March 27, 2001

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B, POS, Activity Tracking

Guest Services

Engineering

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Travelers carrying significantly more technology this year, according to survey
  • On-line travel bookings up 29%, now form nearly a third of all e-commerce transactions
  • GDS bookings also up, by 11.4%

How much technology are travelers bringing with them these days? A survey of over 600 business travelers conducted for Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada showed a dramatic increase over the last two years. Laptop-carrying (48%), cell-phone-toting (64%) and e-mail-checking (52%) are all up significantly from 1998 levels (33%, 37% and 39%, respectively).
Unsurprisingly, the younger generation are even more wired; comparing the 25-35 year-olds with those 56+ shows that 64% travel with a cell phone (vs. 59% of the older set) and 52% check e-mail (41%). On the other hand, fewer eat turn down mints (37% vs 52%) and or use in-room coffeemakers (31% vs 49%). Guess all the others are down at the espresso stand getting a mint latte…
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Online travel industry sales hit $1.2 billion in January, forming nearly a third of all eCommerce transactions, which were $3.8 billion, according to Nielsen//NetRatings and Harris Interactive. In dollar terms this is an increase of 29% from six months ago. From January 2000 to January 2001, online shopping trips to the top five travel sites jumped 42% to 22 million visits. Travelocity held the largest share of online travel buyers at 18%, followed by Southwest (14%), Expedia (11%), Priceline (9%) and Delta (8%).
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But the GDSs are still growing, too; the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) reported that hotel bookings made through Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Sahara and Worldspan grew 11.4% in 2000. Net hotel reservations delivered by GDSs totaled 48.8 million bookings in 2000, an increase of over 5 million over 1999. Hotel bookings have grown every year since HEDNA began its survey in 1994, when it reported that 16.3 million reservations had been delivered in 1993.
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The American Hotel & Motel Association (AH&MA) has formed an E-Business Committee to exchange information and ideas on e-business in the hospitality industry. Committee Chair is Frank Nardozza, KPMG Consulting’s Managing Director/National Hospitality Industry; Vice Chairman is Scott Andersen, President and CEO of Swan, Inc.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Jules is back! Jules Sieburgh joins Host Marriott as SVP and CTO
  • EventClicks names Daniela Grendene as Vice President, Worldwide Sales, opens San Francisco office headed by Steve O’Rourke
  • Scott Abramson joins TravelCLICK as Chief Information Officer
  • On Command Corp promotes Kathryn Hale to Chief Financial Officer, hires Anne Doris as Senior Vice President of Programming and Marketing
  • Pegasus Solutions appoints John F. Davis III to Chairman of the Board

Jules Sieburgh has joined Host Marriott Corp as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. A 30-year veteran in the hospitality industry and a member of the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame, Mr. Sieburgh was most recently Director of Hotel Automation at Priceline.com. He has previously served as Vice President of Hotel Systems at Inter-Continental Hotels, as Vice President of Information Systems for Sonesta International Hotels Corp., and as an independent consultant in the hospitality industry.
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Asian corporate event management company EventClicks has appointed Daniela Grendene as Vice President, Worldwide Sales, based in Hong Kong. Ms. Grendene has over 17 years of hotel experience with such groups as Inter-Continental and Mandarin Oriental, including three years at the Oriental hotel in Bangkok as Director of Sales & Marketing.
EventClicks also opened its first USA office, in San Francisco, and appointed Steve O’Rourke as Business Development Manager. Mr. O’Rourke has 10 years experience in the event planning field in Hong Kong.
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Scott D. Abramson has joined TravelCLICK as Chief Information Officer. Mr. Abramson was previously Chief Technical Officer at Internet systems company Whiplash, and has served as Director of Information Technology at Pegasus Solutions.
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On Command Corp has promoted Kathryn L. Hale from VP Finance to Chief Financial Officer, and appointed Anne Doris as Senior Vice President of Programming and Marketing. Ms. Hale succeeds Paul J. Milley, who is retiring from the company. Ms. Doris was most recently Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Communications for Velocom Inc., a broadband communication services provider in Latin America.
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Pegasus Solutions, Inc. announced the appointment of John F. Davis III to Chairman of the Board. Mr. Davis remains Chief Executive Officer of the company; the former Chairman, William C. Hammett Jr., remains an active member of the Board.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Auberge Resorts orders Springer-Miller Host for seven properties
  • Escapes! orders PCC TimeShareWare for seven resorts
  • Ramesys releases version 99.3 of ImagInn
  • Stanford Hotels Corp installs HTS DA-5 automated audit products at three hotels

Auberge Resorts has ordered Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host for seven properties in the United States and Mexico, including the Auberge du Soleil (Napa Valley), El Dorado Hotel, San Ysidro Ranch, The Lodge at Skylonda, and The Palisade Resort and Spa. The systems will include modules covering Central Reservations, Spa/Recreation/Tee Time Scheduling, Club Membership and Condo/Timeshare Management. (www.springermiller.com)
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Escapes!, formerly known as CooperShare Resorts, has ordered PC Consulting (PCC) TimeShareWare SAM, TimeShareWare Next, and TimeShareWare Central applications for vacation ownership sales, accounts receivable, reservations, and property management at its seven mid-south resorts. (www.timeshareware.com)
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Ramesys Hospitality released version 99.3 of its ImagInn property management system. New features include Web-based reservations (with SynXis), centralized travel agent payments management, improved Lodgenet and Lexington CRS interfaces, support for Canadian postal codes and Canadian PST tax, amongst others. (www.us.ramesys.com)
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Stanford Hotels Corp has installed the Hospitality Technology Solutions (HTS) DA-5 Automated Hotel Audit & Executive Information System, and the DA-5 Enterprise Solution Portal (DA-5 ESP(tm)) at three of its seventeen properties; the Sheraton Gateway Hotel San Francisco International Airport, the Hilton Washington Dulles and the Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel Phoenix. The DA-5 integrates PMS, POS and Time Clock systems with property and corporate accounting systems, speeding the night audit process and producing a cross-system daily operating report. (www.hoteltechsolutions.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • SynXis signs MGM Mirage, passes 100,000 rooms on-line
  • Hotel Net Marketing offers Web-based rate comparison product
  • Bass launches hotel location and booking service for PDAs, Web phones
  • Park Place signs with Utell for 14 properties
  • Travelocity extends contract with HRN to mid-2005, adds condo inventory
  • WizCom adds EasyAccess modules for content, rate distribution to GDSs
  • Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association contracts with VIP International for 20 properties
  • HotelaVision to launch Website for video tours
  • PertLink to offer VFlash electronic promotion distribution utility

Internet reservations vendor SynXis Corp announced contracts that will bring its total number of hotel rooms online to over 100,000. Over 22,000 of those rooms come from MGM Mirage, which just announced that it is implementing SynXis as its exclusive Global Distribution System (GDS) connectivity and Internet distribution provider in ten properties. (www.mgm-mirage.com, www.synxisagent.com)
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Hotel Net Marketing introduced Check-Rate, a Web-based rate comparison product which provides subscribing hotels with an online “real-time” rate information for their chosen competitive set of five hotels on up to ten travel sites they select. (www.hotelnetmarketing.com)
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Bass Hotels & Resorts launched comprehensive wireless hotel location and booking services for Web-enabled phones and PDAs, in con junction with Air2Web Inc. (www.air2web.com, www.basshotels.com)
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Park Place Entertainment signed a three-year agreement with Utell to represent its 14 properties, and to provide revenue/yield management, marketing services, and a two-way interface between its central reservations system (CRS) and property management system. (www.utell.com)
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Travelocity.com extended its alliance with Hotel Reservations Network through July 31, 2005, and expanded its scope to include vacation rental units through HRN’s Condosaver.com. HRN will offer and promote Travelocity’s air and car rental products through its Web sites. (www.180096hotel.com, www.hoteldiscount.com)
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Cendant’s WizCom International subsidiary introduced two new modules of its EasyAccess Plus suite of Web-based distribution management tools. EasyAccess IQ enables hoteliers to manage textual and multimedia hotel descriptive content from a single source, and lets them provide hotel description content to handhelds and other devices. EasyAccess RateCreate enables hotel companies to create single rate level profiles and have them sent automatically in the correct format to create rates in each GDS.
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Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (CRA) in Colorado has contracted with VIP International Corp for voice reservation and channel marketing services for 20 lodging properties in the area.
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HotelaVision.com will launch a new web site in Spring 2001, offering online video tours of hotels, spas, golf, and meeting destinations worldwide. The tours provide a walk-through of a hotel, including views, rooms and facilities. (www.hotelavision.com)
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Pertlink Ltd has acquired the hospitality industry rights for Hong Kong-based ValueFlash Ltd’s VFlash interactive eCRM messenger. VFlash eCRM allows properties to send information such as special offers, promotions, bonus point updates etc. directly to their clients’ computer desktops in Flash format; a flashing icon in the desktop system tray alerts the user to the presence of a new message. (www.pertlink.net)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Hogatex releases Corporate conference room booking application
  • Baltimore Area CVB becomes second Newmarket e-City
  • San Antonio CVB signs with both Passkey and b-there
  • GetThere launches on-line meeting room booking engine, DirectMeetings

Hogatex has released Corporate Conference Manager (CCM), an enhanced version of its Windows-based Conference & Banqueting program aimed at large companies that run their own briefing rooms, management schools and conference centers. A floor plan integration function shows at a glance which meeting rooms are still vacant and which are occupied. The system includes MS Word integration for function sheet and menu management. (www.hogatex.com)
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The Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association has become the second city (after San Diego) to implement Newmarket’s e-City network. Newmarket’s Internet-based NetXchange Meeting Broker (formerly MeetingBroker.com) infrastructure is used to link hotels, event facilities and other hospitality properties with each another so that sales leads and RFPs that arrive at the CVB can be processed and booked more efficiently. (www.newsoft.com)
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The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau (SACVB) has contracted with both Passkey.com and b-there.com, to be the first CVB in the USA to offer two Internet-based convention delegate housing programs for its clients. (www.sanantoniocvb.com)
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Sabre’s GetThere division launched DirectMeetings, adding real-time function room reservation functionality to its Web-based meeting planning product, GetThere. The products is targeted at corporate meeting planners who arrange meetings of less than 100 attendees at short notice. (www.getthere.com, http://public.gtdm.net)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE/ACTIVITY TRACKING

  • MenuLink offers fingerprint verification to time clocks
  • Vivonet Canada shows technology used in MICROS iPOS suite
  • Vail Resorts partners with Open Table to offer dining reservations throughout Beaver Creek
  • VitalLink announces Web-based POS

MenuLink Computer Solutions has added fingerprint verification on its Labor Management System (LMS) to validate employee identification and eliminate “buddy punching”. Each time employees use the time clock, for starting a shift, taking a break or ending a shift, they must place a finger on a small, mouse-like device next to the time clock; this compares the fingerprint with its encoded representation on file. (www.menulink.net)
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Vivonet Canada demonstrated its technology contributions to MICROS’ iPOS product at the NW Food Service Show in Portland, OR. iPOS is part of the mymicros.net Internet-based enterprise management and point of sale suite for the restaurant and hospitality industries, and is due to be launched in May 2001. Other modules include the mymicros.net portal which will allow restaurant managers to create a personalized “digital dashboard” for their operations’ real-time reports.
The portal will also connect to existing POS applications through the mymicros.connect modulem and will include human resources, payroll, scheduling, ordering and inventory valuation functions from the myoffice module. An integrated consumer response solution, iCare, collects feedback tied to each customer’s purchase transaction, allowing real-time customer preference monitoring for the operator. (www.vivonet.com, www.micros.com)
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Vail Resorts has added dining reservations from OpenTable, Inc. to its Website and plans to add it as an in-room Internet service, allowing guests to make dining reservations both before and during their stay. This customized implementation is part of Vail Resorts’ goal of making Beaver Creek the “World’s Most Wired Resort”, which aims to provide its proprietary eVill@ge Virtual Concierge system (with an in-room terminal and high-speed Internet access) in each room in Beaver Creek, so guests can book dinner, buy lift tickets, check the weather, surf the web and more. OpenTable and Vail Resorts are also exploring hotel installations of the OTConcierge solution, to add off-property restaurants to the database. (www.vailresorts.com, www.opentable.com)
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VitalLink Business Systems announced a Web-based point of sale (POS) system which can be customized for quick-service, delivery, carryout and dine-in restaurants. Features include order taking and entry, inventory and cash management, back office reporting and company-wide data consolidation. (www.vitallink.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Venetian provides enhanced cellular service throughout the property
  • Elastic Networks to resell SolutionIP suite
  • Wingate passes 100-Inn mark, all fully-wired for Internet access

The 3,036-room Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino has activated enhanced cellular service from LGC Wireless, using its LGCell and MetroReach Focus products to provide coverage of a 1 million square-foot area within the property with no dead spots. The service supports all five major wireless service vendors (AT&T, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint PCS, Verizon) and the TDMA, CDMA, GSM, iDEN and 3G standards. Guests with Web-enabled Web-phones or PDAs may also access other wireless applications to make room reservations, restaurant reservations, or book show tickets. (www.lgcwireless.com, www.venetian.com)
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Elastic Networks Inc. will resell SolutionInc Ltd’s SolutionIP suite of IP service supply and management software, as well as continuing to sell and support its YesWare software suite for the hospitality market. Offered as a complement to Elastic’s StormTracker system management and provisioning suite, SolutionIP enables end-users to self-provision a range of network services, from delivering plug-and-play Internet access to providing premium services that require a routable IP address.
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Wingate Inns announced that 100 Wingate Inn hotels across the United States now offer LodgeNet’s high-speed Internet access and interactive TV services in all guest rooms, as well as high-speed connectivity in their meeting rooms and public areas. (www.wingateinns.com, www.lodgenet.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Hilton receives EPA Energy Star Award for 2000

Hilton Hotels Corp. has received an Energy Star Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for the year 2000 in the Hospitality category. Energy Star’s five-stage approach addresses lighting; building “tune-ups”; installation of load reducers such as window film, insulation and reflective coverings; fan system upgrades; and heating and cooling system improvements. Last year, Hilton saved more than $2.5 million in energy costs using this organized effort.
For 2001, Hilton is aiming at a “5-5-5″ improvement at its owned and managed properties: an overall reduction of 5 percent in energy use, a savings of 5 percent in energy costs (where applicable), and a 5 percent improvement on the Energy Star Hospitality benchmark tool.
Specific savings cited include $72,000 per year at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York through replacing 1,700 T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts with T8 lamps, and switching 100-watt incandescent bulbs to 13-watt compact fluorescent lamps. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa in Hawaii installed motion-sensored lighting, more efficient kitchen lighting, and window film in the ballroom lounge area, and is currently in the initial phases of installing an overall energy-management system at the property.
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