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The Fire Marshall

Page history last edited by Garand 12 years, 9 months ago Saved with comment

The Fire Marshall functions as a conveniently blamed bogeyman that ruins all your fun, historically in relation to the Hyatt, but more recently the Marriott.


The extreme crowding of so many attendees in such a small amount of space does represent a certain amount of safety hazard. Crowd control issues have become the norm in the Hyatt and Marriott Atrium level in particular, leading to the hotel security teams to take certain drastic measures. The most reviled of these measures are


  1. No photography in the Hyatt lobby, or in high-traffic walkways.
  2. Occasionally denying entrance to the hotel for D*C attendees (and in rare cases, for paying hotel guests as well), typically at night when the crowds in the lobby get truly nasty.


When complaints surface about these two activities the common explanation is that these are in response to demands for the Fire Marshall for the city of Atlanta. This is true: it's quite common to see a firetruck or a fire response vehicle outside the hotels as the Fire Marshall's associates monitor the situation. But the unpopularity of the crowd control measures and the given explanation have turned the Fire Marshall into a common 'bad guy', blamed by both convention attendees and the hotel as well, in both instances inappropriately.


While it's true that the hotel security staff have gone to some annoyingly extreme measures to meet the Marshall's safety standards, the standards themselves are in fact perfectly reasonable in the face of the dangers presented: remember that the Winecoff hotel fire, still the deadliest hotel fire in US history, occurred literally a few blocks up the street. In general, when word starts getting around that the Fire Marshall is up to his 'evil' tricks, it's best to find a less-crowded area of a less-crowded hotel (Hilton, we're looking at you) and give things a little while to calm down, if possible. If the entrances to a hotel have been closed and you're staying there, present your key and, if need be, your name to the security staff and explain that you're a guest. Hopefully they will permit you to enter.

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