||South Dakota Issues New Consumer Protection Laws Affecting Innkeepers|
|Midwest Purveyors Trade Show|
Statute 37-24-6 has had the following provisions added.
|(7) Advertise a rate, price, or fee for a hotel, motel, campsite, or other lodging accommodation which is not in fact available to the public under the terms advertised. It is not a violation of this subdivision to establish contract rates which are different than public rates.|
|(8) Charge a rate, price, or fee for a hotel, motel, campsite, or other lodging accommodation which is different than the rate, price, or fee charged on the first night of the guest's stay unless, at the initial registration of the guest, a written notification of each price, rate, or fee to be charged during the guest's reserved continuous stay is delivered to the guest and an acknowledgment of receipt of the notice is signed by the guest and kept by the innkeeper for the same period of time as is required by 34-18-21.|
|(9) Knowingly and intentionally fail to mail to a future guest a written confirmation of the date and rates of reservations made for any accommodation at a hotel, motel, campsite, or other lodging accommodation when a written request for confirmation is received from the future guest; or|
|(10) Refuse to return or reverse the charge for a deposit upon any hotel, motel, campsite, or other lodging accommodation which is canceled by the guest more than thirty days before the date of the reservation. The innkeeper may establish a policy requiring a longer time for notice of cancellation or a handling fee in the event of cancellation, which may not exceed twenty-five dollars, if the policy is in writing and is delivered or mailed to the guest at or near the making of the reservation.|
Each act in violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any subsequent conviction of an act in violation of this statute, which occurs within two years is a Class I misdemeanor. Any subsequent conviction of an act in violation of this statute, which occurs within two years of a conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to this statute, is a Class 6 felony.
This change makes this statute a criminal law, not a civil law.
Statute 34-18-21 is amended to read as follows:
|Each person conducting a lodging establishment or campground shall keep a record of guests. Such a record may be kept in a register or on separate cards and shall be opened for inspection and copying by the secretary of health for the purpose of protecting the health or life of persons or for an emergency which may affect the public health. The inspection and copying shall take place during business hours and shall be conducted by an authorized inspector after presentation of identification. The registry shall contain the name of the guest, the number in the party the place of permanent residence of the guest, the date of registration, the date of departure, the daily rate charged, and the motor vehicle license number of the registrant. The record shall so include each rate, price, or fee charged to the guest for the guest's stay at the lodging establishment or campground, as required by subdivision 34-24-6(8). The records shall be kept for a minimum of one year.|
These changes in these two statutes are designed to remedy complaints and to prevent our industry getting a bad reputation in the eyes of our customers.
In our last newsletter you were advised that the board would reconsider the vote to sever relationships with the American Hotel and Motel Association. At issue was the demand that any property over 50 units that joined the South Dakota Innkeepers Association would also be required to pay dues to the American Hotel and Motel Association.
At the board meeting in March the issue was revisited and the motion
to reconsider and again join the
American Hotel and Motel Association Federation was defeated. Because of this action the South Dakota
Innkeepers Association will not solicit or accept membership dues for the American Hotel and Motel Association.
Another successful Midwest Purveyors Trade Show is now history. We had a great show with 114 booths displaying the various products and wares available to the industry. Those that attended were rewarded with a great experience and those that did not attend missed a great opportunity to see the new products that are available and also to meet with their trade representatives. We will again soon begin planning the 1999 show. The dates will be March 7 & 8, 1999. It will again be held at the Ramkota Inn in Sioux Falls. We urge everyone to plan to attend the 1999 show.
Another feature of the Midwest Purveyors Trade Show was the Taste of Elegance dinner on Sunday evening. This is the finest meal you could get at any price. There also were award presentations made after the dinner. The South Dakota Innkeepers Association presented two awards.