So Kimpton is acquired by IHG. Interesting? Of course. Surprising? Not to me. I remember being at the Lodging Conference and hearing rumors, but most of them turn out to be false. But then again, once in a while they actually happen. Many of us will be watching to see how Kimpton actually gets rolled into the IHG world. I have been a Kimpton fan for many years. I actually did a deal with them back in the ‘80s when I was selling software to the hotel industry. I used to joke that they were the first company that built hotels to support its restaurants; I was on a first-name basis with the bartenders at Kuleto’s in Union Square when I lived in San Francisco. In my last Siegel Sez I mentioned a road trip I was taking through California. I stayed at a very different Kimpton in Santa Barbara. The Goodland was once a 30-year-old roadside Holiday Inn that was gutted, rooms were redone and the whole place could be what I would call Kimpton-ized. Of course they had a great restaurant as all Kimptons do, but what I found amazing was where it was located. It was in Goleta which is a few miles away from Santa Barbara and it was a very suburban hotel. There was a gas station directly across the street and a typical suburban strip mall on the right. When I think of Kimpton I think of very cool hotels in popular downtown locations. I just figured Kimpton was reinventing itself for some aggressive growth doing a conversion like this. The hotel had only recently opened when I was there and it was a bit of an eye opener for this Kimpton fan. Who would think that just a few weeks later Kimpton would be acquired by the company that owns Holiday Inns? The industry is doing very well and the aforementioned rumors are running rampant all over the place but especially in the technology world. Will there be another announcement before the end of the year? After all we have two weeks to go in the year and not everybody is in holiday season mode. I am a gambling man and if I was betting, I would say yes. We shall see.
I am not big on reunions. I never went to any of my high school reunions. In fact, it seems the only time I ever reconnect with those from my distant past is when somebody’s kid gets married or at a funeral. But two weekends ago I went to the Hotel Information System reunion which was where I started my technology career back in the ‘80s. Wow, what an experience. It is kind of mind blowing talking to somebody and having them think I knew who I was talking to. Then I would realize it was somebody that I was very close with when we worked together. Yes, people change over 30 years. I had a blast reconnecting with a couple of people that let’s just say we weren’t the best of friends back then and laughing about how we didn’t get along. They say time heals all wounds; I am a great believer in that. I really had a great time and the next time I am invited to a reunion anywhere, I am going. In fact I think HFTP should create a big reunion event pre-HITEC and encourage those who were around the industry in the ‘80s to attend. It was fun meeting so many who were in the software business 30 years ago and hearing what they are doing now. I guess one could consider this a benefit of being older, or am I kidding myself. Who can be sure.
This is the last Siegel Sez of the year so let me close by thanking all who read us and especially Jon Inge for the great job he does sharing the latest happenings in the industry. I hope everybody has a great holiday season and let’s all get pumped up for a great 2015. I know I am. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Happy Holidays!
by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge
TOP O’ THE NEWS
- Puzzle Partner launches Next Big Thing portal - Happy Holidays! -------------------------- Puzzle Partner has launched Next Big Thing Travel & Hospitality Technology (NBTworld.com), a news site for technology innovations, emerging trends and startups within the travel and hospitality world that will also feature columns from industry leaders and success experts. The platform will be open for all companies, whether they are small or large, startups or well-known brands, to submit content pertaining to industry issues and how their solutions are delivering better experiences for the traveling public. The site will also be an enabler for companies that have developed B2B solutions to have a way to let the industry know about their products. ** This is the last newsletter of the year, so rather than take up more of your time I’ll just wish you all the very best and thank you all for your support over the past year. May you have all happiness in celebrating whichever holiday you observe at this time, and I’ll talk with you again in the New Year! **
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
- Greg Stanger appointed CFO at Duetto - Michael McCartan joins Duetto as managing director EMEA - Rehan Jaddi promoted to SVP customer support and service solutions at Agilysys - Doug Rice’s contract as CEO of HTNG extended for two years - Heather Leisman joins TripAdvisor as VP industry marketing - Rachel Grier appointed managing director Asia at IDeaS - Bob Post is new president and CEO at Thing5 --------------------------
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort picks Springer-Miller’s Host and Touch POS - Guestline launches GMS version for serviced-apartment and extended-stay properties -------------------------- The 318-room Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has selected the PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ Host Guest Management System and Touch POS. The resort includes three hotels, two-bedroom townhomes, private homes and an RV park. Specific Host modules to be implemented include Multi-Property Management, Owner Fulfillment, Work Order Management and Golf Tee Time Scheduling; the Woodlands Spa already uses Springer-Miller’s SpaSoft. http://www.nemacolin.com, http://www.partech.com ** Guestline has launched a version of its cloud-based GMS for the serviced-apartment and extended-stay sector; early clients include SACO, Prestige and The Spires Serviced Apartments. The application includes a central invoicing module and centralized property management to manage availability for all apartment sites from one location and to manage multiproperty reservations. Online bookings (from their own website, OTAs and the GDS) are integrated with the apartment management software. http://www.guestline.com **
- Wyndham Hotel Group signs with Sabre for SynXis Enterprise Platform - Sabre sells Lastminute.com to Bravofly Rumbo - InnLink certified as TripConnect Premium Partner --------------------------
- Hotel Link Solutions releases HealthCheck service to help hotels balance their digital marketing efforts - HeBS Digital receives IMA Best in Class Award/restaurant category - TravelClick receives nine HSMAI Adrian Awards and four Davey Awards - Stein Eriksen Lodge signs for nSight - OpenBook names REBEL Travel Corp its digital agency of record for digital marketing services - Sam’s Club releases free Sam’s Club Travel mobile app --------------------------
- NORTHWIND partners with SiteMinder - Seminole Casino Hotel implementing Rainmaker’s GuestREV by year end - U.K.’s Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) signs with IDeaS --------------------------
- Groupize announces 15 new property clients - Westin Qingdao selects Newmarket’s MeetingMatrix -------------------------- Groupize has announced 15 new properties for its GBE group booking platform: the Centerstone Inn in Tuscaloosa; the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, Md.; two Your DC Hotels – The Georgetown Inn and Best Western Georgetown Hotel; The Benjamin in New York City; the Lancaster House in Bogota, Colombia; Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Connecticut; and nine InnSuites Hotels & Suites properties. http://www.groupizesolutions.com ** The Westin Qingdao has selected Newmarket International’s MeetingMatrix room diagramming software. The 321-room property has 2,000 square meters of meeting space. http://westin.com/qingdao, http://www.newmarketinc.com **
F&B/POINT OF SALE
- Merchant Link releases Apple Pay™ contactless payment for MICROS POS systems -------------------------- Merchant Link has released Apple Pay™ contactless payment for MICROS’ RES 3700, Simphony and 9700 restaurant point-of-sale systems. The Apple Pay contactless solutions use both Verifone and ViVOtech hardware devices. http://www.merchantlink.com, http://www.micros.com **
- Lancaster London hotel installing beacon mobile tracking technology - Mandarin Oriental, Boston installs FlyteChannel on all guestroom televisions - Marriott gives Enseo preferred vendor status for guestroom entertainment services - Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera deploys Otrum’s IPTV - GuestDriven offering Estimote’s iBeacon sensors to hotel industry --------------------------
- The Merchant Financial Cyber Partnership announces further steps to strengthen payments security -------------------------- The Merchant Financial Cyber Partnership has announced further steps for the financial and merchant industries to strengthen the security of the payments system. The eight next steps include threat information sharing, cyber risk mitigation, advanced card present and card not present security technology and cyber security legislation. The Partnership has sent a letter to Congress outlining joint principles for legislation to enhance cyber security across both industries. Established in February of this year, participants in the Partnership include eight financial associations (American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Electronic Transactions Association, Financial Services Forum, Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America, The Clearing House, NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association) and eleven merchant associations (American Hotel and Lodging Association, Food Marketing Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers, International Franchise Association, Merchant Advisory Group, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association), as well as executives from financial institutions, card companies and merchants. http://fsroundtable.org/cyberpartnership **
- Hotel WiFi Test launches monitoring and certification program -------------------------- Hotel WiFi Test has launched a monitoring and certification program to help hotels with good Wi-Fi to monetize their investments and encourage other hotels to improve their Wi-Fi quality. Travelers will also be able to obtain detailed information about the Wi-Fi quality of hotels participating in the program. An addition to the existing crowdsourced data, the new methodology provides a monitoring device for a hotel to connect to its Wi-Fi network in the same way guests do. The device monitors the quality of Wi-Fi 24/7 and sends the data to Hotel WiFi Test's servers; “quality” covers not just speed but also stability and latency. http://www.hotelwifitest.com/certification/ **
- Zaplox upgrading to version 2.0 -------------------------- Zaplox is upgrading its phone-based lock system to version 2.0 to prepare for integration with more partners and a rapid expansion to include other vendors’ smart services. Version 2.0 also includes a major facelift. http://www.zaplox.com **
And now for you-know-what...
It was the beginning of the holiday season. My business trip went reasonably well, and I was ready to go home.
The airport had turned all sparkly, with areas of tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blaring annoying elevator renditions of Christmas carols. Being someone who took the holidays very seriously, and being slightly tired, I was not in a particularly good mood since I had to check a bag this trip.
Going to check my luggage, I saw mistletoe hanging above the counter. Not real mistletoe, but a very cheap, plastic version with red, chipped paint on some of the round parts and green paint on some of the flatter and pointier parts that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort of way.
With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, I said to the attendant, "Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe."
"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is," the attendant said.
So I glanced up and then down. "Oh, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place you'd have to step forward for a kiss," I said.
"That's not why it's there," she said.
"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?" I asked.
"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye,” she replied.
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