Weekly Update: 2017 Legislative Session Begins Next Week

Weekly Update: 2017 Legislative Session Begins Next Week https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/WashingtonHospitalityWeekly_WebsiteImage2016.jpg

2017 Legislative Session Begins Next Week 

The Washington Hospitality Association’s Government Affairs Department is gearing up for the 2017 legislative session, which starts on Monday. It will be a long session, lasting for 105 days. In recent history, the hospitality sector has rarely had to adjust to so many significant changes in one year. These changes make it hard for you to do business. Our Government Affairs team’s No. 1 one goal for this legislative session is to protect our industry from more regulations and taxation. For more information, contact Stephanie McManus.


Hill Climb App Will Go Online Jan. 9

The Washington Hospitality Association organizes Hill Climb and Taste Our Best each year. The annual event gives hoteliers and restaurant operators an opportunity to interact one-on-one with legislators. Later in the evening, the Taste Our Best legislative reception brings together the people of the hospitality industry and legislators for a night of great food and the finest beers and wines. Save this date: Feb. 6. And be sure to download the Washington Hospitality Events app to have your schedule right on your phone. The app also includes multiple maps, all legislators and their districts, networking functions and much more! Head to this link to download the app when it goes live on Monday, Jan. 9. For more information, contact Wendy Hughes.


State Minimum Wage Now $11

Voter-approved Initiative 1433 took effect on Jan. 1, raising Washington’s minimum wage to $11 per hour. This rate applies to employees age 16 and older although employers may pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. Seattle, Tacoma and SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate. See this page for details on Seattle’s minimum wage, which increased to $15 on Jan. 1. For more information, contact Stephanie McManus.


Register Now for Spokane Chapter Gala: Jan. 24

Attention: Spokane Chapter members! The Spokane Chapter Gala is almost here. Mark your calendars from 5–9 p.m., Jan. 24, at the DoubleTree Hotel for a silent auction, industry awards, music and mingling. Tickets are $55 per person. For more information, including discounted table pricing options, contact Robyn Bruns via email or at 208.244.0601.


Seattle Members Helped Raise $1 Million for Homeless Services

Thank you to all members who participated in the Mary’s Place No Child Sleeps Outside campaign in November and December. An update from Linda at Mary’s Place said, “We are working on plans for a big announcement event with partners (in late January).” As soon as a date is set, we’ll send you information so participating restaurant members can attend. The website says more than $1 million was raised. Check out a running tally of the funds raised and who made donations online.


Happy New Year from Dine NW Radio Show – Now Online

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Co-hosts Andy Cook and Paul Schlienz welcome 2017 with a wide-ranging discussion with their Washington Hospitality Association colleagues Jillian Henze, Wendy Hughes and Stephanie McManus.


Eye on Hospitality: An Online Review Case to Watch

Many restaurateurs and hoteliers were disappointed by the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, signed into law by President Barack Obama in December. It provides no relief to operators who object to the way their businesses are rated online. Nevertheless, there may be a light on the horizon for hospitality operators who have been burned by unfair online reviews and those who want to avoid this experience. Read more…