Boycott Hyatt Movement Growing As Chain Hosts CPAC Conference

Hotels host meetings and events, and generally do not carefully vet the messages that will be shared or the people who will gather at those meetings to make sure they’re consistent with the values of their median customer, consistent with the values of their most vocal customers, or consistent with the values of twitter.

From time to time that becomes a problem, and seemingly becomes a problem for Hyatt (and, oddly, for the Hyatt Regency Orlando) relatively often.

Late Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said it wasn’t his job to vet the groups they host and that you don’t want a society where he does that either.

The fact they are having a meeting with us and using our hotel does not mean we support their point of view.…Do we really want, as a society, for companies like Marriott and the peers in our industry and others to sit and make judgments or points of view on people sitting in our meeting rooms? I shudder to think that we really expect that my role or Marriott’s role is to say your views are not acceptable in our hotels and that another person’s views are..

Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian takes a different view, suggesting that Hyatt will “apply our values to making these decisions along the way” and that “if a group is primarily focused on disparaging a group by virtue of their identity” they won’t be welcome.

Unsurprisingly Hyatt gets called out on this. The Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport hosted the ACT For America conference which the Southern Poverty Law Center (itself cancellable) called “an anti-Muslim extremist and hate group.” Meanwhile the Hyatt Regency Orlando hosted the Muslim Congress, which featured a holocaust denier on its program.

Now the hashtag #BoycottHyatt is generating buzz on Twitter because the Hyatt Regency Orlando is hosting CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. Former President Trump will be speaking there. A Pizzagate conspiracist who denies the existence of Jews was recently disinvited.

Ironically Hyatt, though a public company, is controlled by the Pritzker family. J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic governor of Illinois. Penny Pritzker was President Obama’s Secretary of Commerce.

Then again, some conservatives are unhappy with Hyatt, too, over CPAC – because Hyatt rules require guests to wear mask even where state and local mandates do not.

Freedom of speech only means something if it protects the speech you hate. There’s no need to protect popular speech.

Hyatt isn’t government, this isn’t a first amendment issue and I think they should have the right to choose whom they work with and host for conferences. At the same time I think the first amendment model is useful in terms of whether to criticize someone for offering a platform or speaking venue.

People we disagree with should be able to hold meetings, and we should be free to criticize them. Simply shutting down their expression can easily backfire in terms of sympathy and making groups more cohesive since they feel under attack. And you may be the one on the receiving end next.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Primarily center-left-owned Hyatt making money off Trump-worshipping customers could be like taking the opposition’s own resources to be used against the opposition.

    Sort of like how some bigots in Europe who claimed to be against refugees tried to be the biggest money makers in the refugee-hosting business 5 years ago. Money which they then used to further support xenophobic political groups.

  2. When is AlohaDK going to protest against Trump for killing a record number of American jobs and senior citizens in 2020 with Trump’s weird approach to “governing” in the face of a pandemic threat. America is still paying a price in lives and well-being because of his Lord Trump’s ways in 2020.

  3. @Alken
    Yes all 74 million people who voted for Trump must be racist. That statement cannot be made by a reasonably intelligent person.

  4. KLM,

    To willfully support and enable a known racist is to support racism — wittingly or otherwise.

    And Trump is a nasty racist and sexist. Therefore no surprise his affinity for Putin, Orban, Modi, Erdogan, MBS, and so on with their supremacist and sexist attitudes.

  5. Look. I am very conservative. Pick your battles. The hotel let you have the Cpac conference there. They should allow anyone who has the money to pay to have their conference room. They should never censor who can gather. Likewise they have rules. You are not above the rules just because you do not agree. If their rule is to wear a mask then just wear the mask. If you are about rules law and order then you have to be about respect. So stop crying. Cpac chose the hotel they know the rules. Find something important to grandstand about. If you whine about everything how are people suppose to take you serious on the matters that really are important?

  6. The only known rasist person is the one who keeps bringing it up!
    American People have a right to assemble and share there thoughts in America. Stand on a highway and stop traffic or something like BLM does. That doesn’t cause any issues!

  7. First, I’d like to say that I agree with the idea that it’s fine for a hotel to host groups that have ideas that the hotel doesn’t necessarily agree with—as long as those ideas don’t promote hate, threaten people or protected groups, and so forth. Hosting a group of “classic conservatives”—i.e. folks who just want smaller government, lower taxes, that sort of thing—shouldn’t be terribly controversial.

    But we’re talking about a group that built its stage in the shape of a Nazi symbol[1], regularly speaks hatefully of protected groups, and violates mask requirements en masse[2], putting everyone else in the hotel (including employees) and the community at risk. Any of those reasons individually should be enough for Hyatt (or any hotel chain) to take a stance against hosting them ever again if not remedied immediately, let alone all three of those reasons at one single conference.

    However, to the people saying they’re going to boycott Hyatt, I’d have to ask… where exactly will you be taking your business? Hilton, who is fine hosting racist neo-Confederate groups[3]? Marriott, who is fine hosting anti-Muslim hate groups[4]? IHG, Wyndham, Radisson, Choice, or other chains who have taken no stance against hosting hate groups?

    As a reminder (or if you missed it), in 2018 Hyatt actually *did* take a stance against hosting hate groups, making them the best hotel group in the whole field on this issue. Their statement: “Hyatt will no longer allow hate groups, those who primarily seek to disparage or demean a specific group of people, to host meetings or events at our hotels.” At the time, conservatives widely complained that Hyatt was censoring/banning them from hosting events there, though obviously those claims were greatly exaggerated.

    Now, in my opinion, that definition of hate groups is too narrow. It shouldn’t just include groups whose *primary* purpose is to disparage/demean specific groups; it should include any group that regularly engages in speech or actions that disparage, demean, or threaten such groups, even if it’s not (on paper at least) their “primary purpose.” Based on what we’ve seen here, that would absolutely include CPAC. (And if any group on the left ever engages in hateful/threatening speech/actions comparable to what we’ve seen from the right, it will include them, too; I apply my standards fairly.)

    But my overall point is that, while I wish Hyatt would go further and ban dangerous/hateful groups like CPAC (even if they’re not a “hate group” by their definition), I think it’s silly and unproductive to boycott Hyatt over something like this—because unless your idea is to boycott *literally all hotels,* you’re automatically moving your business to a chain with *more* tolerance for hate groups than Hyatt. You’re cutting off your own nose to spite your face.

    So, for this rather progressive/“left-wing” Hyatt Globalist… I hope to see them get a little more assertive in their opposition to groups promoting hate, but regardless, I look forward to continuing to stay with them as soon as I’m back to traveling regularly again. They’re still the best out there—in terms of their policy on hate groups and frankly everything else.

    [1] Photo: https://twitter.com/BJacksonWrites/status/1365696825680949251

    [2] Article: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/os-ne-cpac-orlando-day-1-desantis-scott-20210226-che27r7wy5f5hj6px6ucj5o3re-story.html

    [3] Article: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hilton-hotel-sons-of-confederate-veterans_n_5e591a47c5b6450a30bd5b81

    [4] Article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/marriott-says-it-will-not-cancel-conference-hosted-by-anti-muslim-hate-group/2017/09/22/5983cda4-9efb-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html

  8. Hosting a convention for a group of people who support the terrorist attack on our capital… a group of people who support Marjorie Taylor Green who want to deny me equal rights. Don’t forget there were people in the crowd on January 6th wearing anti-semitic paraphernalia. At least Marriott had class to come out and stay it would stop supporting politicians who were ok with this… Hyatt said nothing and now welcomes them with open arms… As a globalist who is about to hit lifetime status I am torn… I now find it hard to spend my and my employers money at Hyatt.

  9. @Joseph,

    I have another longer comment “awaiting moderation” (probably due to links I included as sources) that kind of addresses that, but I’d like to reply directly for now:

    The problem with boycotting Hyatt and taking our business elsewhere is that Hyatt already leads the industry with the best (and only so far) official stance against hosting hate groups, adopted in 2018: “Hyatt will no longer allow hate groups, those who primarily seek to disparage or demean a specific group of people, to host meetings or events at our hotels.”

    Hilton has hosted racist neo-Confederate groups. Marriott has hosted anti-Muslim hate groups. Both have defended doing so, giving generic defenses that the views of the groups they host don’t necessarily reflect their own values and beliefs. Other chains tend to take the same view on that; Hyatt’s the only one to put their foot down at all.

    I do wish they’d go further and apply that policy not just to groups who “primarily” disparage/demean specific groups, but any group or event that regularly engages in speech or actions that threaten or disparage/demean said people/groups (including CPAC). But as of right now, taking your business elsewhere automatically means moving to a hotel group that is *more* accepting of hate groups than Hyatt. So to me, it just doesn’t make sense to do that.

    From a business standpoint…at this point, it might actually be a savvy decision for Hyatt to use this as a way to start the expansion of that definition of hate groups. The stage shaped like a Nazi symbol, the hateful comments against marginalized groups, and the mass lack of mask compliance all make a strong case for Hyatt (and other hotel chains) to ban this and other similar groups/events even if hate isn’t defined as their primary purpose, if hate is a core enough part of what these events bring about (and/or a threat to public safety, in the case of the masks – or lack thereof). I personally hope they do so.

    But looking at my choices, as a Hyatt Globalist (who also has Hilton Diamond and Marriott Titanium status, all for at least another year, so I’ve got options), I know I’ll still be sticking mainly with Hyatt regardless. They’re already the best in the industry – in their opposition to hate groups as well as everything else IMO – and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  10. Hyatt shouldn’t host CPAC because CPAC is a fraud which pretends to support real conservative values and instead pushes rinos who worship diversity (anti white), sell America out to Israel and China, and want to start the endless wars again (Syria). Its wrestling. Both republicans and Dems work together behind the scenes. CPAC and other fake conservative groups exist to pacify 100 million patriots who are the majority in 80% of the counties in the country and pretend to advocate while more rights are lost every year to big government and the globalists.

    ++

    With that said, Hyatt will now find itself with 100 million opponents and 100 million less potential customers if it doesn’t fully stand behind the right of conservatives organizations to book hotels. I fully blame Trump for being cognitively impaired and wasting 4 years not managing the executive branch and not mobilizing 100 million of his followers. Trump appointed and hired traitorous people for 4 straight years because he is incapable of thinking logically. Now he endorsed Tim Scott and sticks with Lindsay Graham. Trump doesn’t have a clue.

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