Las Vegas Shooting Underscores Hotel Security Choices

“The hospitality industry hasn’t gotten its act together in terms of antiterrorism,” he said. “It’s not going to be pushed, it has to be pulled.”

In countries where hotels have been targeted by attackers — Egypt, Indonesia, Israel and more — security tactics are much more intense and often invasive.

India provides an example of the rapid changes violence can prompt. In 2008, terrorists bombed two hotels in downtown Mumbai and attacked other sites around the city, holding hostages and killing more than 100 people. Later, major hotel chains like Marriott, Taj and Accor began using explosive trace detectors and X-ray systems throughout the country. In New Delhi, the upscale Lemon Tree Premier hotel set up face-recognition software that allowed employees to identify visitors as they approached the property.

Mandalay Bay, an MGM Resorts International hotel, did not comment on its security practices Monday evening.

Even at major hotels, security teams are often lightly staffed and poorly paid, with no more than a few dozen employees for more than 1,000 rooms, Mr. Stover said.

As a result, said Jan D. Freitag, a senior vice president with STR, which tracks hotel data worldwide, hotels are “a soft target — always have been and always will be.”

Katherine Lugar, chief executive of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said in a statement that “hotels have safety and security procedures in place that are regularly reviewed, tested and updated as are their emergency response procedures.”

The trade group “will continue to work with law enforcement to evaluate these measures,” she said.

Some hotel chains have policies covering firearms on their properties. Hilton said that hotels managed by the company “prohibit firearms on-site.” In some of its hotels, Hyatt allows guests to bring permitted, unloaded guns “for storage purposes only,” requiring that the weapons remain locked in a firearms…

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