We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours. When we agreed to allow the CPAC 2021 conference to be held at one of our hotels, we did so because of our belief in our role as a hospitality company to help facilitate meetings, events and peaceful expressions of views. While groups using our facilities may have varying political or other points of view, constructive public discourse, in particular by duly elected officials, is more critical than ever to the preservation of our democratic norms.
We were optimistic that working with CPAC would reflect our vision of inclusivity, and during the event planning process we were reassured by CPAC’s approach to collaboration which included the development of a Code of Conduct that all attendees were required to sign in order to access the event. We also collaborated with local government and provided additional security in an effort to protect the safety of our colleagues and guests, which is, first and foremost, our main responsibility.
In keeping with our deep culture of inclusivity, our colleagues worked tirelessly to support this event while enforcing Hyatt’s safety policies. At times, these efforts included reminding attendees to wear masks and socially distance, even while colleagues occasionally faced hostility from attendees who did not support our policies. While individuals are entitled to their opinions, in a Hyatt hotel we expect guests to follow our policies. Further, we were extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues, as it is reflective neither of our own commitment to care for members of the Hyatt family nor of how we wish to conduct business. We are tremendously grateful to our colleagues for their resilience and the care they demonstrated keeping people safe in circumstances that became increasingly difficult as the event evolved.
When we learned that CPAC 2021 stage design had been compared to a symbol of hate, we promptly raised this concern with meeting organizers who strongly denied any connection to such symbols. Had we initially recognized the potential connections to hate symbolism, we would have proactively addressed it prior to commencement of the event. Unfortunately, this became clear to us only after the event kicked off. With CPAC’s denial of any intentional connection to hate symbols and our concerns over the safety of guests and colleagues in what could have been a disruptive situation, we allowed the event to continue. We understand and respect the opinions of those who might disagree with that decision.
Our own values support a culture that is characterized by empathy, respect and diversity of opinions and backgrounds, and we strive to bring this to light through what we do and how we engage with those in our care. We do not always agree with or share the same values as groups hosting meetings and events at our hotels – and while we may not always get it right, we strive to strike the right balance among our customers’ rights to express themselves in their meetings and events, inclusivity and our role in providing meeting facilities.
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