Consultant: ‘Never Been A Situation Like’ Vegas Shooting

Richard Hudak, managing partner at Resorts Security consulting firm based in Florida and a veteran of the hospitality industry, told Pollstar the Route 91 Harvest shooting in Las Vegas is unlike anything he’s seen and likely no fault of anyone at the Mandalay Bay hotel under normal industry practices. 

Shooter’s Nest
Ronda Churchill/AP
– Shooter’s Nest
Drapes billow out of a broken window at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip following a deadly shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas.

More Than 58 Dead, 500 Injured In Las Vegas Shooting

Security: ‘It’s Happened. No More Theoretical’

“I don’t think it could have been prevented, unless somehow police came up with an informant or unless valet, bellman, or at the registration desk, a housekeeper, or somebody spotted something suspicious,” said Hudak, a former FBI agent and director of worldwide security for Sheraton hotels, including the Desert Inn and Caesars. “This is one of those situations. It’s very frustrating.”

Hudak says he coined the term “hospitality-sensitive security” and notes that when traveling, his wife brings “the largest suitcase I could carry,” but could “easily fit automatic weapons.” But guests like privacy and dislike inconvenience, especially when traveling, so it’s bad business as well as impractical to check every suitcase.

As far as the shooter needing to break a window to carry out his attack, any hotel guest could have asked for a window overlooking the concert grounds without drawing attention to himself. He also could have requested that housekeeping refrain from entering his room during his stay, leading to no one seeing any potentially visible firearms in his room. Again all very normal hotel procedure.

In the hotel security world, “There are no real hospitality industry standards. There are none,” Hudak said.

“There are brand standards. I wrote the ones for Sheraton…. Mandalay Bay had a very good security department. I don’t think there’s anything (at fault) there.”

Hudak noted that in a crisis it’s about much more than just security personnel, and that any security plan includes everyone from lobby staff, maintenance to room service. It’s all about communication and staying vigilant, and working closely with the local police.  “Essentially it’s the responsibility of all hotel employees to report any suspicious activities or person to security,” he added.

While this tragic event may not change industry practices, everyone will be focused on much better communication and heightened vigilance on “if you see something, say something” procedures.

“The convincing argument is that we’re all in this together,” Hudak said.  “I’m the security guy. You’re the housekeeper, you see a long weapon in a room? Any of us could be hurt. These discussions that will occur I think will just reinforce positive communication between police. hotel security and the rest of staff.”

This incident could also bring out the gun control debate.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

“Why do we even permit these weapons?” Hudak said, noting that he also is former Marine Corps. officer with Vietnam experience. “I’m a former FBI agent, I have a weapon here in the house. I have two, actually. But I don’t see the need for me to have an assault weapon.”

Further muddying the issue are different laws state-by-state for everything from concealed carry to off-duty police carrying weapons.