Is there a specific legal definition of "guest?" Re: Hotels

I worked at Target for 3 years, and they also insist on referring to their customers as “guests.” You won’t notice it much if you just shop there (except that the customer service desk is called “guest service”), but I found it really annoying as an employee. Oops, I mean “team member.”

To carry this thought a little farther, I recall reading Arthur Hailey’s novel Hotel years ago. One of the subplots (it was a Hailey novel, and his novels typically had a few) was the potential sale of the independent St. Gregory Hotel, owned by Mr. Trent, to Mr. O’Keefe, who ran a chain. In their discussions, both Mr. Trent and Mr. O’Keefe referred to their properties as “houses.” Not hotels or businesses or revenue streams, but as houses. Of course, they referred to themselves as hosts, and to customers as guests.

I’ve encountered this terminology subsequently, when I worked for a tech company that catered to the hospitality industry. I met more than a few hotel owners who never referred to their properties as hotels, but as houses. It makes sense–a house doesn’t have customers; it has guests, whom the host tries to make as comfortable as possible.