December 4, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Engineering

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Thanks to all those who deal with our frustration

With the travel challenges of the US’ Thanksgiving behind us and those of Christmas coming up, and with a few computer problems I’ve needed to sort out on both my old(-ish) laptop and my wife’s new Vista-equipped desktop, the good folks who work in customer service positions have been much on my mind lately.
It seems like a pretty thankless job to those of us frustrated by the problems they have to deal with, and it must be hard to have to deal with regular blasts of righteous indignation – how dare the world not conform to our wishes! Yet I’ve come across several people lately in both the travel and technology fields who actually seem to thrive on this particular situation, who seem truly fired up by the presentation of a challenge they can help resolve. Not everyone shows it, of course, especially if there’s a language problem, but in my experience most support folk have it to some extent. Maintaining a helpful attitude in the face of constant tension is a great skill, and one I personally don’t always acknowledge properly. After all, the support person didn’t cause the problem, and working with them to resolve it with as much good humor as one can muster is usually much more effective than anger.
So a big thank you to all service and support people everywhere, for putting up with us and for doing your best to resolve our challenges. This being the last newsletter of the year, my New Year’s Resolution is always to give them the benefit of a smile, a patient explanation of what I need fixed, and an appreciation of their work even if it doesn’t always make things perfect for me.
Safe, smooth travels and an absence of technology problems to all!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Evelyne Oreskovich receives HEDNA’s 2007 Award of Excellence
  • Brian Primeau joins NFS Hospitality as Business Director of Operations, West Coast

Evelyne Sansaricq Oreskovich of Pegasus Solutions has received HEDNA’s 2007 Award of Excellence, which recognizes individuals who make remarkable contributions toward the advancement of hotel electronic distribution, mainly, but not exclusively, through their activities in HEDNA. Ms. Oreskovich is one of the founding members of HEDNA, which began in 1991, and served on the Board from 1989 through 1997. Currently overseeing the Strategic Hotels Accounts in Eastern North America at Pegasus Solutions, she began her hotel industry career in 1982 and has held positions at Nikko Hotels International and Leading Interactive Reservations.
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Brian Primeau has joined NFS Hospitality as Business Director of Operations of its West coast office, located in Tempe, Arizona. He brings over 30 years of hospitality industry experience, including senior positions with NSI, INSI, HSI and MSI.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Lucien Barriere deploys its first multi-property instance of MICROS OPERA
  • Pechanga Resort & Casino installs MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise
  • GrandStay Residential Suite Hotel in Apple Valley installs Epitome PMS and Karyon
  • Centrada contracts with Comtrol to use Lodging Link interface library with NOVEXSYS PMS
  • Brilliant Hotelsoftware certifies 2-way interface with HOLIDEX Plus for Brilliant PMpro PMS

Lucien Barriere Hotels & Casinos has deployed the first multi-property instance of MICROS OPERA PMS, at The Grand Hotel Barriere in Dinard, France; the system is hosted in the MICROS-Fidelio Data Center in Frankfurt, Germany. OPERA had been previously installed in a single-property configuration at the Hotel Fouquet’s Barriere Av. des Champs Elysees in Paris. Lucien Barriere Hotels & Casinos manages 38 casinos, 15 hotels, more than 90 restaurants and 3 golf courses.
The 522-room Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA has installed MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise, including OPERA PMS, Sales & Catering, Revenue Management System, Web Suite, and the first instance of OPERA’s 2-way Gaming Interface to Aristocrat’s OASIS Player Tracking System. The property has utilized MICROS’ 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS) since its opening in 2002.
(www.lucienbarriere.com, www.pechanga.com, www.micros.com)
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GrandStay Hospitality has selected SoftBrands’ Epitome PMS and Karyon Distribution Service for its newest GrandStay Residential Suite Hotel in Apple Valley, Minn. GrandStay will use Epitome to consolidate and share guest information across multiple properties, and Karyon to consolidate rate management for all of its properties. (www.grandstay.net, www.softbrands.com)
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Centrada Solutions has contracted with Comtrol Corp to use its Lodging Link interface library for its NOVEXSYS Web-based PMS, becoming Comtrol’s 60th partner. (www.novexsys.com, www.comtrol.com/hpd)
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Brilliant Hotelsoftware announced InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG’s) certification of the 2-way interface between its Brilliant PMpro PMS and HOLIDEX Plus. The interface permits real-time availability, hotel bookings linked into the CRS system, Instant Enrolment of Priority Club Members and PMS integration to other IHG tools such as revenue management systems and budgetary tools. (www.myhotelsoftware.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Budget Host switches to InnLink for 150 properties
  • Okura Hotels & Resorts implements Trust|Voyager CRS for 24 properties
  • TravTech Business Solutions to offer Trust|Voyager CRS/GDS services to hotels in India
  • Travelport for Business being consolidated into Orbitz for Business
  • Orbitz launches Orbitz for Business International in Australia, Canada and the UK
  • Blackstone files IPO to list Travelport on London Stock Exchange
  • Travelocity installing text analytics software to mine 600,000 unstructured guest service comments
  • Travelocity unveils mobile service for travelers using cell phones or other Web-enabled PDAs
  • IHG lists its 3,800 hotels with Expedia

Budget Host has switched to InnLink’s Central Reservation Services for its 150 properties. Services to be provided include eLINK connections to GDS and internet channels, iLINK booking engine for property reservations and vLINK voice reservation services, as well as ONtarget Revenue Consulting services. (www.budgethost.com, www.innlink.com)
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Okura Hotels & Resorts has implemented Travelport’s Trust|Voyager central reservation system for its 24 properties.
TravTech Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd. has signed with Trust International to offer Trust|Voyager for central reservation services and GDS connectivity for TravTech partner hotels in India.
Travelport for Business is being consolidated into Orbitz for Business, merging functionality through a common code base and sharing a common sales force and management team in the first quarter of 2008.
Orbitz for Business announced the launch of Orbitz for Business International, which enables local fulfillment and support in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Canada will go live before year-end, and Australia and the United Kingdom will follow in the first quarter of 2008.
Blackstone Group has filed an IPO to list Travelport on the London Stock Exchange. Blackstone bought Travelport from Cendant Corp in August 2006.
(www.okura.com, www.travtech.in, www.orbitz.com, www.trustinternational.com)
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Travelocity is installing text analytics software to help it mine nearly 600,000 unstructured comments for better monitoring and response to customer service issues. The comments comprise some 40,000 verbatim comments from customer satisfaction surveys, 40,000 customer e-mails and 500,000 interactions with the call center.
Travelocity has unveiled a new mobile service for travelers using cell phones or other Web-enabled mobile devices to view their itineraries, book ground transportation and hotels, and receive information on flight status and security point wait times. Other travel tools include a currency converter calculator, city guide/destination information and local weather reports. The service will be powered by Usablenet, Inc.
(mobile.travelocity.com)
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IHG is adding its 3,800 hotels to Expedia’s database, listing InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties on Expedia, hotels.com, Hotwire and Expedia Corporate Travel. IHG is also the launch partner for Expedia’s new media-based pricing model, where IHG will benefit from value-added media placement throughout the Expedia network. (www.ihg.com, www.expedia.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Standing Dog Interactive launches ReviewAnalyst site to track consumers’ hotel reviews
  • Cruise Lines International Association, ICE Portal to release 2008 Cruise Manual e-Book
  • Hotel.de AG signs with Leonardo Media for static image delivery for 65,000+ hotels

Standing Dog Interactive has launched its ReviewAnalyst online site for tracking consumer-generated hotel reviews and videos on sites such as TripAdvisor, TravelPost, YouTube, flickr and Google. The tool provides reports of information posted, tracks trends through analysis of consumers’ comments and facilitates management responses. Standing Dog plans to add ratings, reviews and ranking comparisons with a hotel’s top three competitors. (www.standingdog.com)
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Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has partnered with ICE Portal in releasing a 620-page 2008 Cruise Manual e-Book for distribution to travel agents on CD-ROM and online. The Cruise Manual displays on-demand ship facts, links to deck plans, onboard room and amenity information, and the facilities and services offered by each individual cruise ship, as well as cruising guides, embarkation ports, and links to cruise line websites. (www.cruising.org, www.iceportal.com)
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Hotel.de AG, parent company to the UK’s TravelRes, has signed with Leonardo Media to provide customized delivery of static image content for more than 65,000 hotels. (www.hotel.de, www.leonardo.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • GrandStay Residential Suite Hotelin Apple Valley picks Karyon and Epitome PMS
  • Harrah’s adds Caesar’s Palace and Bally’s properties to SynXis’ RedX
  • Rusticae picks Yeeld Solutions’ Synxis-based CRS services for 220 member hotels
  • Metro Hotels signs six hotels to use HotelProphets’ EZ Yield

GrandStay Hospitality has selected SoftBrands’ Karyon Distribution Service and Epitome PMS for its newest GrandStay Residential Suite Hotel in Apple Valley, Minn. GrandStay will use Epitome to consolidate and share guest information across multiple properties, and Karyon to consolidate rate to consolidate rate management for all of its properties. (www.grandstay.net, www.softbrands.com)
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Harrah’s has added its Caesar’s Palace and Bally’s properties to SynXis’ RedX platform, consolidating 30 of its properties onto one platform. Harrah’s also uses SynXis’ RedX Property Connect to connect RedX to its property management systems.
Madrid-based hotel marketing group Rusticae, The Good Life Company S.L. has implemented Berlin-based Yeeld Solutions’ CRS services (powered by Synxis’ RedX CRS Platform) and XML booking interface for its 220 member hotels in southern Europe and South America.
(www.harrahs.com, www.rusticae.es, www.yeeld.com, www.synxis.com)
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Australia-based Metro Hotels has signed six of its 11 hotels to use HotelProphets’ EZ Yield Channel Management solution.
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Tohono O’odham orders Delphi MPE for two properties in Arizona
  • Kessler Collection standardizes on Delphi for all properties
  • Pechanga Resort & Casino installs MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise
  • Shockfish’s new Spotme recognized at EIBTM as “most innovative technology”
  • Harrogate International Centre picks NFS Hospitality’s Rendezvous
  • Passkey launches RoomList Express automated room list utility
  • Elite Meetings International launches new blog, forum tools on EliteMeetings.net

Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise has ordered Newmarket International’s Delphi Multi Property Edition (MPE) for its Desert Diamond Casino and Desert Diamond Casino Hotel properties in Arizona, integrated with their different Property Management Systems. The Desert Diamond Casino Hotel includes over 8,000 square feet of meeting space and a 4,240-square foot nightclub. (www.desertdiamondcasino.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
The Kessler Collection has selected Newmarket’s Delphi, interfaced with its property management systems, for all its properties currently using a different S&C system and for all future properties. The Kessler Collection currently includes nine boutique properties in Colorado, Florida, Georgia and New Mexico, with new developments in Asheville, NC, Savannah, GA, St. Petersburg, FL, Atlanta, GA and soon in Europe.
(www.kesslercollection.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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The 522-room Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA has installed MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise, including OPERA Sales & Catering, PMS, Revenue Management System, Web Suite, and the first instance of OPERA’s 2-way Gaming Interface to Aristocrat’s OASIS Player Tracking System. The property has utilized MICROS’ 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS) since its opening in 2002. (www.pechanga.com, www.micros.com)
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Shockfish SA’s new Spotme was recognized at EIBTM as the most innovative technology in the meetings industry by EIBTM and a panel of meetings industry experts. This second-generation hand-held system provides high-quality networking, e-mailing, audience polling, scheduling, lead exchange, conference programs, attendee lists and more, including the ability to constantly check for other Spotme devices within close range and alert the user when it detects one assigned to a person he wants to meet. The judging committee scored it highly on all three criteria: innovation, completeness of concept, and value to users at events. Spotme is sold as a service for meetings, conferences and events with 100 to 5,000 participants. (www.spotme.com)
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Harrogate International Centre (HIC) has selected NFS Hospitality’s browser-based Rendezvous system for fully-integrated management of its facilities, one of the UK’s largest conference centers. The Centre is currently undertaking a six-year, £45m ($90m) expansion and refurbishment. (www.harrogateinternationalcentre.co.uk, www.myrendezvous.net)
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Passkey has launched its RoomList Express automated room list utility, which lets meeting planners upload their own hotel rooming lists at a secure web location for hotels to import directly into their own reservation systems. RoomList Express’ room lists can be of any size and in any CSV or Excel format; Passkey’s mapping technology turns them into valid reservations for direct transfer into a hotel’s internal system. (www.passkey.com)
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Elite Meetings International (EMI) has launched new blog and forum tools on EliteMeetings.net, to encourage member interaction and contribution. A full complement of new features will be released in January 2008 along with a re-designed version of the site. The seven-month-old site encourages the exchange of ideas in a professional environment tailored to meeting planners and luxury hoteliers. (www.elitemeetings.net)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • ReServe Interactive says 20% of customers pick web-based version of system.

ReServe Interactive reports that approximately twenty percent of new and existing customers have implemented the Web-based version of its product, ReServe Anywhere, since it was launched in June. (www.reserveinteractive.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Hotel Amarano Burbank installs Wayport’s Wi-Fi wireless Internet access
  • Vertical System inc. (VSi) introduces three pre-packaged business center offerings
  • NxTV named tenth fastest growing company in Los Angeles County

The 100-room Hotel Amarano Burbank has installed Wayport’s Wi-Fi wireless Internet access in all guestrooms, lobby and lounge, and is extending it to its meeting rooms. (www.hotelamarano.com, www.wayport.net)
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Vertical System inc. (VSi) has introduced three pre-packaged business center offerings for different market segments. The Silver package targets economy and limited service hotels, Gold aims at hotels in the full service and upscale sectors and Platinum focuses on large convention center hotels and luxury brands. (www.ver-sys.com)
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NxTV has been named the tenth fastest growing company in Los Angeles County by the LA Business Journal. The company’s 119% year-over-year growth also earned it the ranking of “No. 2 Fastest Growing Company Overall” in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. (www.nxtv.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • INNCOM ranked in Technology Fast 50 Program for Connecticut for second year

INNCOM international has been ranked No. 33 in Deloitte & Touche USA’s Technology Fast 50 Program for Connecticut, the second consecutive year that INNCOM has been honored as a Connecticut Technology Fast 50 company.
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SECURITY

  • Onity announces CodePro PIN code-based electronic locking system

Onity announced its CodePro PIN code-based electronic locking system, targeted at the vacation ownership and property management sectors. The system allows property managers and/or owners to provide rental clients remotely with access to specific properties for specific periods of time without the need for a key or keycard, eliminating the need for the guest to visit a front desk or rental office. The 7-digit code is software generated, can be sent to users via text messaging or email, and can be changed by users to their own personalized code. Housekeepers and maintenance staff can also be given individual remote access codes with separate time restraints. (www.onity.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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