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Siegel Sez

January 08, 2016

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

In the thoroughbred horse world all horses regardless when they were born become a year older on January 1. Our horse B Three is now a 3-year-old. In the business world all companies regardless when they were launched also become a year older so we are now 23 years old. Yikes, we must all be getting older! It is also the time of year when companies reflect on what they did right and expand on that and also look back at what didn’t go so well and attempt to correct. I love this time of year when we reflect and then look ahead. There is also the personal side of life which is why resolutions are so popular. If you are like me, you say you don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions but you know you are lying to yourself. It is a great time to think about what you want or need to change. Even if nothing happens, the thought process is important and maybe you will lose that extra weight, become healthier or finally do that one thing you have wanted to do forever and have never done. I believe this thought process only lasts the first couple of weeks of the year, but I think it is great that we all do it. Trying and failing beats avoiding failure by not trying any day of the week! 

One of the changes from the business side that I learned about last year is the continuing influx into the U.S. market of technology companies that have had success in other parts of the world. I have met many of them and thankfully you will read about them in our upcoming issue of Hospitality Upgrade. They also will be joining us at our 12th Executive Vendor Summit on March 31 here in Atlanta which we have been told is the most unique event of the year since if you are a vendor there isn’t anybody attending you can sell to, only technology companies with which to partner and share.  When we started this in 2005, never in my wildest imagination did we think it would grow the way it has, but this industry is based on vendors working together so it does make sense. If you are a technology company and have never been, please contact Anne Boon at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com, or call (678) 802-5304. The EVS is by invitation only and there isn’t a charge to attend though we do share the cost. We have some great surprises in store, which is the advantage of having it in our home town.

Yes, 2015 was a very interesting year. Thankfully it was a very prosperous year for those companies that do business with us. Hospitality Upgrade launched our quirky but very cool Watercooler e-newsletter that reaches those following technology all over the world. (If you don’t receive the Watercooler newsletter, please click here to add it to your subscription. It’s free.) As we look back at all the changes in the industry we can’t help but wonder what is in store for 2016. The one thing I can be sure of is that there will be a few surprises along the way. Here is hoping that everybody has a great 2016!

Here now is the real reason we are here, Dan Phillips’ highlight of the recent technology happenings in the industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what! Happy New Year!


Technology NEWSSTAND

Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips


For many hotels, this next quarter is a bit of a slow season.  If that is the case for you, take the time to consider some of the following ideas.  Train your staff – in the Piqued Interest section below there is an article about Rosewood Hotels getting its IT staff CHTP certified; consider cross training your employees, offering much more flexibility when the busy season hits, and go back to your trusted technology vendors and retrain staff and look to new developments for existing solutions.  Budgets were just completed, now spend the time to implement plans to bring those forecasts and plans into fruition; I am hoping some of those plans included technology upgrades or replacements.  And, take the time to learn more about the technologies that are available in our industry; start with your own vendors and then branch out to see what their competitors are doing as well.  Keep up with Hotel-Online and Hospitality Upgrade for the latest news and trends that affect your business.

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- Millions of Unique Travel Tips with SAS Making it Easier for Tourists
- Kube Systems Reveals Wireless Magnetic Resonance Charging Solution at CES 2016
- LG Introduces Bigger LG Styler for B2B Market at CES 2016
For more information on Guest Services for 01/08/16


- ARIA Resort & Casino Redefines Guest Experience with Launch of Unprecedented In-room Technology
- UIEvolution Receives $5.0M from Mirai Creation Fund
ARIA Resort & Casino Redefines Guest Experience with Launch of Unprecedented In-room Technology
Reimagining the guest experience with modern-day convenience, ARIA Resort & Casino has collaborated with Crave Interactive, a cutting-edge guest service software company, to create the largest-ever installation of the provider’s in-room hotel tablets. Enhancing the resort’s AAA Five Diamond service, the tablets will offer a hyper-tailored guest experience with new amenities such as digital in-room dining orders, one-touch spa service requests and an endless stream of news in multiple languages. ARIA’s Crave tablets will be offered in all 4,004 guestrooms, with further customized services for Deluxe Rooms, Tower Suites and Sky Suites’ guests. The installation will roll out through multiple phases and future enhancements will include retail ordering, M life status and Tier Credit updates, customized messaging, tablet skins and graphics, social media and much more.
http://www.mgmresorts.com, http://www.crave-emenu.com  
UIEvolution Receives $5.0M from Mirai Creation Fund
UIEvolution Inc., a global leader in highly scalable connected device software platforms for the automotive, hotel and cruise industries, announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), that it received an investment of $5 million from the Mirai Creation Fund, founded last year by SPARX Group Co., Ltd., in partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. With this investment, UIEvolution aims to accelerate its advancements in its Internet of Things (IoT) technology and services, continuing its momentum of excellence in the connected car experience, pairing automobiles with smartphones and the Internet. UIEvolution, in partnership with TMC, will develop the standard middleware for head units and deploy globally.


- Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas Resorts Launches Self Check-In Kiosks Citywide
- U.S. Hotel Construction at Highest Point Since 2009
- International Visitors to the U.S. Spending Nearly $265M Less per Month in 2015, Down 1% Over 2016
- Number of Foreign Visitors to Japan Tops 19 Million
For more information on Top O' the News for 01/08/16


- MSI Names Matt Ezor as Latest Addition to Its Senior Team
- New Boss for Newmarket
- GuestTek Appoints Gregory Lindsay as Chief Operating Officer
- HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts Appoints Ray Sims as Vice President of Business Development Americas
- Philippe Roux-Dessarps Named Vice President of Global Brands by Hyatt
- Centara Hotels & Resorts Introduces Four New Group Directors of Operations
- Club Med Appoints Michelle Lardizabal as Vice President of Sales for the USA
- Salik Mangrio Appointed Senior Director of Regional Sales at Hyatt Sales Force GCC
- Eldorado Resorts, Inc., Announces Senior Management Changes
- Gianpaolo Bellomunno Appointed Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing of Mexico’s Velas Resorts
- Aparium Hotel Group Appoints Angela Kuzma as Corporate Director of Food and Beverage
- UniFocus Taps Autumn Moss as Director of Marketing
- ProfitSword Announces Strategic Appointments to Executive Team
For more information on People on the Move for 01/08/16


- Agilysys Chosen by Suncadia to Streamline Food and Beverage Operations
Agilysys Chosen by Suncadia to Streamline Food and Beverage Operations
Suncadia, a Destination Hotel in Cle Elum, Wash., has selected Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS) to streamline food and beverage operations, enhance guest service and provide secure credit card payment. Agilysys, a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, will implement a solution suite that includes InfoGenesis® POS, InfoGenesis® Flex and rGuest® Pay. The Suncadia management team wanted fully integrated point-of-sale and payment gateway solutions that would optimize food and beverage delivery while securing sensitive cardholder data.


- Regatta Travel Solutions Begins Offering Air + Hotel Booking Engine to Destination and Hotel Booking Engine Customers
Regatta Travel Solutions Begins Offering Air + Hotel Booking Engine to Destination and Hotel Booking Engine Customers
Regatta Travel Solutions announced that it will begin to offer an Air + Hotel booking engine for both destination and hotel customers. This new combined booking capability is the result of Regatta’s recently formed partnership with LeisureLink, a leading provider of innovative travel distribution technology. Regatta’s booking engine currently powers many of the hotel associations and tourism boards throughout the Caribbean. This new capability is expected to open new doors in the region as well as in Mexico where combined air and hotel bookings are a priority for destination marketing organizations (DMOs).
http://www.regattatravelsolutions.com, http://www.LeisureLink.com  


- Benchmark Hospitality International Honored with Gold, Silver & Bronze Adrian Awards from HSMAI
- Flip.to Engages New Audience of Travelers for Tides Hotel at Folly Beach
Benchmark Hospitality International Honored with Gold, Silver & Bronze Adrian Awards from HSMAI
Benchmark Hospitality International was the recipient of multiple 2015 Adrian Awards of excellence in Web design and public relations programming. Benchmark was recently informed of the honor by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), which is the host of the annual, global competition.
http://www.benchmarkhospitality.com, http://www.hsmai.org
Flip.to Engages New Audience of Travelers for Tides Hotel at Folly Beach
Tides Hotel, an oceanfront property in the town of Folly Beach, S.C., has engaged a new audience of travelers with Flip.to, an advocacy platform for hotels. Advocacy has grown to be an impactful part of the hotel’s marketing and revenue strategy, where guests are excited the share their experiences at a specific hotel or resort property. The Flip.to platform was easy to implement and advocacy has blended seamlessly into the Tides Hotel, as the property has reached more than 400,000 connections through advocacy. These potential guests fall into a pool of like-minded travelers with similar interests and purchasing habits as the advocates for the hotel. This reveals an opportunity to inspire and motivate these new travelers through the perspectives and experiences of their guests — a more powerful message than some traditional means of advertising.



- Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for Classic Hotels & Resorts
Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for Classic Hotels & Resorts
Duetto, a market leader in hotel profit optimization technology, announced that it will implement its revenue strategy solutions for Classic Hotels & Resorts, bringing new insights on pricing and demand to the luxury hotel collection in Arizona and California. Duetto will launch its services at five of the properties, beginning with the 744-room Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, The Inn at Laguna Beach, La Playa Carmel, Laguna Beach House and Hotel Carmel.


- Knowland Announces Powerful New Version of Insight Platform
Knowland Announces Powerful New Version of Insight Platform
Knowland, a leading business intelligence provider for the global meetings and events industry, announced the release of an enhanced version of its popular Insight platform. Insight is used by thousands of hotels to help them strategically identify new group meeting opportunities.


- Hyatt Latest Victim of Breach
Hyatt Latest Victim of Breach
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced that it is the latest victim of malware activity in the hospitality industry. The company reported that it recently identified malware on computers that operate the payment processing systems for Hyatt-managed locations. Hyatt recommends that customers review their payment card account statements closely and report any unauthorized charges to their card issuer immediately.


- Marriott International Expanding AC Hotels Brand with 22 New Hotels Planned for 2016
- U.S. Hotel Openings Forecast to Accelerate in the Next Two Years According to Lodging Econometrics
Marriott International Expanding AC Hotels Brand with 22 New Hotels Planned for 2016
AC Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International, Inc.’s upper moderate-tier lifestyle brand, announced global plans for 22 new design-led hotels slated to open in 2016, solidifying its position as a leader in the boutique-lifestyle hotel sector catering to travelers with a millennial mindset. January 2016 is expected to bring five AC hotels including AC Guadalajara Mexico; AC Cincinnati North/West Chester, Ohio; AC Boston North, Mass.; AC Marseille, France; and AC Queretaro, Mexico. Following its success in Europe, a joint venture was formed with Marriott International in 2011, which launched AC Hotels by Marriott globally into France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and the U.S.
http://achotels.marriott.com, http://www.marriott.com
U.S. Hotel Openings Forecast to Accelerate in the Next Two Years According to Lodging Econometrics
Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that new hotel openings in the United States will accelerate over the next two years. This year the United States is scheduled to open a total of 742 new hotels. Based on the current construction pipeline, 845 hotels are forecast to open in 2016 with another 998 hotel openings in 2017. LE says that the growth in new hotel openings from 2016 to 2017 will be led by three major franchise companies, which are forecast to brand 67 percent of all new openings: Marriott International with 456 hotel openings, Hilton Worldwide with 406, and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 374.


- 2015 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship Winners Announced
- Rosewood Hotel Group to Require HFTP Certification for Information Technology Staff
2015 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship Winners Announced
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, a leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, announced the 2015 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship winners. Currently in its seventh year and offered in conjunction with The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the scholarship is designed to help increase professional development opportunities in the field of revenue management. Supported by IDeaS and Cornell, the IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship offers hospitality professionals around the world the opportunity to earn online certificates developed by senior Cornell faculty leaders. Eight scholarships have been awarded this year, providing recipients paid registration to the Certificate in Strategic Leadership for the Hospitality Professional and the Certificate in Advanced Hospitality Revenue Management: Pricing and Demand Strategies.
www.ideas.com, http://www.ideas.com/en/company/scholarship
Rosewood Hotel Group to Require HFTP Certification for Information Technology Staff
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ (HFTP®) Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) certification program has been named a requirement for the information technology staff of the prominent Rosewood Hotel Group. Current IT professionals employed at Rosewood Hotel Group are diligently working to obtain their CHTP designation. Rosewood Hotel Group is the first group certification HFTP has coordinated.
http://www.hftp.org, http://www.rosewoodhotels.com


- Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Names Finalists for the ALIS Awards Recognizing the Most Influential Deals of 2015
Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Names Finalists for the ALIS Awards Recognizing the Most Influential Deals of 2015
The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) announced its finalists for the prestigious ALIS Awards. Among these finalists are executives and companies who are responsible for the most influential hotel industry deals in 2015. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, January 26th, during the ALIS conference, which runs from January 25-27 at the JW Marriott and Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE. Nominees for the awards are evaluated based on outstanding business performance in various industry sectors.
www.ALISconference.com, http://www.ahla.com


- Hilton Worldwide Becomes the First Hospitality Company to Achieve U.S. Department of Energy’s Superior Energy Performance Certification
- Casa Marina Resort, Waste Management Collaborate on Zero Waste Event
- Sixteen Hotels to Join New York City Carbon Challenge
For more information on Sustainability for 01/08/16


- Lessons hoteliers can learn from Airbnb
- 3 Leading Hotel CIOs on the Secrets to Strategy and Innovation
- Tourism Tidbits: Terrorism’s Aggressive and Passive War on Tourism
- Are Virtual Reality Concierges Coming?
- Hoteliers are no strangers to helping
- And more stories…
For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 01/08/16


And now for you-know-what…

Some of Life's Reflections for the New Year:

I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.

I'm in shape. Round is a shape.

I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.

Ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window?

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

You have to stay in shape. My mother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we have no idea where she is.

One out of every three Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of two of your best friends. If they are OK, then it must be you.

They show you how detergents take out bloodstains. I think if you've got a T-shirt with bloodstains all over it, maybe your laundry isn't your biggest problem.

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