“On a recent stay at a highly-rated local resort my wife and I were confronted with an issue that we hadn’t expected: The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria hotel, is antigun and does not warn potential guests of that fact.
Arizona recognizes ALL other state’s concealed weapon permits and many CCW permit holders around the country come to vacation here because of our CCW-friendliness along with our weather and the state’s natural beauty. Beyond that, as of May 4th, 2015 Arizona alone has 234,751 active CCW permit holders, with most in the Phoenix area. Many, like us, are potential customers. A great number of national businesses choose to conform their policies to local laws, and as permit holders we are sensitive to this respect and often reward them with our business if they welcome us. Unfortunately, the Arizona Biltmore management has not chosen this path and prefers to reject our business — but worse, .However, the even greater problem is that if a guest drives to Phoenix and has a valid CCW permit, or flies to Phoenix with a legally checked weapon and arrives at the hotel, the person is greeted by the “No Weapons” signs both at the outside entrance and at the bar (*Arizona CCW permitees are allowed to carry in a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol as long as they do not drink and keep the weapon concealed, unless the owner has chosen to post a prohibition). This was our first indication of the policy, and left us with few good options. An out-of-town tourist would be left with no good options because two separate legal problems have been created by the hotel.
- A trespass has been committed when the guest goes in the hotel which is posted with the sign.
- A second and much more serious problem occurs when he walks through the bar area, which must be done to go from the lobby to the rooms. The same goes for the restaurants, both of which are in the lobby area.
- Keeping guns in cars is not an option because theft is a very real problem.
- Where would a guest without a vehicle store their firearm at that point?The Waldorf Astoria Biltmore Hotel has created an unlawful situation for that guest, who has taken the brunt of the hotel’s negligence to clearly inform guests of their antigun policy.
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, I met first with the assistant bar & restaurant manager and later the assistant hotel manager. Both were very cordial and friendly gentlemen, and both were surprised about the problems I brought up. Both also thought that ALL bars and restaurants serving alcohol HAD to have those signs displayed. I explained that it is actually a violation of Arizona’s liquor laws not to KNOW Arizona’s liquor laws. As previously noted, Arizona laws provide that if a bar or restaurant which serves alcohol may allow CCW holders to enter and stay provided that the person possesses a valid CCW permit, does NOT drink alcohol, and keeps the weapon concealed — unless the establishment makes the decision to intentionally post a no-weapons prohibition sign. The assistant managers were not aware of that.I explained respectfully that the problem could be solved by taking the signs down, or by notifying their potential guests ahead of time that weapons are not allowed on the property and they need to seek other lodging and entertainment. I did inform them that if their organization chose to maintain this anti-rights policy and not properly inform potential guests of it, that we would work through the multiplicity of gun rights organizations, forums, and social media to prevent such awkward occurrences as ours in the future.
I left my business cards with the gentlemen and asked to be notified of any decisions, and further explained that if not notified within a reasonable amount of time that the forgoing would become a public relations firestorm.
It’s now Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 and their silence is deafening. The Arizona Biltmore or Waldorf Astoria management still have time to at least contact me, a former paid guest, and have the courtesy to discuss the issue or state their position clearly. If they choose not to, we must ALL go after this problem. We can make a statement that setting us up for this type of situation is unfair, unlawful, unnecessary, and can only hurt their business by driving away potential guests.”