Last week’s mini-storm over an auditor’s report charging the U.S. Department of Justice with overspending at conferences during 2008 and 2009—including repeated references to a $16 muffin—showed how vulnerable our industry is to another backlash over costs. It turned out, according to Hilton Worldwide, that the $16 “muffin” was what the DOJ paid per-person, including tax and tips, for a package of baked goods, fresh fruit, and beverages. But the story spun out of control, the industry ...

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