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Today, more than ever, hotel security has grown to encompass more than just emergency and evacuation plans, a stern visit to a rowdy room, or a security guard at the hotel's entrance. Like all other large facilities in a post 9/11 world, hotels must protect themselves and their guests against terrorists looking for a high-throughput environment that would draw media and public attention in the case that an event transpires there.

The connotations of contemporary threats translate into several crucial aspects regarding hotel security. First, the risk assessment is no longer an option for hotels, but rather a necessary tool. Secondly, the security manager and his or her team must be professionally trained and qualified to deal with today's contemporary hotel security threats. Third, hotels benefit from joining an industry organization whereby they can be kept abreast of measures that their competitors are taking in terms of hotel security. Finally, hotels must have an orderly system in place whereby they are periodically updated about the local and/or national security warning level by law-enforcement bodies.

During the spring of 1954, Walt Disney approached the Texas oil wildcatter and television pioneer Jack Wrather concerning the possibility of building accommodations for the many guests that Walt hoped would flock to his innovative "theme park," then under construction in Anaheim, California. Since the "imagineering" and building of Disneyland was taking nearly every penny that he had, Walt approached Jack, hoping that his long-time friend would be willing to take such a huge risk. Wrather was the producer of Lassie, The Lone Ranger, and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, popular 1950s television programs.

Originally, Walt had approached Hilton executives and other well-known hotel chains, hoping to convince them to finance the construction of a first-class hotel next to Disneyland. However, the general consensus was that such a venture was too risky. No one was certain that what was quickly becoming known as "Disney's folly" would be successful.

In 1954, Anaheim was a little-known community, largely consisting of orange groves. The entire city had only seven small motels and hotels, accommodating only a total of 87 guests. Wrather admitted at the time that he was somewhat skeptical about building in such a small community (of approximately 30,000), next to an experimental and yet unfinished theme park.

Legend has it that Walt had tears in his eyes while describing his dream of Disneyland to Wrather. With a sense of adventure, Wrather became convinced that the idea just might be a success. Also, with Walt showing such emotion for and dedication to his project, how could Wrather have resisted?

One of the first discussions between the two friends was where the hotel should be located. Wrather first talked of locating it near the entrance to Disneyland. Walt said, "Jack, our guests aren't going to be thinking about a hotel when they begin their visit to Disneyland. They'll start looking for a room when they leave the park. " Wrather agreed with Walt's logic and leased 60 acres of Disney-owned land on West Street directly across from the Disneyland exit. There he built what was to become known as the "Official Hotel of the Magic Kingdom."

On March 18, 1955, Jack Wrather, Bonita Granville Wrather (his wife), and Anaheim Mayor Charles Pearson, using a three-handled shovel, officiated at the groundbreaking for the Disneyland Hotel.

The first guests registered at a hotel having only 104 guest rooms located in five two-story complexes, built at the southeast corner of the leased property. These were the South Garden rooms, later to be known as the Oriental Gardens.

The Disneyland Hotel was the first major resort to be built in Southern California since the early 1940's.

Rooms were advertised as accommodating four people. For an additional adult, there was a $3 charge.

At the same time that construction had begun on the additional garden rooms at the northeastern corner of the property, construction was under way on the Administration Building, which would house a lobby, restaurants, shops, and meeting rooms. The Gourmet Restaurant was opened in a converted ranch house on the property, redesigned by C. Tony Pereira. This converted ranch house had been the original Disneyland administration building.

The original hotel design, by the architectural firm of Pereira and Luckman, called for 300 motel and hotel rooms, suites and garden apartments. Also included were plans for three swimming pools, tennis courts, a golf course, cocktail lounges, and four restaurants. The original blueprints designated a total of 10 buildings in the South Garden or Oriental Garden section. However, only five buildings were actually built.

Celebrities in attendance included Walt Disney, Art Linkletter, William Bendix, Alan Ladd, Sue Caroll, Yvonne DeCarlo, and Jeanne Crain.

In the case that a hotel is not mandated to undergo a hotel security risk assessment by local or national authorities, it must take this responsibility upon itself. That is, a professional risk assessment will help a hotel identify its assets, the potential threats to those assets, and the magnitude of losses in the event that the threat manifests.

Today's managers and their teams must be professionally trained and educated regarding modern threats that face the hotel security industry. In addition to knowing how to properly monitor security technologies such as CCTV, access-control and other integrated hotel security systems, today's hotel security [http://www.thepsos.com/hotels] managers and officers must be trained in identifying suspicious behaviors, interpreting body language and cris-response intervention.

As an added attraction, each garden patio had its own orange tree, a reminder of what the original property had been only a few short years earlier. This had been a part of the original plans when the grounds were being cleared to build the hotel. The pools were surrounded by lounge furniture for guests' relaxation and so that they might acquire a Southern California tan. One-day laundry and dry cleaning services were available, and a physician and nurse were on call. An 18-hole putting greens and shuffleboard courts were also early inclusions at the Disneyland Hotel.

Guests were able to register for a hotel room from their car or they could go into the lobby for a more traditional method of registration. Also, limo and bus service was provided. Richfield Oil (also the Disneyland sponsor of Autopia) offered full automotive care. Even in the 1950s, every room was equipped with a television set and air conditioning.

Even Walt had to be amazed by the overwhelming success of his dream. Disneyland had proven all the skeptics to be wrong, and Disneyland was destined to bring major changes to what once had been a sleepy, orange grove community.

From the beginning, the Disneyland Hotel was one of the outstanding showplaces of Orange County. Celebrities such as Jack Benny, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Billy Graham, and Cary Grant were often spotted at the hotel. These and other celebrities enjoyed bringing their families for a stay at the hotel and for a trip to Walt's park. Also attracted were business people, coming for luncheons, meetings, and conventions. The Disneyland Hotel quickly had become the place to see and the place to be seen.

Room rates in 1957 were advertised from $10 to $19. SuitesÊwent for between $22 and $25. Doctor, nurse and even dental facilities were available on the grounds. The brochures further emphasized a private sundeck or patio for every room. Best of all, the Disneyland Hotel was billed as the only hotel right at the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland. Also in the late 1950s, the concept of "seasonal" and "non-seasonal" rates first appeared.

By 1960, Anaheim had established itself as Orange County's largest city, with a population in excess of 100,000. " Indeed, Anaheim had magically grown from a quiet, small agricultural community into a mecca of tourism, and the boom had only begun. As Walt had promised on opening day, the park continued adding attractions (the Monorail, the Submarine Voyage, and the Matterhorn all opening in 1959); and the hotel continued to grow, having more than 300 rooms by 1960. A 13,000-square foot convention center was also added at that time.

At a press conference held in 1960, Jack Wrather and Walt Disney announced plans for the extension of the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System to link the park to the hotel. Walt had long envisioned a rapid transit system for major U.S. cities, and this addition to the Monorail would provide a working model. He wanted to demonstrate its potential as urban rapid transit, and so he envisioned the monorail's extension to the hotel.

The park's monorail was closed for construction on April 10, 1961. Disneyland also had to closed Autopia to facilitate the installation of new pylons through its grounds. The cost of the extension was $1.9 million ($500,000 more than the original cost of the Monorail when it was installed at Disneyland less than two years earlier). The construction required more than 118,000 hours of labor, 10,760 tons of sand, 66,700 bags of cement and 702 tons of steel. New style Mark II trains were introduced for the extended Monorail including a new gold colored train. The Monorail, with its extension to the Disneyland Hotel, reopened on June 1, 1961.

One of the course favorites was hole #5, which featured a mini replica of the Matterhorn Mountain. Also added at this time was a helicopter landing pad, linking Los Angeles International Airport with Disneyland and the Disneyland Hotel. The new facility provided an efficient transportation link for both business people and tourists. Soon, LAA Airways was operating an average of 12 flights per day to and from the airport in its 28-passenger, turbo-jet copter liners.

In 1961, the Wrather Corporation went public, offering 350,000 shares of common stock. President and Chairman of the Board Jack Wrather and the Wrather Corporation had grown to include four major divisions: Television and motion pictures, the Disneyland Hotel, the Muzak Corporation (the often satirized elevator music), and Stephen's Marine, Inc. " At the Disneyland Hotel, an 11-story, high-rise tower was built. At that time, it was the county's tallest building and the nation's tallest building constructed utilizing the post-tension, lift-slab method. It also took guests to the Top of the Park Lounge, which featured breathtaking views of Disneyland. The Lounge offered alcoholic beverages and nightly entertainment in a decidedly blues motif. Constructed for the less adventurous was the Monorail Lounge which was located next to the Monorail station on the second floor level. Ground had been broken for the new tower building in October of 1961. The project was completed less than a year later in September of 1962.

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February 19th, 2012 at 8:21 pm