July 31, 2012

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Spa / Golf / Leisure Activities

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing


JULY 10 – 31, 2012


  • Hospitality ERP systems have major benefits, but need tighter integration with franchise brands technology. 

I just returned from a week in Barcelona (my first visit – what a beautiful city!) reviewing yet another hospitality enterprise system, this time TMS from Indra, one of Spain’s biggest IT companies. Every time I see one of these fully-integrated systems I’m struck by how much more efficient they make life for any reasonably complex hotel, let alone a hotel chain, and I continue to wonder why more hotel companies don’t make use of them, either in North America or internationally.
I’ve discussed before that the while these systems make all kinds of sense for a new-construction property that’s looking for end-to-end integration of data and maximum efficiency, the real world often requires compromises. This is especially true for existing hotels with significant investments in their major applications, and for management groups that must accommodate their franchise brands’ mandatory systems. As a result, hospitality ERPs are modular by design and necessity, intended to work well in conjunction with other vendors’ products as well as in their ideal implementation running a complete hotel.
Franchise brands will continue to want to keep control of their reservations and standard guest management systems. After all, it’s their job to generate as many reservations as possible for their member hotels. But it’s not just about throwing bookings over the wall to the properties and expecting them to perform. If both franchisors and management companies are to benefit, they need to focus on maximizing the guest experience, as well as their own efficiencies. We continue to live in uncertain times, after all, and even if pessimistic forecasts don’t come true everyone can benefit from tighter operations.
Franchisors want to maximize guest loyalty and repeat business. That’s only going to happen if the properties can deliver the experience the guests thought they’d booked, which requires the complete property to operate around that focus. Franchisees want to maximize profits, which is best achieved with the most integrated system possible. Both aims can be achieved with a good ERP with tight integration with the franchisors’ standard systems, giving the property the ability to understand the guest’s history and preferences and the capability to act on them at every touch point.
The ERP technology’s there to achieve this. Granted some of it needs tweaking for the North American market, but the functionality and willingness are certainly there. What can we do to encourage greater technical cooperation between the organizations themselves?

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  • Patricia Sappington joins Merchant Link as Director of Channel Development
  • HTNG’s vendor members elect six to serve on Vendor Advisory Council
  • Anthony DiPaolo joins Roomlinx as Chief Financial Officer
  • Peter Brooks  joins Guestline as Non-Executive Chairman
  • Rupert Gutteridge  appointed Group Sales & Marketing Director at Guestline
  • Matt Willacy joins Guestline as Corporate Sales Manager
  • IDeaS announces 2012 winners of IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship
  • Peter Watt hired by TTI Technologies to lead sales efforts in Mexico
  • Michael O’Connell returns to Pegasus as SVP Distribution and Demand Sales
  • Christelle Pigeat hired by FCS as National Sales Director & Major Accounts, North America

Patricia Sappington has joined Merchant Link as Director of Channel Development. Ms. Sappington comes to Merchant Link after pending ten years with Elavon, culminating in her role as Market Development Manager.
HTNG’s vendor members have elected the following to serve on its Vendor Advisory Council:
– David Adelson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Intelity
– Antonio DiMilia, Director of Hospitality & Travel, Cisco
– Larry Hall, President & Chief Executive Officer, PAR Springer-Miller Systems
– Mukund Mohan, Vice President, Product Strategy, Infor
– Don Moore, Chief Marketing Officer, Guest-Tek
– Vanessa Ogle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Enseo
Anthony DiPaolo has joined Roomlinx as Chief Financial Officer. He brings over 20 years of experience in senior finance and accounting executive roles, most recently as President and CFO of Incentra Solutions.
Guestline is moving to new, larger headquarters in Shrewsbury Business Park, and announced three senior appointments:
– Peter Brooks has joined as Non-Executive Chairman; he is the former Managing Director of Lloyds TSB Development Capital Ltd (LDC) in London, and now holds a number of Non-Executive Board roles in various industries.
– Rupert Gutteridge has been appointed Group Sales & Marketing Director. Mr. Gutteridge has extensive experience in hospitality technology, having previously been Regional Sales Director for EMEA at IDeaS Revenue Solutions and serving in various roles at MICROS for 10 years.
– Matt Willacy has joined as Corporate Sales Manager; he was most recently Sales Manager for New Business at MICROS, and was earlier Sales Manager at SoftBrands.
IDeaS Revenue Solutions has announced the 2012 winners of the IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship:
– Bradley Frey, Revenue Manager, Historic Plains Hotel, Cheyenne, Wyo.
– Emily Hamilton, Area Director of Revenue, Kimpton Hotels, San Francisco, Calif.
– Ioana Mihailescu, Revenue Manager, Ramada Hotel & Suites Bucharest North, Romania
– Desiree Sungwhoon Yoo, Group Sales Coordinator, W Barcelona, Spain
– Lim Hwee Wen, Assistant E-Commerce Manager, Compass Hospitality Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
– Chen Yuani, Sales Administrator and Revenue Coordinator, Swissotel Merchant Court, Singapore
Peter Watt has been hired by TTI Technologies to lead sales efforts in Mexico; he brings several years of sales and leadership experience in hospitality and life sciences.
Michael O’Connell has returned to Pegasus Solutions  as Senior Vice President, Distribution and Demand Sales. During his four years away from Pegasus, he expanded global distribution networks for Sabre Holdings’ TripCase served with LeisureLink, a vacation rental technology vendor. In his previous role at Pegasus, Mr. O’Connell served as Senior Director of Business Development.
Christelle Pigeat has been hired by FCS Computer Systems as National Sales Director & Major Accounts for North America, based in Montreal, Canada. Ms. Pigeat brings over 15 years of hospitality experience, most recently as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Ariane Systems’ North American division.

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  • WebRezPro adds signature capture to iPad check-in app
  • Vimana Franchise Systems installs AutoClerk system in Centerstone Inn, Tuscaloosa
  • AutoClerk partners with Technology At Work, PhoneSuite to offer packaged GMS, PBX, hardware and implementation
  • Hotelogix 2.0 adds online channel management and multi-lingual capability
  • Chalet High Resort, Basye, VA converts to SPI Software
  • Zetter hotel picks protel SPE, dotPOS from Xn Hotel Systems
  • Resort Data Processing opens regional sales office in Central Wisconsin
  • Microsoft twice cites PAR Springer-Miller’s use of Azure for Atrio guest management system
  • Eight InnSuites Hotels’ properties implement MSI’s WinPM

WebRezPro has added signature capture to its iPad check-in app. (www.webrezpro.com)
Vimana Franchise Systems is installing AutoClerk’s guest management system in Centerstone Inn, Tuscaloosa, its newest property. The 59-room hotel was previously a Comfort Inn before being rebranded by Vimana.
AutoClerk has partnered with Technology At Work and PhoneSuite to offer a package of guest management software, hardware, an IP-based PBX phone system, and network design and administration. A single server runs both the hotel’s guest management system (AutoClerk or Lodgical) and PhoneSuite’s IP-based PBX phone system; Technology At Work configures, installs and maintains networks designed for each property’s needs, and can also install wireless Internet access for guests and Internet-monitored security cameras.
(www.vimanafs.com, www.TechnologyAtWork.net, www.phonesuite.com, www.autoclerk.com)
Hotelogix has released version 2.0 of its guest management system, now with integrated online distribution channel management and multi-lingual capability, starting with English and Spanish but adding other languages over time. (www.hotelogix.com)
The 76-unit Chalet High Resort in Basye, VA has converted to SPI Software’s system following selection by its Homeowners’ Association of SPM Resorts as timeshare management company. SPM Resorts implemented SPI’s centralized enterprise system in 2010. (www.spmresorts.com, www.spiinc.com)
The 59-room Zetter has selected the protel SPE guest management system and dotPOS system from Xn Hotel Systems, with a scheduled live date of September 2012. (www.thezetter.com, www.xnhotels.com)
Resort Data Processing has opened a regional sales office in Central Wisconsin. (www.resortdata.com)
Microsoft has twice cited PAR Springer-Miller’s use of the Azure cloud for its new Atrio guest management system, both in the keynote speech at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference this week and as a newly-published Case Study document and video. (www.springermiller.com)
Eight InnSuites Hotels’ properties have implemented Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI’s) WinPM solution. (www.innsuites.com, www.msisolutions.com)

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  • Room Key becomes direct channel partner in VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork
  • Preferred Hotel Group names NAVIS an Alliance Partner
  • IQware releases enhanced version of IQrez Mobile booking application
  • Treovi taking hotel registrations for no-commissions online hotel reservation system
  • Pelican Hotel Solutions integrates Flip.to into its booking engine
  • Sceptre adds over 85 new service agreements since acquiring Windsurfer CRS
  • Fotopedia adds links to Expedia to images in Fotopedia Paris, Fotopedia Japan apps
  • CWT To Go wins Global Business Travel Association award for innovation of the year
  • Insignia Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Villa Padierna, Fontana Park Hotel, Casa da Calçada listed with FastBooking
  • Shilo Inns extends reservations services agreement with Genares

Room Key has become a direct channel partner in VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork. Hotel chains will now be able to use their existing VScape Digital Asset Management system licenses to manage images displayed on the Room Key website. Those subscribing to VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure Online Merchandising System will be able to use their customized version of the VPowered Multi-Media Player on their Room Key property listings. (www.roomkey.com, www.vfmleonardo.com)
Preferred Hotel Group has named NAVIS as an Alliance Partner in a two-year agreement, and will recommend NAVIS as a provider of Reservation Sales Optimization Systems to its member hotel and resort participants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. (www.preferredhotelgroup.com, www.TheNavisWay.com)
IQware has released an enhanced version of its IQrez Mobile booking application. (www.iqwareinc.com)
Switzerland-based Treovi is now taking hotel registrations for its no-commissions online hotel reservation system. The system is free for hotels to join and upload their inventory, and free for guests to search, find and book hotels; there are no commissions for hoteliers and no transaction costs for hotel guests. (www.treovi.com)
Pelican Hotel Solutions has integrated Flip.to into its booking engine, rewarding guests whose social network contacts book at the same hotel. (www.flip.to)
Sceptre Hospitality Resources announced the addition of more than 85 new service agreements since it acquired the Windsurfer CRS in February 2012. (www.sceptrehospitality.com)
Fotopedia has added direct links to Expedia’s booking engine to every image in its Fotopedia Paris and Fotopedia Japan apps, letting site visitors view hotels near the landmark they are viewing and reserve a room. (www.expedia.com, www.fotopedia.com)
CWT To Go, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s mobile app, has won this year’s Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) award for innovation of the year in the category of “Outstanding apps.” Available for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone devices, CWT To Go automatically synchronizes offline and online CWT bookings, flight notifications, access to relevant trip-related information, and more.  CWT To Go was developed with Rearden Commerce. (www.carlsonwagonlit.com)
José Ramón Villarrubia has listed his Insignia Hotels & Resorts and the Hotel Villa Padierna, Fontana Park Hotel and Casa da Calçada with FastBooking. Insignia Hotels & Resorts manages and handles marketing and distribution for more than 30 four- and five-star independent luxury hotels in Spain, Ireland and Portugal. FastBooking is creating new websites for six of the hotels. (www.insigniahoteles.com , www.fastbooking.net)
Shilo Inns has extended its reservations services agreement with Genares to include custom integration with Shilo’s proprietary systems, allowing Shilo properties to manage Genares and all other sales channels from the property level management system.  Genares will also provide a web booking engine, mobile booking applications a proprietary voice application for the Shilo call center. (www.shiloinns.com, www.genares.com)

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  • TrustYou becomes global authorized partner with TripAdvisor
  • Lodging Interactive  partners with Masterminds creative advertising agency
  • Hotelsbase announces 500,000-hotel pricing & contact database
  • Six Grand Heritage Hotel Group properties using Digital Alchemy’s eRelationship
  • Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine implements Digital Alchemy’s eRelationship
  • Lake Lawn Resort selects UniFocus’ GUESTScope
  • HotelREZ announces REZtoMarket sales platform
  • VFM Leonardo launches VPowered Tablet Website to help hoteliers optimize websites for tablets

TrustYou has become a global authorized partner with TripAdvisor, letting TrustYou clients monitor their TripAdvisor reviews in 23 languages and track their online reputation and analyze guest feedback.  Reviews from TripAdvisor and 250+ other sites are available in near real time on the TrustYou ReviewAnalyst dashboard. (www.trustyou.com)
Lodging Interactive has signed a partnership with Masterminds, a travel and leisure creative advertising agency in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., thereby expanding its services to include upgraded services to customers who require branding consultation, integrated advertising plans, creative and full service media planning and management. (www.masterminds1.com, www.LodgingInteractive.com)
Hotelsbase has announced what it claims to be is the world’s biggest free hotel pricing & contact database, accumulating and managing data for more than 500,000 hotels worldwide. The database was developed as a general reference or resource for any person or company curious about hotel data, and includes information on hotel room prices, facilities, user review scores, map co-ordinates and phone/e-mail details. The site includes a statistical analysis tool. (www.hotelsbase.org)
Six properties in the Grand Heritage Hotel Group are now using Digital Alchemy’s eRelationship module to coordinate pre-arrival messaging (including confirmation emails and amenity up-selling) and post-stay satisfaction feedback tools. Grand Heritage also uses Digital Alchemy’s eSurvey, TripAdvocate and eBlast modules. Grand Heritage Hotel Group owns and operates more than a dozen independent hotels and resorts across North America, Europe and the Middle East.
The 61-room Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine has implemented Digital Alchemy’s eRelationship module to coordinate pre-arrival messaging, including confirmation emails and amenity up-selling, as well as various post-stay customer feedback features embedded in eRelationship.
(www.grandheritage.com, www.innbythesea.com, www.data2gold.com)
Lake Lawn Resort, Delaven, Wisconsin, has selected UniFocus’ GUESTScope guest satisfaction survey tools. (www.lakelawnresort.com, www.unifocus.com)
HotelREZ has announced a new sales platform, REZtoMarket, which lets member hotels manage online hotel content, RFP management and marketing program participation. The new service was developed in partnership with Nexus, and uses Nexus as the primary content platform. HotelREZ provides distribution, sales and marketing support to more than 1,000 independent hotels and small hotel groups in 30 countries. (www.nexusworldservices.com, www.hotelrez.net)
VFM Leonardo has launched its VPowered Tablet Website to help hoteliers ensure their websites are optimized for tablet users. (www.vfmleonardo.com)

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  • IQware launches IQlink least-cost connectivity to over 750 channels
  • Far East Hospitality implements EzRMS’ Product Suite at all eight properties
  • Clevelander, Essex House Hotels in Miami Beach select Travel Tripper for online channel distribution
  • Regal Hotels Group deploys SiteMinder’s RDX connectivity platform for six hotels
  • Avvio picks RDX to drive direct distribution from Convert 5 platform
  • SiteMinder delivers over US$2 billion in booking revenue from online channels in last 12 months

IQware has launched IQlink, a hosted platform with seamless connectivity to over 750 channels that ensures distribution to the channels of choice via the least-expensive route. If a direct-connect exists, IQlink uses that; otherwise it directs inventory via IDS connectivity or GDS channels. (www.iqwareinc.com)
Singapore’s Far East Hospitality has implemented EzRMS’ Product Suite at all eight of its properties: Oasia Hotel Singapore, Orchard Parade Hotel, The Elizabeth Hotel, The Quincy Hotel, Landmark Village Hotel, Albert Court Village Hotel, Changi Village Hotel and East Village Hotel. The properties implemented the EzRMS Core Module, Ez-QUOTE, Ez-REGION and Ez-COMPETE, as well as an upload to Opera V5 PMS and EZ-Yield interfaces. (www.fareasthospitality.com, www.EasyRMS.com)
The Clevelander and Essex House Hotels, Miami Beach, FL have selected Travel Tripper for online channel distribution. (www.clevelander.com , www.essexhotel.com , www.traveltripper.com)
Hong Kong’s Regal Hotels Group has deployed SiteMinder’s Room Distribution Exchange (RDX) connectivity platform for its six hotels, with a two-way interface to its custom-built Miro PMS.
Ireland’s Avvio has picked Room Distribution Exchange (RDX) to drive direct distribution from its Convert 5 platform, allowing Avvio’s clients to manage rates and availability for multiple indirect channels within Convert 5, in addition to the hotel’s direct channels, including website, Facebook and mobile.
SiteMinder has reported that its distribution platform delivered over US$2 billion in booking revenue from online channels in the 12 months to June 30, 2012, double the figure from the previous financial year.
(www.regalhotel.com, www.avvio.com, www.rdxglobal.com, www.siteminder.com)

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  • Helena, Montana CVB signs with Regatta Travel Solutions
  • Regatta Travel Solutions integrating its CVB booking engine with Google Hotel Finder
  • Stockton Convention Visitors Bureau deploys Passkey’s GroupMAX ME

The Helena, Montana CVB has signed an agreement with Regatta Travel Solutions to power its new website.
Regatta Travel Solutions is integrating its booking engine for CVBs with Google Hotel Finder through an alliance with Woodcrick Ventures and its seekda technology, which feeds live rates and availability to Google travel products.
(www.helenamt.com, www.regattatravelsolutions.com)
Stockton Convention Visitors Bureau has deployed Passkey’s GroupMAX ME hotel booking technology. (www.CelebrateStockton.com, www.passkey.com)

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  • Shift4 partners with FoundryLogic to provide secure mobile payment to Retail Pro users

Shift4 has partnered with FoundryLogic to provide secure mobile payment to users of Retail Pro versions 8 and 9.  Retail Mobile POS allows merchants to answer product questions, provide personal service and check out customers directly on any Apple device running iOS 5, and integrates seamlessly with Shift4’s DOLLARS ON THE NET payment gateway for pre- and post-settlement auditing, enterprise-wide reporting, and total bank/processor flexibility. (www.shift4.com, www.foundrylogic.com)

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  • Intelity adds SpaSoft to ICE guest services menu

Intelity has added PAR Springer-Miller’s SpaSoft system to the guest services menu of its ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) enterprise platform, with the first deployment expected in September.  Hotel guests will be able to use ICE to check the availability of spa services and schedule appointments via any ICE interface, from smartphone to tablet to television to laptop. (www.springermiller.com, www.intelitycorp.com)

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  • HTNG publishes, demonstrates new standard letting single guestroom remote control support multiple devices
  • FCS Computer Systems has appointed Innergo Systems its sales partner in Poland
  • Holiday Inn Resort, Goa implements in-house high-speed Internet service with IDS NEXT
  • Intelity adds SpaSoft to ICE guest services menu
  • OPUS Vancouver installs iPhones in every room

Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has published a new standard to enable a single guestroom remote control to support multiple devices without expensive custom integration, and demonstrated it with a Samsung television, an entertainment system from Swisscom and connectivity panels from C2G, guestLINK and TeleAdapt.  The new specification requires consistent implementation of the HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) commands needed in a hotel environment. Samsung has committed to implement the specification across its entire new hospitality television line, and Swisscom has reiterated its commitment to the HTNG profile.  (www.htng.org)
FCS Computer Systems has appointed Warsaw-based Innergo Systems its sales partner in Poland. (www.fcscs.com)
The 200-room Holiday Inn Resort, Goa has implemented an in-house high-speed Internet service in conjunction with IDS NEXT, integrated with its hotel ERP. (www.holidayinngoa.com, www.idsfortune.com)
Intelity has added PAR Springer-Miller’s SpaSoft system to the guest services menu of its ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) enterprise platform, with the first deployment expected in September.  Hotel guests will be able to use ICE to check the availability of spa services and schedule appointments via any ICE interface, from smartphone to tablet to television to laptop. (www.springermiller.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
OPUS Vancouver has installed iPhones in every room, each pre-programmed with one touch contact to all hotel departments while still fully functional as a personal mobile phone with Internet capabilities. All incoming and local calls are complimentary except international roaming fees for US and international travelers.  All iPhones are reset at check-out to ensure privacy and security. (www.opushotel.com)

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  • Nexonia integrates its expense management platform with Egencia, GetThere and Atriis
  • Italian travel agency Frigerio Viaggi joins TRX’s reseller program for TruExpense travel management
  • TravelSavers Worldwide Independent Network picks TRX’s TruePartner Complete as preferred travel technology

Nexonia has integrated its corporate expense management platform with Expedia’s Egencia online travel management system, allowing company employees to book travel on Egencia and have that data flow smoothly overnight to Nexonia. Nexonia customers can also use Apple or Android devices to enter out of pocket or corporate credit card expenses, take photos of receipts and route them for approval.
Sabre has named Nexonia as a GetThere Preferred Supplier, allowing Nexonia’s corporate expense management platform to be integrated with GetThere’s online travel booking system. Company employees can use the web or mobile devices to book travel and check status with GetThere, and have that data flow to Nexonia in support of creating, submitting and approving expense reports.
Nexonia has integrated its corporate expense management platform with Atriis’ online travel management and booking system. Nexonia and Atriis are also working to develop real-time single sign-on capabilities.
(www.exencia.com, www.nexonia.com, www.atriis.com, www.nexonia.com)
Italian travel agency Frigerio Viaggi has joined TRX’s reseller program for its TruExpense web-based travel and organizational T&E spending management application.
TravelSavers Worldwide Independent Network (TWIN) has selected TRX’s TruePartner Complete Program as the preferred travel technology platform for its member travel management agencies. TruePartner Complete is a suite of travel technology applications that provides travel management companies with direct access to itinerary management, mid-office reporting, expense management, data consolidation and reporting and other travel technology. Participants may also add Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services for their back-office and settlement needs.
(www.frigerioviaggi.com, www.twintravelmanagement.com, www.trx.com)

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  • RedPrairie used by 16 brands ranked in Gartner’s 2012 Supply Chain Top 25
  • Affinity Gaming picks Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System for Terrible’s Hotel Casino in Las Vegas

RedPrairie has announced that 16 of the 25 brands ranked in Gartner’s 2012 Supply Chain Top 25 are using RedPrairie applications. Gartner analysts selected the top 25 companies from more than 298 companies assessed, ranking them by public financial data and an opinion component that looks to future potential and reflects future expected leadership. These two components are combined into a total composite score.  (www.redprairie.com)
Affinity Gaming has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System inventory and procurement software for Terrible’s Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.  Affinity already uses Stratton Warren at its three Primm Valley properties. (www.terriblescasinos.com, www.agilysys.com)

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  • Hyatt Place Los Angeles/El Segundo, CA installing Telkonet’s EcoSmart energy management
  • Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort adding six wind turbines to rooftop

The143-room Hyatt Place Los Angeles/El Segundo, CA, is installing Telkonet’s EcoSmart energy management technology, in partnership with South Carolina-based OTO Development. The property will install EcoInsight intelligent thermostats to reduce HVAC equipment runtime and conserve energy use when guest rooms are unoccupied, with centralized control allowing staff to track HVAC efficiency, monitor energy savings and make changes to thermostat settings from any web-connected device. (elsegundo.place.hyatt.com, www.telkonet.com)
The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is adding six 40 ft.-tall wind turbines to its rooftop, each producing 32,000 KWH, to help reduce the amount of energy used in guestrooms and on property. Installation is scheduled to begin in September, with an estimated cost of more than half a million dollars. (www.hilton.com)

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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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