing—it’s been four years, so The Rolling Stones are back on the road.

Three pieces of news caught my attention this week, with the subjects being scams, safety and the Stones.

Fake mistake
The Manchester Evening News has uncovered a five-star hotel in Manchester that simply does not exist.

It supposedly is called The Grand Pearl, which is amusing, albeit not as much if people have been hoodwinked into booking direct and lost money to what is a scam, apparently.

Everything is fake, except for the booking engine that, the Manchester Evening News believes, routes money to Nigeria.

A photo taken by the newspaper of its supposed site on the city’s Peter Street shows an empty lot, and calls it made to the telephone number listed on its website never were answered.

I assume the minimum of 7,000 URL addresses every Internet user looks at before they book would have shown them that this property is a fake, but I hereby add a warning that perhaps 7,001 websites need to be first viewed before credit card numbers are given.

The amusing thing about its name is that I cannot imagine any hotelier thinking “pearl” would be an apt name for a hotel in the United Kingdom. Maybe for a restaurant, but not a hotel.

In fact, I cannot think of a single precious or semiprecious stone (or organic gem … before readers write in that a pearl is not actually, technically a stone) that could be used in a name of a British hotel. Wales produces some gold, but there is not any large-scale gem mining here.

Really, we’re on firmer ground if we use “coal,” “granite,” “limestone” and “chalk,” and with the exception of maybe the last example none of these really transmit a required feeling of luxury, rest and experience.

Panic buttons
It always is a shame when laws need to be imposed such as New Jersey’s mandated legislation that hoteliers have to provide staff with panic buttons, but it must remain a right to be able to work in safety and be of the highest priority.

Last Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill requiring hotels in the state with more than 100 rooms to provide staff with panic buttons.

The regulations were prompted by a rape case in 2018, according to NBC News.

A suspect was arrested, but I cannot find any indication of the outcome.

Illinois, Florida and Washington are three other states considering such a move.

One question I have is why was a number of 100 rooms chosen? Or for that matter, any number of rooms?

Stones keep on a-rollin’
Cycles come and cycles go, but one thing that remains constant is that every four years hotels around the world see room bookings delivered thanks to another tour by The Rolling Stones, the most famous band to come out of my hometown Dartford, my cousins’ primary school and my brother’s grammar school.

Despite lead singer Mick Jagger undergoing a reputed heart-valve replacement, which delayed the 2019 No Filter tour from starting on 20 April, Messieurs Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood cannot be kept down, apparently.

Things get under way in Chicago this Friday.

Gone are the days when the boys would play 30 shows in 31 days. There are 17 U.S. shows this time around spanning 21 June to 31 August. There also were 17 shows during the band’s last full U.S. tour in 2015, although their last foray, in 2016, comprised 14 shows in Latin America.

Perhaps if that all goes well, dates in other continents will be announced. One of the dates scheduled is in Canada, and all the tour is sponsored by nonprofit retirement fund, Alliance for Lifetime.

There has to be a joke in there somewhere?

For hoteliers, all the performance data will be in by the first week of September, so I might return and see where or whom fared best—hoteliers or the septuagenarian rockers.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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