June 5, 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


MAY 9 – JUNE 5, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • John Springer-Miller inducted into HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
  • Oliver Nihart-Arango honored as HFTP’s 2007 CHTP of the Year

John Springer-Miller will be inducted into HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame at this year’s HITEC, for his services to the hospitality technology industry. Mr. Springer-Miller founded Springer-Miller Systems (SMS) in 1984, and continues as President and CEO after its takeover by PAR Technology in 2004. He launched the resort-oriented SMS|Host property management system at HITEC in 1989; with its strong focus on guest services and on integrating many different areas of resort operations into one system, the system continues to be highly competitive.
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Oliver Nihart-Arango, CHTP, will be honored as HFTP’s 2007 Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) of the Year at HITEC. In its 10th year, the CHTP of the Year award recognizes the person who scored the highest in a given year on the CHTP exam. Mr. Nihart-Arango is currently a systems specialist for Carlson Companies in Minneapolis, Minn., focusing on Latin American hotels. His previous work included freelance translation for the Mexican government; he is also president of Oaxaca Streetchildren Grassroots, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children receive an education in Mexico.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Klaus Kohlmayr joins IDeaS as Director of Services
  • Gideon Dean hired by TIG Global as SVP of Global Hospitality Sales
  • Joel Carver joins SECURE-RES as Senior Vice President of Sales

Klaus Kohlmayr has joined IDeaS as its new Director of Services. Mr. Kohlmayr has more than fifteen years hospitality industry experience, most recently as Director of Revenue Management & Hotel Performance, Asia Pacific with the InterContinental Hotels Group. He previously served as Regional Manager/Revenue Management and Systems Planning for Six Continents Hotels, Europe and for InterContinental Hotels in Paris, and has held various positions in hotels in Vienna, Geneva and New York City.
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Gideon Dean has been hired by TIG Global as SVP of Global Hospitality Sales. Mr. Dean previously held positions in Europe with Utell International, Reed Travel Group and, most recently, Pegasus, where he served as Senior Vice President – Global Sales.
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Joel Carver has joined SECURE-RES as Senior Vice President of Sales. Mr. Carver brings over 20 years of hospitality, marketing, sales and public relations experience, most recently as AVP- Sales and Marketing at B.F. Saul Company- Hotel Division. He had earlier worked for Wyndham Hotel Group (previously Cendant Corporation) for six years.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Agilysys adds InfoGenesis to product portfolio
  • Rough Creek Lodge and Resort selects Visual One
  • Agilysys to buy Innovativ Systems Design, largest US Sun Microsystems reseller
  • Provenance Hotels picks SoftBrands’ Epitome for Hotel Murano, Tacoma, WA
  • SunSwept Resorts in Saint Lucia implement Northwind’s Maestro Suite
  • Rudding Park selects Maestro-PMS Suite for four-stage implementation

Agilysys has acquired POS vendor InfoGenesis to add to its increasing range of hospitality-industry systems, which also includes the LMS and Visual One PMSs. InfoGenesis has a significant presence in casinos, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, stadiums and foodservice.
Rough Creek Lodge and Resort has selected Visual One’s PMS, Sales & Catering and POS modules, including Activities Scheduler and Web Reservations. The 45-room resort and conference center is located in Glen Rose, Texas.
Agilysys is acquiring Innovativ Systems Design, the largest U.S. commercial reseller of Sun Microsystems servers and storage products. Innovativ designs and deploys complex, large-scale IT infrastructure solutions, acting as a single hardware, software and services source for enterprise customers.
(www.roughcreek.com, www.infogenesis.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Provenance Hotels has selected SoftBrands’ Epitome PMS for its 319-room Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA, which is scheduled to open this Fall. (www.provenancehotels.com, www.softbrands.com)
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The four SunSwept Resorts in Saint Lucia have implemented Northwind’s Maestro Suite, including Front Office, Spa, Accounts Receivable and ResEze online booking software modules, on a single-image database platform.
Rudding Park, a 50-room UK golf resort and conference center, has selected Maestro-PMS for a four-stage implementation, beginning mid-year. Stage one will include installation of Maestro Front Office, Condo-Timeshare Management, ResEze, Work Order Scheduling and the Analytics business intelligence modules; stage two will add Golf Tee-Time Scheduling later this year.
(www.sunsweptresorts.com, www.ruddingpark.com, www.maestropms.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Five major cultural trends key to understanding consumers’ expectations
  • InnQuest releases enhanced interface between roomMaster 2000 PMS and InnLink
  • Carlton Hotel, NY signs with GenaRes and gCommerce Solutions
  • Arizona Inn, Tucson, AZ picks TravelCLICK
  • Pegasus, Mobile Travel Technologies offer reservations via phone/PDS internet browsers
  • Phoenix Inn Suites selects SynXis’ RedX for distribution services for eleven properties
  • SynXis to upgrade all hotel customers to RedX by end of July
  • SynXis completes direct connection with Travelocity
  • Sabre acquires internet hospitality marketing vendor E-site Marketing
  • Blackstone Group files IPO for Orbitz
  • TripSync allows travelers to hold reservation for 24 hours without penalty or payment

Five major cultural trends are key to understanding consumers’ expectations and bringing repeat business and excellent world-of-mouth recommendations, according to Avant-Guide founder Daniel Levine, speaking at the annual HEDNA conference. These trends are:
– Exclusivity through personalization and localization: consumers expect to be catered to for their hospitality needs.
– Upscale design: Design no longer is viewed as a luxury, but a trend to be honored.
– Control and consumer transparency: consumers want to feel they are in control of their experience, using price comparison sites and placing reviews and phone pictures online for others to see on websites.
– Empathy and social networking 2.5: using networking opportunities to connect, from choosing your cab-sharing partner to IM-ing another passenger on the same plane to invitation-only ‘meet spaces’ designed to bring like-minded travelers together.
– Abundance: personalization of services and offerings through the wealth of opportunities to service micro market niches.
Finally, Levine points out that hotels need to be seen as being dedicated to green initiatives in order to appeal to travelers.
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InnQuest Software has released an enhanced two-way interface between its roomMaster 2000 PMS and InnLink’s reservation system, downloading reservations from InnLink into roomMaster 2000 and uploading rates/inventory to InnLink’s central reservation service. (www.innquest.com, www.innlink.com)
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The 316-room Carlton Hotel, New York City has signed for GDS/ADS connectivity, Web-site booking and e-marketing services with GenaRes and gCommerce Solutions, respectively. (www.carltonhotelny.com, www.genares.com)
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The 86-room Arizona Inn, Tucson, AZ has contracted with TravelCLICK for its iHotelier central reservations system for website and GDS bookings, ChannelDirect to manage Internet distribution, Travel Agent Media Preferred Placement for GDS marketing, Pay-Per-Click advertising and Hotelligence to report on booking performance relative to the competition.
TravelCLICK, Inc., a privately-held Schaumburg, IL-based hospitality solutions company, has made the Crain’s Fast Fifty list for the Chicago area, published yesterday in Crain’s Chicago Business. The list highlights the region’s best and most innovative public and private companies, with rankings based on five-year revenue growth. TravelCLICK is #33 on the Fast Fifty list, which is often considered a leading indicator of a company’s outlook for long-term performance and industry leadership.
(www.arizonainn.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Pegasus Solutions has partnered with Mobile Travel Technologies to allow guests to make reservations, look for hotel information and review their booking itinerary on existing phone technology or on PDS mobile internet browsers. The partnership will begin with Utell customers in June and continue rolling out across the Pegasus network in the coming months. (mobiletraveltechnologies.com, www.pegs.com)
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German hotel chains, Ringhotels, has upgraded its 135 members to the RedX Distribution Management System and extended its longstanding partnership with SynXis for three additional years.
Phoenix Inn Suites has selected SynXis’ RedX for distribution services for its eleven properties in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Services include connectivity with the GDSs, online travel sites and their own website booking.
SynXis announced that it will upgrade all its hotel customers to the RedX Distribution Management System by the end of July, to take advantage of broader distribution, more robust integration, increased international capabilities and improved revenue management controls.
SynXis has completed a direct connection to Travelocity for users of its RedX Distribution Management System. The Channel Connect interface also includes links to Travelocity Business for corporate travelers, European site lastminute.com and Asia-Pacific site ZUJI.
Sabre has acquired internet hospitality marketing vendor E-site Marketing to complement SynXis’ distribution products and services. E-Site Marketing offers search engine expertise, website hosting and development, content management, statistical reporting and tracking tools, and revenue management services.
(www.ringhotels.de, www.phoenixinns.com, www.esitemarketing.com, www.synxis.com)
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The Blackstone Group has filed offer shares in Orbitz Worldwide, the online travel Web site it acquired from Cendant last August. This is Orbitz’ second initial public offering in less than four years. (www.orbitz.com)
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TripSync has launched a Book and Hold feature that enables travelers to hold a reservation for 24 hours without penalty for cancellation or payment required. Despite there being no commitment on the part of the traveler, TripSync guarantees the flights and car reservations for up to 24 hours; hotels can be booked and cancelled with no penalty up until the day of arrival, though this policy may not apply to all hotels. TripSync bookings are made directly through Microsoft Outlook. (www.tripsync.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Red Lion Hotels names VRX Studios its official online visual content provider
  • Wyndham Hotel Group adds Baymont brand to agreement with VRX Studios for property photography services

Red Lion Hotels has contracted with VRX Studios as its official online visual content provider, to produce, manage and distribute still images, virtual tours and interactive maps of Red Lion hotel properties across the United States.
Wyndham Hotel Group has extended its custom services agreement with VRX Studios for property photography services by adding the Baymont Inn and Suites hotel brand. This brings the total number of properties to be photographed under the agreement to more than 5,300.
(www.redlion.com, www.vrxstudios.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Affinia picks EZ Yield for six properties in New York and Chicago
  • French hotel chain Citéa installs FastBooking’s Checker and Updater tools in all hotels
  • Titania Hotel, Athens, Greece implements EzRMS’ Internet Product Suite
  • Mango Bay Resorts implements Karyon distribution services for six resorts

Affinia Hotels has selected EZ Yield for its six properties in New York and Chicago. (www.affinia.com, www.ezyield.com)
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French hotel chain Citéa has commissioned FastBooking to install its Checker and Updater tools in all its hotels. Checker provides real time comparisons with rates posted by their competitors on their websites and main distribution sites; Updater allows them to update their rates and availability simultaneously on all their extranets. (www.fastbooking.org)
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The 385-room Titania Hotel, Athens, Greece, has implemented EzRMS’ Internet Product Suite, interfaced to its existing Protel PMS system. (www.EzRMS.com)
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Mango Bay Resorts has implemented SoftBrands’ Karyon distribution services for its six resorts on Florida’s west coast. (www.mangobaybeachresorts.com, www.karyonres.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Foxwoods Resort Casino selects Passkey

Foxwoods Resort Casino has selected Passkey as its standard method for handling and managing group reservations. The Foxwoods complex includes 1,400 guestrooms, 50+ F&B and retail outlets, a 1,400 seat theater and 55,000 square feet of meeting space. (www.foxwoods.com, www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Agilysys acquires InfoGenesis
  • estolingua releases Web-based menu editing, translation and printing systeme

Agilysys has acquired POS vendor InfoGenesis to add to its increasing range of hospitality-industry systems, which also includes the LMS and Visual One PMSs. InfoGenesis has a significant presence in casinos, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, stadiums and foodservice. (www.infogenesis.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Philippines-based Restolingua has released its Web-based menu editing, translation and printing system. Restolingua’s Basic Package allows translation from and to Dutch, UK English, US English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. A future release will make available an online culinary dictionary allowing for word-by-word translation. (www.restolingua.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Starwood to implement first hospitality application of Microsoft’s new Surface
  • Watt Stopper/Legrand offers card key switches to turn off guestroom lighting when a guest leaves the room
  • Staybridge Suites offers free wireless HSIA throughout hotels’ premises
  • iBAHN certifies the VPNs of five hundred corporations worldwide
  • Graves 601 Hotel, Minneapolis implements NxTV’s converged IP network
  • MGM Grand Detroit to install NxTV 100% IP-based, co-ax-free distribution system for in-room entertainment
  • NxTV completes roll-out of new high-density digital entertainment servers
  • Swisscom adds NewspaperDirect’s PressDisplay.com to Room 2.0 Hospitality Internet service
  • Choice selects Hotel Technologies’ CS1233BA alarm clock radio as standard for Comfort Suites
  • Venetian Las Vegas renovating 3,014 all-suite rooms with three TVs each
  • Most travelers would use guestroom mini-bars more often if the prices were more reasonable, per TripAdvisor survey

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will implement the first hospitality trial application of Microsoft’s new Surface table-top device in the lobbies of key Sheraton properties, starting with the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The 30-inch Surface screen allows for direct interaction with guests through its recognition of natural gestures, touch and physical objects placed on its surface. (www.starwoodhotels.com, www.microsoft.com)
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Watt Stopper/Legrand has developed a line of card key switches which turn off guestroom lighting when a guest leaves the room. The switches are compliant with IECC and ASHRAE/IESNA energy codes which require that hotel guestrooms have a master switch at the entrance of every room. When the guest removes the card-key from the switch by the door, the controlled circuits remain energized for 30 seconds to allow a safe exit. (www.wattstopper.com)
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InterContinental’s extended-stay Staybridge Suites brand is now offering free wireless Internet access throughout its hotels’ premises at locations across the U.S. and Canada. Complimentary wired access remains unchanged. Staybridge Suites recently opened its 100th hotel and expects to double its size in the next few years. (www.staybridge.com)
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iBAHN has now certified the Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) of five hundred corporations worldwide, including one-third of the Fortune 100 companies. Once iBAHN has certified the unique VPN settings of major corporations on their networks, their travelers can rely on seamless VPN connectivity at iBAHN-enabled hotels, a major benefit to hotels bidding for these companies’ business. (www.ibahn.com)
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The 225-room Graves 601 Hotel, Minneapolis has implemented NxTV’s converged IP network platform for guestroom entertainment, corporate meeting information, room service menus and Internet connectivity, as well as many of the property’s management systems. All rooms have 42” plasma displays, DVD/CD players, wired and wireless HSIA with wireless keyboards. In-room services include displays of the names and locations of area retailers, spas and other select services. HD video on demand, IPTV Free to Guest content, high-speed Internet access and communication with mini-bar, Voice over IP telephony and POS systems all leverage a single converged IP network.
The 400-room MGM Grand Detroit has signed a five-year agreement with NxTV to install what is claimed to be the nation’s first 100% IP-based, co-ax-free distribution system for in-room entertainment. The property is to scheduled to open by year-end; High Definition IP Video On Demand (HD IPVOD) and IPTV Free to Guest content as well as high-speed Internet access, VoIP telephony and mini-bar communication systems will all use one converged IP network.
NxTV has completed roll-out of its high-density digital entertainment servers, offering over 250 movies on demand. Having also demonstrated the ability of its IPVOD technology to deliver guest programming directly over a secured Internet connection, NxTV will shortly be able to offer unlimited on-demand content anywhere there is an Internet connection.
(www.graves601hotel.com, www.mgmmirage.com, www.nxtv.com)
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Swisscom has added NewspaperDirect’s PressDisplay.com online newspaper kiosk to its Room 2.0 Hospitality Internet service, currently installed at over 2,300 hotels in Europe and North America. PressDisplay provides on-line replicas of hundreds of the world’s leading newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, USA Today, The Daily Telegraph, El Pais, Le Figaro, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The Sydney Morning Herald, Handelsblatt, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, The Times of India and The Jerusalem Post. (www.swisscom.com, www.pressdisplay.com)
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Choice Hotels International has selected Hotel Technologies’ CS1233BA alarm clock radio as a standard guest amenity for its nearly 450 domestic Comfort Suites hotels. The CS1233BA can be set easily and offers a selection of pre-programmed radio stations by music format, such as jazz, country, rock or classical. An MP3/CD line-in cord allows guests to plug in their CD or MP3 players. (wwwchoicehotels.com, www.hoteltechnologies.com)
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The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas is renovating its 3,014 all-suite rooms. The $100-million renovation is expected to be completed by fall 2007; technology updates include:
* Three televisions in each suite — 17″ LCD in the bath, 32″ LCD in the living room, 32″ LCD in King bedrooms and 42″ plasma in the Dual Queen bedroom.
* Remote control Roman shades and curtains with “Touch Control” technology.
* Wireless dual-line telephones and wireless Internet connection.
* DVD player and CD/clock radio alarm.
The Venezia Tower’s 1,013 suites will not be updated as part of this project as they were constructed more recently. (www.venetian.com)
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94 percent of travelers would use guestroom mini-bars more often if the prices were more reasonable, according to a TripAdvisor survey of 1,600 guests. Thirty-three percent said they never used the mini-bar. One-quarter of the respondents have disputed a mini-bar bill with the hotel, men more often than women (32 percent vs. 22 percent), and a third felt they had been inaccurately charged for something in the mini-bar or fridge.
Automatic billing systems using motion and weight sensors seem to be far from foolproof. 16 percent of respondents said they’d been billed for adding items to a mini-bar/fridge or for moving its contents around, and seven percent were charged for storing their own items in it.
More than a half (52 percent) of the travelers were most likely to purchase bottled water from a mini-bar, while only two percent are likely to purchase energy drinks. Nuts are the snack of choice for 17 percent. Items travelers would like to see more of include fruit, healthy snacks, and sandwiches.
Top 5 Beverages Travelers Buy from a Mini-Bar:
1. Bottled water
2. Soda/soft drink
3. Beer
4. Wine
5. Liquor

Top 5 Snack Choices:
1. Nuts
2. Chocolate bar
3. Peanut M&M’s
4. Pringles
5. Toblerone chocolate
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