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Siegel Sez

January 06, 2017

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

It is Friday morning January 6, and I am in Las Vegas about to spend the next three days wandering through the maze of new technologies that might or might not make it to the real world at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It is an amazing experience. Who can be sure what will make it to the hotel and travel industry when dealing with technologies that are so futuristic? We shall see. I will take many pictures and videos and share them in our spring issue of Hospitality Upgrade and via our Watercooler e-newsletter (sign up to receive the newsletter at www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe). Special thanks to Bob Gilbert and HSMAI for letting me crash their dinner last night (look to the right for a picture from the dinner). I especially enjoyed spending a good part of the evening catching up with Eric Pearson, EVP and CIO of IHG (bottom left), about the enormous technology project they have going on. He also shared what they are doing in 2017 and it is a lot. It was a fun night! Next week I’ll be at the HEDNA Global Distribution Conference in San Diego and then I’m off to Toronto for the HITEC Advisory Board meeting to plan this year’s program with many of the industry’s technology leaders. The Advisory Board meeting is one of my favorite experiences as the group shares what is going on with their hotel companies and what trends they feel will have the most impact this year. There is a great deal of knowledge sharing, which I absolutely love. Plus, Toronto in January? Who would want to miss that?

I do love this time of year. Everybody is done reflecting on 2016 and the focus is all about what will lie ahead in 2017. The hoteliers look at life one way and the vendors that supply technology share how they see the industry changing and how they will or need to change with it. Since everybody needs to work together, it is interesting as each side shares their perspectives of the future. Speaking of working together (along with having to compete), registration for the 13th annual Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit (www.hospitalityupgrade.com/vendorsummit) just opened and everyone from the vendor community is signing up to be there. This year the event starts on February 28. There are many great events for the industry throughout the year, but I wonder how many other events have a 100 percent satisfaction rate where everybody who attends would recommend it? This industry is full of different providers that need to work together and often help each other and that is what EVS is all about. If you are a technology provider and would like to attend, please contact Anne Boon at (678) 802-5304, or email her at Anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. Some of the fun things we are doing in San Antonio will fill up early (like flying a helicopter) so don’t wait. It is by invitation only so please contact Anne if you have not yet been invited.

I know I said everybody is done reflecting on the past, but as we dive into 2017 I can’t help but thinking that it was September 1992 when I launched a 20-page newsletter printed on bright, yellow paper that was all about technology for the hotel industry. There are three things that amaze me. One is I can’t believe that I am still doing this. Second, I still absolutely love what I am doing. And third, I cannot believe how old I have gotten. Yikes! Yes, much has changed over the past 25 years and it is amazing how quickly change happens today. We are proud to be the key component in the industry keeping abreast of all that is new. We take this responsibility very seriously. Thank you for supporting us.

Here now is the real reason we are here. Dan Phillips’ update of the latest technology happenings in the industry. I will see you at the end once again with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Happy New Year and here is to a great 2017.


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Dan Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips



New Year’s and the time to look forward. The articles below in the Piqued Dan’s Interest section are a mix of prognosticators’ forecasts for 2017, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did. While I agree with many of the predictions and observations, there are some that I don’t, and that’s OK! And, in that spirit, let me put forth my wishes for this year ahead of us.

Dashboards have been big over the last year, which is a quick follow-up to the demand for more and more data. What I wish for is that dashboards provide actionable data. I hope for data that answers the questions of, “Why did that happen?” and “How can this data be used to predict future trends?”

Along the data lines, I wish for metrics, measurements and financial data associated with the efforts of our industry to increase personalization and experiences for our guests. I have been a strong supporter of these initiatives, but without relevant data we won’t know if this is the path we should follow.

I hope to see a hotel company become the next Amazon, not for retailing, but for being known and respected for service plus hospitality. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go to hotelcompany.com and request all of the services you need, not only for your travel, but for home too?

And, along these lines, I so hope that our industry transforms loyalty from gimmicks and promotions to a vehicle that has meaning to our guests, across many avenues of personalization.

Finally, I wish that our industry leads the world by example in humbly serving one another regardless of our differences, that our industry finds people in need of work and trains and employs them more for their betterment than our bottom line, and that each of our outlets positively impacts the community it resides in, one neighborhood at a time until the entire globe is one mesh of hospitality.

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- American Liberty Hospitality Chooses Aptech Computer Systems for Properties
American Liberty Hospitality Chooses Aptech Computer Systems for Properties
American Liberty Hospitality (ALH), a family-owned and operated hotel management and development company, recently chose Aptech Computer Systems’ hotel software to integrate in their properties. ALH installed Aptech’s entire suite of products, Profitvue® enterprise accounting, Execuvue® Business Intelligence (BI) and Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting.


- Mickey Mahoney joins RoamBOOST as VP of Engineering and Operations
- Hospitality Tech Leader NAVIS Appoints Industry Veteran as New Vice President of Engineering
- Aimbridge Hospitality Promotes Don Ayres to Vice President of Development
- Best Western’s Ron Pohl Promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
- Ruben Sigala Appointed Chief Marketing Officer of Caesars Entertainment
- Diamond Resorts International® Appoints Kenneth S. Siegel as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel
- And more People on the Move…
For more information on People on the Move for 01/06/16


- dormakaba to Acquire Mechanical Security Businesses from Stanley Black & Decker
dormakaba to Acquire Mechanical Security Businesses from Stanley Black & Decker
dormakaba announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire certain mechanical security businesses from Stanley Black & Decker for a total consideration of USD 725 million in cash. The transaction encompasses Stanley Commercial Hardware spanning mainly across North America and including a production facility in Taiwan, as well as GMT in China. Sargent and Greenleaf, a safe lock provider that also forms part of Stanley Black & Decker’s Mechanical Security business, is not included in the transaction.


- New Release of Agilysys Visual One PMS Delivers EMV Readiness, Enhanced Security and Support for the Latest Microsoft Products
- Portlander Inn Selects Next-Generation Agilysys Suite to Optimize Efficiency and Strengthen Guest Connections
- FCS Launches New Corporate Website with Streamlined Solutions and Enhanced Functionality
- Maestro PMS Social Media Tools Give Independents Increased Bookings, Top TripAdvisor Ratings
- StayNTouch Partners With Modus Hotels
- StayNTouch Partners with Hotel on Rivington
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 01/06/16


- New Meta Channel TripReviewer Taps DerbySoft to Provide Hotel Direct Booking Links
- HotelREZ Completes Interface with Belgium-based Cubilis by Stardekk
- GuestCentric Partners with The Hotels Network to Empower Conversion in Direct Booking Solutions
For more information on Reservations for 01/06/16


- The Crane Resort Taps Into the Power of Guest Storytelling to Boost Its Bottom Line With Flip.to
- Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association Identifies Top Las Vegas Travel Industry Trends for 2017
- HSMAI to Honor GCommerce Solutions With Bronze Adrian Award for Travel Marketing Excellence
- New Hotel ZaZa Website Showcases Artful Ambiance of Two Iconic Properties
For more information on Marketing/Management for 01/06/16


- Hilton Grand Vacations Debuts as Public Company
Hilton Grand Vacations Debuts as Public Company
Hilton Grand Vacations, a leading global timeshare company, debuted as an independent, publicly traded company following its spin-off from Hilton. HGV will begin “regular way” trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “HGV.” Established in 1992 and with headquarters in Orlando, Fla., HGV is a rapidly growing timeshare company that markets and sells vacation ownership intervals, manages resorts in top leisure and urban destinations, and operates a points-based vacation club for more than 260,000 members. HGV’s 47 high-quality resorts are located in iconic vacation destinations, including the Hawaiian Islands, New York City, Orlando and Las Vegas.


- New York City’s Skyline Hotel Using ALICE for Back of House Insights and Front of House Peace of Mind
- Whistle Selected by Genre Hotels for Innovative Guest Messaging Solution
- Whistle Selected by Heritage Hotels and Resorts for Guest Messaging 
- Rixos Seagate Sharm Completes Triple Play with TeleMatrix 3300 Series Phones by Cetis
- Umstead Hotel and Spa Partners with Evolve Controls, Intelity
- BIG4 Holiday Parks Guests Have Their Say with ReviewPro Ratings on Website

For more information on Guest Services for 01/06/16


- GLH Hotels & ReviewPro Reinforce Partnership to Deliver the Best Possible Guest Experience
GLH Hotels & ReviewPro Reinforce Partnership to Deliver the Best Possible Guest Experience
ReviewPro, a world leader in guest intelligence solutions for the hospitality industry, has recently expanded its collaboration with GLH Hotels to help with the brand’s continued quest to deliver unparalleled guest-centered experiences in the industry. GLH Hotels, London’s largest owner-operator hotel company with 5,000+ hotel rooms, has been using ReviewPro’s Online Reputation Management (ORM) solution for four years. When the company saw a demonstration of the latest edition of ReviewPro's Guest Intelligence Suite, which includes guest satisfaction surveys (GSS), and heard how other leading brands were using it to make operational and service improvements to drive higher guest satisfaction, GLH decided to replace its existing survey provider with ReviewPro’s GSS, realizing the benefits of having all guest feedback together in one platform.


- JMA Wireless and Sacramento Kings Bring Unparalleled Cellular Connectivity to Golden 1 Center
JMA Wireless and Sacramento Kings Bring Unparalleled Cellular Connectivity to Golden 1 Center
JMA Wireless and the Sacramento Kings celebrated their work building one of the most connected arenas in the world. A global leader in wireless communications solutions, JMA Wireless worked with system integration partner, DAS Group Professionals (DGP), on the world’s first-ever deployment of a multiband, multicarrier distributed antenna system at the Sacramento Kings’ new Golden 1 Center sports and entertainment venue. The TEKO DAS provides more than one million square feet of wireless coverage – more than the Transamerica building. Combined with the arena’s wireless connectivity, these antennas can allow a capacity-filled arena of 17,600 fans to make phones calls, surf the Web, send more than 225,000 Instagram photos, and create more than 500,000 Snapchat posts per second without any lag.


- Lakeway Austin Resort and Spa Delivers Smart Keys to Guests Via OpenKey Universal Mobile Key App
- OpenKey Wins Best of 2016 in the 15th Annual Mobile Star Awards
Lakeway Austin Resort and Spa Delivers Smart Keys to Guests Via OpenKey Universal Mobile Key App
Lakeway Resort and Spa, a Texas Hill Country resort located on Lake Travis, announced that guests will now have the option of receiving a digital key to their hotel room through an app called OpenKey. Using a guest's own smartphone, the app provides the convenience of keyless access to their hotel room.
OpenKey Wins Best of 2016 in the 15th Annual Mobile Star Awards
OpenKey, a leading provider of mobile key access solutions, has been named one of the best mobile products of the year in the 15th annual Mobile Star Awards program. OpenKey was awarded the Shining Star Award in the Mobile Business Apps Innovator category and The Rising Star Award in the Travel Convenience Mobile App category by MobileVillage.com. Since 2001, the Mobile Star Awards program has showcased the best products in categories covering consumer mobile apps, mobile devices, enterprise mobile services, technology visionaries and success stories.


- Japan to Give "Stars" to Hotels Saving Energy
- Caesars Surpasses Green Key Certification Goal
Japan to Give "Stars" to Hotels Saving Energy
A government system for ranking service-sector companies on their energy-saving achievements will begin on a full-fledged basis next fiscal year. Under the system, a scheme will be introduced for awarding "stars" to companies with excellent records. Companies that have made excellent achievements will obtain stars, but those with poor results will face consequences, such as public naming. With the star ranking system, the government aims to foster competition among companies to save more energy, with a goal of preventing global warming and boosting related investments.
Caesars Surpasses Green Key Certification Goal
Caesars Entertainment has surpassed its Green Key certification goal of having 90 percent of owned or managed North American hotel resort properties achieve a four-key rating or higher. Thirty of its hotel resort properties are rated four keys — more than any other casino-entertainment company in the world. Recently accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Green Key is a rigorous program that ranks, certifies and inspects hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable operations. Green Key uses a rating system of one to five keys, with five being the highest possible attainment.


- Robert Rauch’s Top 10 Trends in Hospitality for 2017
- 10 Hotel Trends That Will Shape Guest Experience in 2017
- What’s Behind the Rise of Chinese Investors in Western Hospitality Companies?
- Total Impact: Using Data to Make a Difference
- The Hotel of the Future Will Be More Customer-Centric and Experience-Driven
For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 01/06/16


And now for you-know-what…

A government employee sat in his office, and out of boredom, decided to see what was inside the old filing cabinet in the corner. He poked through the contents and came across an old brass lamp. "This will look good on my mantel," he said, and took it home with him.

While polishing the lamp, a genie appeared and, as usual, granted him three wishes.

"I would like an ice-cold beer right now," the man said.

He gets his beer and drinks it. Now that he can think more clearly, he states his second wish. "I wish to be on an island with beautiful women, who find me irresistible," he announces.

Suddenly, he's on an island with gorgeous women eyeing him lustfully. He tells the genie his third and last wish and says, "I wish I'd never have to work again." And instantly, he was back in his government office.


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