Siegel Sez

September 15, 2011

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

There is no other way to explain this, I am crashing. The last eight days have been a whirlwind. It started with a trip to San Diego to see our little filly run at Del Mar.  Kilted Tilt ran her heart out for 5/8 of a mile, unfortunately the race was 6/8 of a mile long and she got tired. But it was her first race and all in all, a great experience. She came back happy, you have to love that. I must thank Scott Sloan the general manager at the beautiful Del Mar Hilton, for being a great guy and having a great hotel. That was the start of the eight days, at the other end was my annual trek to Las Vegas with 14 guys to have our fantasy football draft. This weekend really makes me laugh. As one guy explained, this is his one weekend pass of the year: he leaves his wife and kids at home and spends the weekend drinking, gambling and never sleeping. Yes, there is nothing like a guys’ weekend once a year to be silly and do nothing but talk football. I just wish I could figure out a way to draft a better team. Our league has been in existence for 18 years and I haven’t had a winning season in ages. But at least I know the reason for my terrible drafting abilities. And that would be the third part of the whirlwind eight days.  But before I go there I must thank Colleen Birch from the Cosmopolitan for making our Las Vegas stay memorable. None of the guys in my group had ever stayed at the Cosmopolitan before and they were “wowed”. What a fun weekend it was.

It was the trip to Miami between horse racing and football that really caused my crash. Last week was the 10th Hospitality Upgrade CIO Summit and how a little business like ours pulled something like this off is beyond me. I remember standing in front of the room welcoming everyone to the event, and while I couldn’t remember what I was saying, I can tell you what I was thinking: simply, wow.  We had the leaders of technology from every major hotel company including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood and Mandarin Oriental along with many other brands. We had more management companies in attendance than ever before.  Gaming companies were there including the two biggest, MGM Mirage and Caesars Entertainment. We had vacation ownership companies and cruise lines. I am standing there welcoming over a hundred attendees, speakers and sponsors and all I could think about was 10 years ago when we did our first summit and 21 people attended.  I was so proud that Tom O’Toole was in the room.  Tom is the SVP/COO of United Airlines Mileage Plus Holdings, but 10 years ago he was the SVP at Hyatt Hotels and he inspired me to create the CIO Summit. Yes, my mind was racing, it was simply one of those moments we all hope to have in life. There are too many highlights to share right now, but there are two that stick out right now. The first was White Lodging’s Ken Barnes holding a 35-pound fish, which he caught on our first deep sea fishing trip. Yes, we were all screaming, “Shark,” as he spent nearly half an hour trying to reel his catch in. That was fun.  The second highlight was watching Caesars Entertainment, White Lodging and IHG get up in front of the room and tell their peers why they are participating in the HUTechShare initiative. If you are a hotel company and want to know what technology is being installed in hotels around the world, then please contact Lisa D’Angelo at If you are a vendor and want to make sure your products are listed in our database, please contact Kate O’Neil immediately at or call 678-802-5304. It is a great feeling knowing you have created an initiative that everyone you want to participate in will. What a rush that was.  We will have a total review of our CIO Summit in the next issue of our magazine, Hospitality Upgrade, including some pictures that I promise will make you laugh. If you don’t receive our magazine, please go to and subscribe. We will have videos from the conference on our site as well as photos that didn’t make it into the magazine. Special thanks to Mandarin Oriental’s Monika Nerger for being our unofficial host. The Miami Mandarin Oriental property was simply spectacular. Ten years later and who would ever have guessed?  I hope I will be allowed this one day to crash.

We are now into the fall season of conferences and events.  Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online will be at many upcoming events, including the HFTP Annual Conference that is here in Atlanta. The fall season of events really ends with the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show in New York.  Hospitality Upgrade will once again be sponsoring the Technology Innovation Pavilion at IH/M&RS and this year a theatre has been added to allow those participating in the pavilion to share where they are going with their products. If you are a vendor and would like more information on participating in the Technology Innovation Pavilion please contact Kate at  This is one year I am really looking forward to being back in New York in the fall. I have been attending IH/M&RS since college and I am not going to tell you how long ago that was.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of what has been happening the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge



- Personal connections
A couple more news items this week about products that help guests bypass the front desk when checking in set me thinking.  This approach isn’t something that appeals to me personally, but there’s clearly a demand for it or so many vendors and hotel companies wouldn’t be experimenting with it.

When arriving at a hotel, I (and many others I’ve discussed this with) usually feel a sense of relaxation, almost of coming home even for a short while, and welcome the warmth of a human greeting.  If there’s a long, long line of guests waiting to check in I’ll certainly look around for a kiosk, but in general a personal smile and sense of contact mean a lot.  It’s not just the feeling of being personally appreciated for my business and as a human being, it’s also a small but valued reassurance that someone at the property knows I’m there.

So here’s a question for those of you who would much prefer to bypass the desk every time and get straight to your room quickly and without distraction: is a personal connection with the property unimportant to you, or do you get that feeling some other way, such as through personalized pre-arrival emails or other messages?  Does the cool satisfaction of using the latest tech approach matter more, even if it takes a couple more steps than just waving or swiping a card?  Is personal safety in case of an emergency not something you think about, or do you assume that the hotel, through its technology, will know you’re on property and make sure you’re safe? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but I’m genuinely curious as to what matters more to you.  Drop me a note at and let me know.  Thanks!


- Millennium & Copthorne extends IDeaS to five U.S. properties
- IDeaS integrates RMS with SiteMinder’s Channel Manager
- IDeaS releases version 6.0
- EZYield appoints Compass Edge its reseller and channel sales partner in mainland China
- Yellowstone Hotel Systems integrates OpenBook reservation system with Digonex’s dynamic pricing
- eRevMax International celebrates 10th corporate anniversary
- Rainmaker Group ranked No. 2907 in Inc. 5,000
- HNA Hotels and Resorts in China picks EasyRMS
- PROS to incorporate competitive price data from Lixto
For more information on Revenue Management for 09/15/11


- Revel Entertainment selects Passkey’s GroupMAX for new resort
- National Center for Educational Development, Oklahoma City picks The Knowland Group’s Target Net
- TRX announces additional functions for Hotel Spend Management

For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 09/15/11


- Cedar Point Amusement Park implements MICROS’ S i mphony POS and OPERA
- Vienna International Hotelmanagement selects MICROS for POS and materials control
The Cedar Point Amusement Park has implemented MICROS Systems’ S i mphony for the park’s point of sale and OPERA as the guest management system for the park’s six lodging properties (Hotel Breakers, Sandcastle Suites, Lighthouse Point, Camper Village, Breakers Express and Castaway Bay).  Over 400 MICROS workstations are implemented throughout the park’s restaurant and concession areas. 

Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG has selected MICROS as the preferred technology vendor for POS and materials control at its 33 hotels and resorts across Europe.,


- Cedar Point Amusement Park implements MICROS’ OPERA and Simphony POS
- Orient-Express Hotels selects MICROS’ OPERA and POS for 49 properties
- Alrov Properties & Lodging to implement MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise for four hotels
- Fitzpatrick Hotel Group picks Infor-SoftBrands’s HMS for two properties
- buuteeq and HMS InfoTech form sales and marketing partnership
- NAU School of Hotel and Restaurant Management installs MSI’s WinPM GMS and Place Point POS
- Copper Mountain Resort selects Agilysys’ Visual One suite
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 09/15/11


- Quadriga acquires SmoovieTV
- Quadriga to launch 3-D video on-demand system
- Atlantic Resort and Spa installs FlyteBoard and FlytePass
- The Pierre, New York installs Bartech automatic minibars
- Guest-tek licenses Blue Pond Media’s ACT: Art, Culture & Travel HD Video programming
- Morgans adds Intelity ICE to Delano in Miami, Hudson in New York
- SuiteLinq interfaces with HotSOS for guest request fulfillment
- FCS appoints Fentons as its partner in Sri Lanka
- Aloft New York Brooklyn implements VingCard Elsafe's VISIONLINE locks, Orion energy management
- Hilton Dallas installs guestLINK connectivity panels in all 500 guestrooms
- Hyatt Regency Sacramento implements PSAV managed network services
- KoolConnect introduces multimodular 1Connect in-room services
- TiVUS debuts free-to-hotel ad-supported e-SmartRoom IPTV, HSIA and 42-inch TV
For more information on Guest Services for 09/15/11


- Libra OnDemand to incorporate four new functions
- Strand Development Corp implements Knowland Group’s Target Net at 23 properties
- Travelport to resell TravelClick Headline screen display advertising to Galileo, Worldspan
- Infor to deliver three applications built on social enterprise platform
- STR Analytics releases DataCast report, allowing user adjustments within data-driven parameters
- Las Vegas Sands picks SAS Analytics to support Patron Value Optimization
- TRX announces additional functions to Hotel Spend Management services
- StarCite launches business intelligence suite
- Vizergy ranked No. 4007 on Inc. 5,000 fastest-growing private companies
For more information on Marketing/Management for 09/15/11


- Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills, Calif., installing InvoTech Systems’ GIMS Uniform System
The Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills, Calif., is installing InvoTech Systems’ GIMS Uniform System inventory software with UHF RFID tags in all garment items as part of its two-year renovation, due to be completed in mid-October.,


- Encelium Technologies introduces new range of low-voltage occupancy sensors
- Vienna International Hotelmanagement selects MICROS as preferred technology vendor for materials control
- InterContinental launches version 2.0 of Innovation Hotel online showcase
For more information on Engineering for 09/15/11


- Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills, Calif., installs InvoTech Systems’ SAMS Security System
- ASSA ABLOY’s Mobile Keys Solution best self-service product in Casino Enterprise Management magazine's HOT Awards
The Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills, Calif., is installing InvoTech Systems’ SAMS Security System as part of its two-year renovation, due to be completed in mid-October.  SAMS includes key tracking, visitor logs, dispatch logs, incident reports, lost and found and lockers and locks., 
ASSA ABLOY’s newly launched Mobile Keys Solution using VingCard Elsafe electronic locks won the self-service products category in Casino Enterprise Management magazine's annual Hospitality Operations Technology (HOT) Awards.  The Mobile Keys Solution combines VingCard Elsafe's VISIONLINE system, RFID (radio frequency identification) and advanced NFC (near-field communication) technology to let hotel guests check in remotely via computers or Web-enabled mobile devices, then bypass the front desk at check-in by using their NFC-enabled mobile phones as virtual guestroom keys.  Guests' hotel room numbers and digital encrypted hotel keys are sent to their mobile phones.  


- Tina Stehle promoted to SVP and COO at Agilysys
- Tony Ross promoted to VP sales for hospitality solutions at Agilysys Hospitality Solutions Group
- Brad Becker appointed chief experience officer at buuteeq
- Rob Frerichs appointed VP of sales North America at buuteeq
- Rachel Grier joins Pegasus Solutions as VP business development, ASPAC
- Eric Mason joins NAVIS as EVP, strategy and corporate development
- John Hameline appointed account manager - United States by Intello
- Simon Ferguson joins Travelport as regional director, United Kingdom and Ireland
- Tim James hired by EZYield as regional director of sales, United Kingdom and Ireland
- Paul Mazzuchelli has joined SPI Software as senior project manager
- OpenTravel announces 2011-2012 board of directors
For more information on People on the Move for 09/15/11


- BACKBID lets travelers post existing hotel reservations, invite competitive bids
- Yellowstone Hotel Systems adds Digonex dynamic pricing to OpenBook reservation system
- InnPoints Worldwide and CARINO Hotels and Resorts merge
- Marriott announces “perfect travel companion” mobile app
- Sabre names nuTravel as a Preferred Booking Engine provider for North American agency clients
For more information on Reservations for 09/15/11


And now for you-know-what...

Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of feminine hygiene products and preceded to the checkout counter.

The man at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?"

"Eight," the boy replied.

The man continued, "Do you know what these are used for?"

The boy replied, "Not exactly, but they aren't for me.  They're for him.  He's my brother. He's four. We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do either."

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