Hoteliers caution New Jersey lawmakers against job-killing anti-hotel legislation


WASHINGTON (March 7, 2024) – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), hoteliers, and other hospitality stakeholders met with more than 25 New Jersey legislators in Trenton, N.J., Monday to caution that legislation under consideration in the Garden State would drive hotels out of the state and destroy thousands of jobs.

The bills in question, A3495 and S2336, would destroy the hotel industry’s franchise model by making it harder for hotels to enforce the quality, service, and safety standards that guests have come to trust. They could also disrupt the popular loyalty programs that many hotel brands use and even force the termination of these programs in the state.

In meetings with state senators and assembly members Monday, hotel industry representatives pledged to fight against bills A3495 and S2336, which single out hotels, put the government in the middle of business relationships, and jeopardize the livelihood of hoteliers and the thousands of people they employ.

“Our message to lawmakers is simple: If A3495 and S2336 become law, they will destroy New Jersey’s hotel industry. By limiting hoteliers’ ability to enforce the quality, service, and safety standards that guests have come to trust, the bills will make it impossible for most brand-name hotels to do business in the Garden State, driving hotels elsewhere and destroying thousands of jobs,” said AHLA Interim President & CEO Kevin Carey. “Last month – with only two hours’ notice – a handful of New Jersey lawmakers rammed this destructive legislation through committee. New Jersey residents and potential tourists deserve better, and we’re calling on lawmakers to have a transparent debate about the extreme negative effects these bills would have on the state’s economy and its hoteliers.”

Background info
The New Jersey Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance on Feb. 22 approved A3495, which is now awaiting further Assembly action. The bill and its Senate companion S2336 would put severe limits on the ability of hotels to enforce brand standards related to quality, service, and safety guidelines.

Among other things, the bills would:

  • Require brand improvements such as Wi-Fi, mobile check-in, breakfast, etc., to be negotiated property by property, which will weaken brand standards.
  • Allow hotel owners to use “comparable” products to those required by brands, which will weaken brand standards and lead to increased litigation as both parties try to determine what is comparable.
  • Force hotels to allow their federally registered trademarks to be used on “comparable products,” undermining the value and destroying the trust in these trademarks.
  • Undercut the loyalty points system that many brands use to reward loyal customers, which could force many brands to terminate these loyalty programs in New Jersey.

About New Jersey’s Hotel Industry
In 2022, New Jersey’s 1,180 hotel properties:

  • Employed more than 45,000 people
  • Paid employees $2.6 billion in wages and salaries 
  • Generated nearly $1.7 billion in tax revenue