April 17, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

F&B / POS


APRIL 4 – 17, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • MGM Mirage’s CityCenter challenges – and approach – put things in perspective for the rest of us

Any time you think you’re faced with impossible challenges in getting your systems and infrastructure up to scratch and ready for the future, spare a thought for the team developing MGM Mirage’s CityCenter project in Las Vegas.
Highlighted by a couple of outstanding presentations from MGM CIO Tom Peck and VP Business Solutions Scot Campbell at last week’s Hospitality Upgrade Vendor Summit, this hugely ambitious 76-acre project aims to open 6,000 hotel rooms, homes and condo units, a casino and over 665,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment all at the same time in late 2009, in six radically-styled tower buildings. Its IT infrastructure must continue to provide a seamless, cutting-edge “wow” experience across the whole complex for the next six years. It all has to be LEED-certified for ecological soundness and sustainability, and it’s in Las Vegas, where “wow” is re-defined every year.
Three things came across as essential from Tom and Scot: meticulous planning and project management (there are three major construction firms alone), an irrepressible “can-do” attitude, and, most important, an over-riding commitment to partnerships. Problems are never labeled as one company’s fault, always as an opportunity for all involved to find a solution and prevent a recurrence, and vendors are encouraged to present as advanced a vision as possible in partnership with each other and with the operation’s management.
Very few of us have challenges on anything like this scale, but we can all benefit from the approach.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Steve Barnhart promoted to Chief Executive Officer at Orbitz
  • Nicole Taylor and Jay Usyk join Retail Solutions Providers Association
  • Ed Philipp, Charles Durling, Dennis Davies and Julie Huelle join Onity as US Regional Sales Representatives

Steve Barnhart has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at Travelport’s Orbitz Worldwide subsidiary. Mr. Barnhart has led Orbitz as President and Chief Financial Officer since September.
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Nicole Taylor and Jay Usyk have joined the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). Ms. Taylor joins as Corporate Communications Manager; she brings six years of experience as a television journalist, and had earlier worked as marketing coordinator for a non-profit organization.
Mr. Usyk becomes Director of Education Services. He has over 30 years retail technology experience, including positions as President and Chief Operation Officer of Micros of South Florida and Managing Director of Micros Systems’ U.S. Distribution Channel.
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Onity has hired four new members for its North American sales team.
Ed Philipp has been appointed as Northeast Regional Sales Representative, covering New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts. With extensive experience in both sales and technology, he has been involved in the New England hospitality market since 2001.
Charles Durling joins as Midwestern Regional Sales Representative for Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. He has over 20 years in the hospitality industry in operations, marketing and sales, most recently as Director of Lodging for a Northern Michigan resort and earlier as Director of Marketing for a major hotel applications provider.
Dennis Davies and Julie Huelle have been hired as joint Southern California Regional Sales Representatives. Mr. Davies will handle retrofit projects and hotel properties with 200 units or more, and was most recently National Sales Manager for a magnetic card access control system used extensively by the U.S. military. Ms. Huelle will specialize in new construction projects and properties with less than 200 units; she has been overseeing sales for a distributor of high- performance building systems in Southern California for the past five years.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • The Villages of Loreto Bay selects PAR Springer-Miller
  • China’s CTS HK Metropark signs with SoftBrands for multi-phase PMS, CRS install
  • Hotel Concepts integrates IDPMS with IDeaS’ V5 ASP revenue management system
  • Best Western completes Beta test of MSI’s NovaPlus Two-Way interface
  • Westin Monache, Mammoth Lakes, CA to install OwnerRelations Technology software

The Villages of Loreto Bay has selected PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host Hospitality Management System for its Mexican seaside residential/membership/rental resort in Loreto, Baja California Sur. Modules to be implemented include Multi-property Management, Spa/Resort Scheduling for spa, tennis and dining room reservations, Retail and Touch Fine Dining POS, Baggage Handling and Membership Management. (www.springermiller.com)
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CTS HK Metropark Hotels Management Co. Ltd. has signed with SoftBrands for a multi-phase implementation project. Recently named one of the Top Ten International Brands of China’s Hotel Industry, Metropark will implement SoftBrands’ Epitome PMS in 10 properties in Greater China during the first phase, and the Core Central Reservation System during phase two. Metropark’s two brands, the five-star Grand Metropark and four-star Metropark, comprise over 30 properties in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. (www.metroparkhotels.com, www.softbrands.com)
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Hotel Concepts has released a certified integration between its IDPMS property management system and IDeaS’ V5 ASP revenue optimization system. The first implementation of the new link will be at The Golden Tulip Apple Park Maastricht, in the Netherlands, followed by The Grand Hotel de l’Empereur, also in Maastricht. (www.hotelconcepts.com, www.ideas.com)
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Best Western has completed its Beta test of Multi-Systems Inc.’s (MSI’s) NovaPlus Two-Way interface at four Best Western (BW) sites, in Sedona, Ariz., Yuma, Ariz, Seattle, Wash. and Beaver Dam, Wisc. The NovaPlus interface is now available to all BW properties, not just MSI users, and has been ordered by over 65 properties. The interface includes Rate Allocation Quick Update functionality, a single-screen calendar view of current status with the interactive ability to change allocations, restrictions and rate tiers. (www.bestwestern.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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The Westin Monache in Mammoth Lakes, California will become the second Intrawest-developed property to install OwnerRelations Technology’s Condo Hotel Owner Communication and Accounting software when it opens this fall. The software generates monthly accounting statements for condominium owners and allows them to view or print their statement through a secure web interface. The software also provides other communication services including online documents, messaging, owner reservation requests, FAQ’s, owner detail modifications, and more. Construction began in the spring 2005 and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2007. (www.intrawest.com, www.ownerrelations.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Dover Downs Hotel & Casino picks iHotelier CRS and TravelCLICK distribution/marketing
  • Priceline survey: travelers too busy to book more than 7 days in advance
  • OpenTravel Alliance outlines programs for certification and implementation support

The 232-room Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover, Del. has selected TravelCLICK’s suite of distribution and marketing applications, including the iHotelier central reservation system (CRS) for Web reservations and GDS connectivity, RateVIEW market intelligence product and travel agent targeted advertising. (www.travelclick.net)
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Further proof that the currency of today is time, not money, comes from a new Priceline.com survey of short-lead-time travel booking (7 days or less before departure); many travelers said they’re just too busy to book any further in advance. 30% of the 1,000 respondents said they were overscheduled and can’t plan more than 7 days ahead, compared with only 13% who said that their procrastination was based on concern about finances. Nevertheless, 27% said they believed they could find better travel deals by waiting till the last minute. Perhaps equally concerned about what might happen while they’re away, 70% of the respondents stay 3 nights or less on a short-notice vacation, while only 4% would book a trip of 8 nights or longer on short notice. Many more respondents (59%) were inclined to buy hotel rooms on short notice, followed by airline tickets (36%) and rental cars (35%).
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The OpenTravel Alliance has outlined two new membership programs, for certification and for implementation support. OpenTravel-Certified companies state the functional messages they’ve implemented (availability query, cancellation, etc.) and at least one trading partner, and have the right to use the certification designation in their marketing and customer-facing materials. A public registry of all certified members will be maintained on the Alliance’s website. The implementation support program provides direct implementation support via email or phone to companies needing help to realize their development goals using OpenTravel messages. (www.opentravel.org)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Dover Downs Hotel & Casino picks TravelCLICK for marketing and distribution applications
  • The Bench launches Smith Travel Research monthly STAR performance report in Europe
  • Open Hospitality opens office in central London for web based marketing services
  • Mobil Travel Guide contracts with Leonardo for rich-media image content
  • Screen Pilot to provide mobile marketing and CRM services for hospitality industry
  • Web Marketing Association awards TIG Global ‘Best E-mail Message’ in 2007 Internet Advertising Competition

The 232-room Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover, Del. has selected TravelCLICK’s suite of marketing and distribution applications, including the RateVIEW market intelligence product, travel agent targeted advertising and iHotelier central reservation system (CRS) for Web reservations and GDS connectivity. (www.travelclick.net)
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The Bench is launching STR’s (Smith Travel Research) monthly STAR performance report in Europe, with Asia Pacific to follow shortly.
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Open Hospitality has opened an office in central London for its web based marketing services, as the base for European operations. (www.openhospitality.com)
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Mobil Travel Guide has contracted with Leonardo for rich-media image content for its users. (www.mobiltravelguide.com, www.leonardo.com)
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Screen Pilot announced plans to provide mobile marketing and CRM services for the hospitality industry, expanding its professional marketing services to mobile phones. It will provide an XHTML compliant, mobile-SEO-friendly web site with Click-to-Call functionality. (www.screenpilot.com)
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The Web Marketing Association awarded TIG Global ‘Best E-mail Message’ in the 2007 Internet Advertising Competition, for its “Summer Suite Upgrade” campaign for The Rittenhouse of Philadelphia. The opt-in campaign drove incremental website traffic with five percent of the 2,117 recipients clicking through to the campaign landing page, and garnered a 37 percent open rate. (www.webmarketingassociation.org)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Carlson contracts with JDA Software for revenue optimization for its franchisees
  • IDeaS certifies integration between V5 and Hotel Concepts’ IDPMS
  • IDeaS certifies integration between V5i and SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management System
  • HBSi adds five new brands to Demand Partner Network through agreement with RobeSoft

Carlson Hotels Worldwide has contracted with JDA Software Group, which purchased Manugistics last summer, for implementation of a revenue optimization platform for Carlson franchisees. The first phase of the project will provide property-specific demand forecasting to each of hotel. (www.carlson.com, www.jda.com)
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IDeaS has certified an integration link between its V5 ASP revenue optimization system and Hotel Concepts’ IDPMS property management system. The first implementation of the new link will be at The Golden Tulip Apple Park Maastricht, in the Netherlands, followed by The Grand Hotel de l’Empereur, also in Maastricht.
IDeaS has also integrated its V5i revenue optimization system with SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management System; both are Web-native products. The integration provides RedX users with IDeaS’ Last Room Value revenue management control and Best Available Rate pricing. IDeaS’ dynamic pricing is sent to RedX by arrival date and by length of stay, allowing hotels to optimize their revenue.
(www.hotelconcepts.com, www.synxis.com, www.ideas.com)
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Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSi) has added five new brands to its Demand Partner Network of travel distribution channels through an agreement with travel technology vendor RobeSoft. The RobeSoft technology will provide links to Bahia Receptive Services, Komex Tours SA/Royale Tours Mexico, Sightseeing International, Intra Tours-Thailand, Oktavis Travel Network, and TDS Travel Networks Germany. (www.hotelbookingsolutions.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • InfoGenesis releases Analytics business intelligence module
  • Posera and Squirrel call off proposed merger
  • NCR introduces RealPOS 5966 Value Touch display
  • Harpers Restaurant Group implements upgrade to HSI Profit Series POS, will install in sixth outlet

InfoGenesis has released its Analytics business intelligence module, tightly integrated with its POS system but also consolidating data from multiple other systems into a single portal for reporting and analysis. The system includes customizable dashboards with drill-down and trending capabilities, for near real-time access to key performance indicators such as sales and employee performance, finance and audit metrics, and menu engineering. (www.infogenesis.com)
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POS vendors Posera Software Inc. and Squirrel Systems announced a mutual decision to call off their proposed merger. (www.squirrelsystems.com, www.posera.com)
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NCR Corp has introduced its RealPOS 5966 Value Touch touch-screen display for retail store environments. The five-wire resistive-touch unit includes built-in stereo speakers, an optional integrated reader for magnetic stripe credit or debit cards, and a claimed wider viewing angle and a faster response rate than other displays in its class. (www.ncr.com)
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Harpers Restaurant Group has implemented a major upgrade (7.06) of its Hospitality Solutions International (HSI) Profit Series POS software, and will install it in its sixth outlet (Modern Mediterranean Cuisine, M5) when it opens in May. (www.harpersrestaurants.com, www.hsi-solutions.com)
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