September 30, 2008

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services


TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Hilton, Choice Scandinavia recognized for technical excellence
  • Ensure your new TVs are compatible with your supplier’s programming and security before you buy them!

Two hotel chains have been acknowledged for their innovative use of technology: Hilton Hotels has been named #2 on the InformationWeek 500 list of top innovators, and Choice Hotels Scandinavia has been nominated for an Excellence in Innovation Award from Microsoft.
Hilton was recognized for the extent to which it uses its OnQ platform for IT-facilitated customer service; OnQ encompasses property management, reservations, e-commerce, CRM, HR, e-learning and BI. InformationWeek also cited Hilton’s development of a Linux-based Distributed Availability Engine to ease the traffic load on its reservation system, its move towards a single Web site content management system, the ability for its guests to select a room from a floor plan when booking a Homewood Suite property and its use of in-room guest service kiosks and connection panels.
Other hospitality companies listed in the InformationWeek 500 included Aramark, Darden Restaurants, Harrah’s Entertainment, Marriott International, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun Resort and Travelport GDS.
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Microsoft nominated Choice Hotels Scandinavia for an Excellence in Innovation Award for its centrally-hosted implementation of Cenium’s integrated system across 160 properties. Cenium, which is based on Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV (Navision) platform, replaced a mix of 10 different finance systems and 15 front desk systems; it covers property management, conference booking, POS (retail and F&B), back office financials, spa management and other activities bookings. A Dynamic Pricing (revenue management) module was implemented within two months of Choice’s specifications, and is credited with increasing revenues by 38%.
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Finally, another reminder to all properties buying flat-panel TV monitors for their guestrooms: please don’t do this before talking to the vendor supplying your programming! Once again I’ve heard of hotels spending considerable sums on new TVs and only later finding out that they weren’t compatible with the High Definition or digital rights security approach used by their programming supplier, whether pay-per-view or free-to-guest. Compatibility matters: discuss it with your provider before buying!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Wendy Couch joins EZYield.com as East Coast sales manager
  • Wyndham consolidates distribution, channel management and reservations under Jeff Edwards
  • Cindy McCall promoted to Vice President of Marketing at CBORD
  • Jim Vinson hired as director of commercial sales at Onity
  • TripIt draws from Yahoo!, Travelocity and Mozilla in expanding its management team

Wendy Couch has joined EZYield.com as East Coast sales manager, based in Boca Raton, Fla. Ms. Couch was previously a market manager for Orbitz Worldwide.
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Wyndham Hotel Group has announced consolidation of its distribution, channel management and reservations functions under Jeff Edwards, chief information officer and executive vice president, revenue services. Mr. Edwards has served in these roles since December 2005.
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Cindy McCall has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing at CBORD from Director of Marketing. Ms. McCall joined CBORD in 2002 as a marketing manager.
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Jim Vinson has been hired as director of commercial sales at Onity. Mr. Vinson brings over 30 years experience in the commercial access control market, most recently as vice president of USA Sales for Simons Voss and earlier as president of Northern Computers and president of SECURITYINC.
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Online travel organizer TripIt announced an expanded management team. Will Aldrich has joined TripIt as vice president product; he was previously a senior product director at Yahoo! Peter Harrison is TripIt’s new vice president marketing, joining from Travelocity. TripIt co-founder Scott Hintz moves from product to vice president business development. John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla Corporation, has joined TripIt’s board of directors.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • SoftHotel appoints AutoClerk as a Value Added Reseller
  • Gateway Canyons implements Agilysys’ Visual One PMS/S&C, Stratton Warren , InfoGenesis and Guest eMarketing
  • M Resort, Spa and Casino picks Agilysys’ LMS, Stratton Warren and Visual One Spa
  • Darden School of Business installs MSI’s WinPM and WinSAM
  • East West Resorts selects SPI’s condo hotel software for Westin Riverfront Resort, Avon, CO

SoftHotel has appointed AutoClerk as a “white label” Value Added Reseller; AutoClerk will re-brand SoftHotel as its next-generation web-based property system, AutoClerk OnLine. AutoClerk OnLine will also include the SoftHotelPMX (property managed exchange) distribution subsystem. (www.autoclerk.com, www.softhotelpmx.com)
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Gateway Canyons has implemented an applications suite from Agilysys, including the Visual One property management and Sales & Catering systems, Stratton Warren System (SWS) for inventory and procurement solution (including Bar Coding , Menu/Recipe Analysis and Retail, InfoGenesis POS and Guest eMarketing (GeM) for guest correspondence and marketing management. Gateway Canyons, in western Colorado, includes the Dolores River Inn, Canyon Casitas and Kiva Lodge, plus fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, river sports, rock climbing, two restaurants, a general store, an adventure center, numerous educational programs and an auto museum. A second phase will include a luxury spa and 18-hole golf course.
The M Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas has selected a suite of applications from Agilysys, including Lodging Management System (LMS), Stratton Warren System (SWS) for inventory and procurement, and Visual One Spa Management System. M Resort, Spa and Casino, located at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip and scheduled to open in March next year, includes 390 guest rooms and suites, over 92,000 square feet of gaming space and more than 60,000 square feet of meeting and conference space.
(www.gatewaycanyons.com, www.themresort.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Sponsors Executive Residence Center at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has installed MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.)’s WinPM property management software and WinSAM sales and catering software. Sponsors, a 181 unit executive residential property, is located on the grounds of the Darden School of Business. The installations were MSI’s first to use Microsoft’s Vista platform. (www.darden.edu, www.msisolutions.com)
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East West Resorts has selected Systems Products International (SPI)’s condo hotel software for implementation at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon, Colorado. (www.eastwestresort.com, www.spiinc.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Marriott to launch website for group travel intermediaries
  • Marriott signs new multi-year distribution agreement with Booking.com
  • GoPlanit launching planning tool for personalized trips
  • Hotelzon UK introduces real-time mobile phone hotel booking for Nokia smartphones
  • Sunvil implementing Dolphin Dynamics in its retail travel division
  • Advantage Travel Centre names Dolphin Dynamics as a Preferred Supplier
  • Accor Hospitality renews global agreement with TravelCLICK
  • Hotels.com announces Visualiser search engine based on travelers’ selections of images
  • Splendia.com signs with Pegasus for UltraDirect connectivity

Marriott will launch a website in October to provide group travel intermediaries with online access to all of their payments, future meetings on the books, news and special promotions, accessible only by industry-accredited group intermediaries. The commission functionality will initially be offered only to intermediaries in North America who participate in Marriott’s centralized group commission program, and will then be expanded to other countries.
Marriott International has signed a new multi-year distribution agreement with Booking.com covering all of Marriott’s nearly 3,000 properties worldwide. Earlier this year, Marriott also renewed a similar agreement with priceline.com’s Travelweb business unit. (www.marriott.com)
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GoPlanit is launching a planning tool that creates a personalized trip based on a traveler’s preferences and budget, suggesting the most popular and highest-rated items for each destination and taking into consideration the location of each recommended item, hours of operation, and friends’ recommendations. Friends can be added as moderators or guests; moderators can modify the trip’s details while guests will see a read-only version of the group’s plans. (www.goplanit.com)
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Hotelzon UK has introduced a real-time mobile phone hotel booking application for the latest Nokia smartphones. The software includes GPS-location based search, city/country based search, Advanced search for more detailed data and My Reservations, for browsing and canceling the current reservation. (www.hotelzon.com/mobile)
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Tour operator Sunvil is implementing Dolphin Dynamics’ booking management module within its retail travel division, including automated booking capture and invoicing tools. Dolphin will automate pricing, reporting, customer profiling, accounting and document production functions, and will provide an interface with Galileo to import customer and booking data.
Advantage Travel Centre has named Dolphin Dynamics as a Preferred Supplier. Dolphin’s management reporting will be enhanced to allow Advantage’s head office to obtain booking and transaction information from its members electronically.
(www.dolphind.com)
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Accor Hospitality has renewed its global agreement with TravelCLICK for hotel distribution management, market intelligence and GDS media solutions for all of its hotels worldwide. (www.accor.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Hotels.com announced its Visualiser search engine, which generates hotel suggestions from travelers’ selections of images from ranges covering the type of destination, preferred activities, restaurant style, evening entertainment preferences, overall mood for the trip, etc. Slider bars allow the user to vary the search from no frills to luxury, and from more modern to traditional. (http://hotels.visualdna.com)
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Barcelona-based Splendia.com has contracted for Pegasus Solutions’ UltraDirect to provide access to luxury chain hotels to complement its own offering of 2,500 luxury and character hotels. (www.splendia.com, www.pegs.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS now PCI-certified
  • TravelCLICK wins 16 WMA awards for website design excellence
  • Kimpton chooses Market Metrix’s customer satisfaction survey system
  • Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa contracts for UniFocus’ GUESTScope
  • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to deploy GUESTScope throughout its facilities
  • GuestCentric Systems releases marketing performance tools
  • Sage Hospitality implements ProfitSword business intelligence at all 49 managed properties
  • Distinguished International picks Cendyn for website services

TravelCLICK’s iHotelier central reservation system has been certified by ControlCase as meeting the payment card industry (PCI) Data Security Standards for credit card processing.
TravelCLICK has won 16 awards for website design excellence in the Web Marketing Association’s 2008 International WebAward competition. Its iStay booking engine was also named as the best web interactive application for the hotel and lodging industry.
(www.travelclick.net)
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Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has chosen Market Metrix’s real-time customer satisfaction survey system. Kimpton first retained Market Metrix in 2005, to help increase employee engagement. (www.KimptonHotels.com, www.marketmetrix.com
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The 170-room Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa has contracted for UniFocus’ GUESTScope, to be used in all areas of the property.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will deploy GUESTScope throughout its facilities. The Resort covers over 2,750 acres and includes three condominium hotels, three boutique lodges, six restaurants, four retail locations and a number of ski-in/ski-out town homes and private mountain residences.
(www.stoneleighhotel.com, www.kickinghorseresort.com, www.unifocus.com)
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GuestCentric Systems has released marketing performance tools to help independent hoteliers track performance and increase visibility for their property’s website. The new Dashboard feature offers a single overview of key online metrics, including graphs showing daily number of visits, number of unique visitors, time spent on each page, visitor statistics by country, detailed information on the booking engine interaction, real-time information on total revenue generated. The Dashboard also provides a status bar indicating how hoteliers can use the GuestCentric platform to optimize revenue and visibility. (http://www.guestcentric.com)
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Sage Hospitality has implemented ProfitSword to provide business intelligence services at all 49 Sage-managed properties. Sage began using ProfitSword’s ProfitSage Financial Suite in May this year, and recently completed the implementation. (www.sagehospitality.com, www.profitsword.com)
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Distinguished International Hotels, Residences and Resorts has selected Cendyn to host and manage its corporate website, implement a multiple property booking engine, and increase its online visibility. Distinguished International will use Cendyn’s eVisibility for search engine optimization, pay-per-click and linking strategies, ePresence website design services, eBooker multiple-property booking engine and eCMS site editing and content management system. (www.distinguishedhotels.com, www.cendyn.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Carmel Partners implementing Rainmaker’s revolutionLRO at over 19,000 units
  • Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Miss. installs Rainmaker’s revolution Product Suite

Carmel Partners is implementing The Rainmaker Group’s revolutionLRO multifamily housing revenue optimization application at over 19,000 units after a 12-month pilot test in eight communities. LRO will be installed across 57 communities totaling nearly 14,500 units in late 2008, and includes a two-way interface with Carmel Partners’ MRI property management and accounting systems.
The 494-room Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi has installed Rainmaker’s revolution Product Suite, fully interfaced to the hotel’s Agilysys PMS.
(www.carmelpartners.net, www.hollywoodcasinotunica.com, www.letitrain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Newmarket certifies LateMeetings.com as MeetingBroker channel partner
  • Marriott to introduce self-paced online training for travel industry meetings professionals
  • Mohegan Sun picks Passkey for group meetings management

Newmarket International has certified UK-based search engine LateMeetings.com as its newest MeetingBroker channel partner, allowing booking requests from meeting planners using LateMeetings.com to be distributed directly to venues with Newmarket’s MeetingBroker system. LateMeetings.com has over 4500 venues listed and over 1500 in full membership. (www.latemeetings.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Marriott plans to introduce Meetings Excellence self-paced, online training courses for travel industry meetings professionals in early 2009. The program will focus on hotel segment differentiation, Marriott’s brands and planning a successful meeting, and will be translated into nine languages. (www.marriott.com)
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Mohegan Sun has selected Passkey for group meetings management, and will offer every group or meeting its own customized hotel reservation website for event attendees to make and manage their hotel reservations and planners to track hotel block pick-up and reservation status. (www.mohegansun.com, www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Vendue Inn implements Capton’s RFID-based Beverage Tracker
  • Tripleseat Software launches Web-based sales and catering application

The Vendue Inn in Charleston, South Carolina has implemented Capton’s RFID-based Beverage Tracker solution. (www.vendueinn.com, www.captoninc.com)
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Tripleseat Software has launched its Web-based sales and catering application targeted at private dining rooms and catering operations. (www.tripleseat.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Telkonet granted new powerline communications, thermostat patents
  • Three CityCenter hotels to use Control4 Corp’s in-room technology
  • B.F. Saul Company to install FlyteBoard at three properties
  • TeleAdapt announced AudioHub product line
  • KoolConnect lets guests using TeleAdapt’s passive MediaHub use TV remote control to switch media source

Telkonet has been granted four new powerline communications technology (PLC) patents for delivering optimum performance with consistent signal levels and fast network speeds, providing effective ways to couple the PLC signal into multiple electrical panels and 3-phase meter banks. Telkonet also received a patent for the thermostat design incorporated in its SmartEnergy occupancy-driven in-room energy management system. (www.telkonet.com)
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Three of the hotels at MGM Mirage’s CityCenter (the 4,000-room Aria, 400-room Mandarin Oriental and 400-room Harmon Hotel) will use Control4 Corp’s in-room technology system for guests’ customized environment control. The system allows guests to save their settings for lights, television, music, room temperature and draperies from a remote; the room also recognizes the guest when he or she enters or leaves and automatically adjusts the settings. The technology includes keyless door systems and a 42-inch high-definition flat-screen television with guest-device connectivity panel. The television also serves as a communications center that displays voice mails and other information, and as the clock radio which wakes guests gradually through controlled temperature, lighting, curtain openings and preferred music. Each hotel room will be networked with 1 gigabit of bandwidth for wireless Internet capabilities. (www.citycenter.com, www.control4.com)
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The B.F. Saul Company Hotel Division has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard at the Holiday Inn Dulles and plans installations at its other two properties, the Holiday Inn National Airport and the Crowne Plaza National Airport. (www.bfsaul.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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TeleAdapt announced its AudioHub product line, designed to let guest’s laptops, iPods, MP3 players and other audio devices play their music through the in- room television or sound system. The Audio Pull-Through incorporates a single headphone-jack audio cable; the Audio/Video Pull-Through cable has an iPod/iPhone 30 pin dock connector on the guest side. The AudioSpool features an audio jack cable housed in a retractable hub.
KoolConnect Technologies has created on screen cues and settings that allow guests connecting their devices via TeleAdapt’s MediaHub connectivity panel to change the source of their media content using the TV remote control. (www.teleadapt.com, www.koolconnect.com)
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