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Publisher's Letter

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October 22, 2020
Publisher's Letter
Rich Siegel

It is no longer about a four letter word. Now, it is all about a five letter word that has a -19 added to it. The pain the pandemic has caused the hotel industry is beyond belief. Every day there is another agonizing story. How do you twist this into something positive? We all know the struggles the hotel industry is dealing with, but what about those companies who rely on the hotel industry to buy their products to be successful? And that includes those who supply technology who I work with every day along with those who buy hotel systems.

The vendors have a voice in this issue and I encourage you to read it for yourself (page 12). This is the start of a series of articles from the vendors' perspective. In this first article, we ask how they see the future and what have they done to survive during this crisis. Of course, we turned right around and talked to those who buy technology for hotels to ask how they are dealing with the state of the industry. As any hotelier will tell you, it isn’t just about buying the right solution for your hotels, it is about doing business with the right vendor. Hotels simply can't succeed without a great relationship with their technology vendors. They need each other. It was nice hearing from many on both sides of the fence. We received some amazing feedback from our summer issue, especially regarding the level of editorial we produce. That makes us a little proud but even after 29 years and all that we have learned we still have things to learn.

Geneva coordinates the great content with our amazing writers in each issue and on page 8 there is a closer look at what we have covered this time. But, let me add a few things. Yes, we have a big focus on the pandemic and how technology comes into play. We have updates from both HSMAI and HFTP as to what is going on with their associations. We also have technology issues that you need to be aware of, pandemic or not. We thank the vendors who support us every issue and you can be sure that they are in this for the long haul. Look at the list on page 127.

During this crazy year we have learned a lot, some good and some not so good. I keep telling friends who have kids can you imagine what it will be like 20 years from now as they share what it was like living through this pandemic? Hopefully, there will never be another year like this. We can dream, right? As many have reinvented themselves during the last six months and have tried different things, we were no different. We launched the Hospitality Upgrade High Five video series where I interview many industry leaders from different venues and always have a little fun with them. Those who were interviewed are on page 124 and more importantly, the short videos are on www.hospitalityupgrade.com/gallery or on our LinkedIn page. If you haven’t seen them, please check them out. I'm confident that you will find them informative and my attempt at humor has some level of success. It has been 29 years since I created this business and have spent my life living in the world of technology for the hotel industry.

I love what I do but the number one reason I love it is because of the people I have met. Many can be called industry friends but there are a lot that have become true friends. I lost one of my true friends recently with the passing of Ron Dressin. Ron and his wife Cherri created Stratton-Warren Systems, an inventory and procurement system that they later sold. And a few years after the sale, they created Red Rock Software. I first met Ron in 1992 and our offbeat personalities just clicked. We became and stayed friends for the past 28 years. Take a moment and go to page 120 to read what Kim Devine, Bob Thomas and Matt Woronkiewicz shared about what it was like working with Ron for so many years. Ron will be missed by many, and I am one of them.

This is our last issue of 2020 though we do a great deal for the industry between issues and through our newsletters. 2020 can't end soon enough! If you are reading this because you're registered for HITEC, please look for us in our vitual cyberbooth durning the week. And we look forward to June 2021 when we will be together at HITEC again. This I promise! Goodbye 2020! 

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