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Siegel Sez

June 07, 2007

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

You have to chuckle at how predictable this industry can be. When you read Jon Inge’s technology news you will see one of his longest reviews, but should we be surprised? I think not, HITEC is right around the corner and every technology provider gears up their announcements for HITEC. It is an interesting read. Considering the health of the industry and HITEC being in Orlando we should expect record crowds this year. If you are mapping out sessions that you will be attending, I would strongly recommend not missing the General Session on Thursday after the exhibits close. Four CEO types from the vendor community will square off against four executives from the operator side of the equation. Why things work, why they don’t, why fingers are pointed and how problems are or should be solved. This session should be highly interactive if not a full fledged fisticuffs. I am honored that I was asked to moderate this session and have enlisted the help of Scot Campbell from the MGM Mirage Project CityCenter who is a very interesting and talented industry professional. It should be a unique experience for all involved, so pencil Thursday, June 28 at 2 p.m. into your calendar.  

The aforementioned Scot Campbell will also be joining the panel at the Ask the Experts session along with CIOs Mike Sutton from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Jim Lamb from Global Hyatt. This is a great mix; a gaming, a cruise line and a traditional hotel company. All three panelists have agreed to start the session with highlights of their current technology initiatives. I will be moderating this panel with Jules Sieburgh. It is on the HITEC schedule for Wednesday, June 27 at 4:15 p.m.

If you are attending HITEC you will receive a copy of Hospitality Upgrade in your registration bag since we are the Exclusive Affiliated Technology Publication of HITEC. If you are not going to be there, you should go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com right now and subscribe. Our feature article is one of the most unique we have ever done with a look at the future from only one side of the equation—those who build it. In fact stealing from the feature article, you should go to our Web site just to cast your vote on this month’s survey as to which technology will have the highest impact not today, but five to 10 years down the road. Also, while you are at the site take a look at this month’s industry hotshot. Bamboo fabrics? Tim, what were you thinking?

Before I close, I must share one more thing. Remember how I had invested in a tiny piece of a race horse named Cambria Breeze? That didn’t work out and she is now living the good life on a farm with a couple of kids. Thanks to my alter ego in Las Vegas Mark Wayman, who is known as the Godfather of Las Vegas, I got involved in a thoroughbred partnership with a bunch of great people. All our horses are babies that are just now starting to race. Our first horse to make it to the race track is named Thoroughly. The first race he ran he won. Our overly optimistic trainer then put him in a stakes race against the best two year olds in California. He won again in one of the most dramatic horse races I have ever seen. What a thrill. I guess this is proof that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If you want to see the race, send me an e-mail and I will send you the link. So, I guess this is what it is like to have kids?

OK here now is Jon Inge’s great technology review of the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. If you are going to be at HITEC, look us up. We will be in booth No. 719.


Technology NEWSSTAND

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


- John Springer-Miller inducted into HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
- Oliver Nihart-Arango honored as HFTP’s 2007 CHTP of the Year
John Springer-Miller will be inducted into HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame at this year’s HITEC, for his services to the hospitality technology industry.  Mr. Springer-Miller founded Springer-Miller Systems (SMS) in 1984, and continues as president and CEO after its takeover by PAR Technology in 2004.  He launched the resort-oriented SMS|Host property management system at HITEC in 1989. With its strong focus on guest services and on integrating many different areas of resort operations into one system, the system continues to be highly competitive. 
Oliver Nihart-Arango, CHTP, will be honored as HFTP’s 2007 Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) of the Year at HITEC.  In its 10th year, the CHTP of the Year award recognizes the person who scored the highest in a given year on the CHTP exam.  Mr. Nihart-Arango is currently a systems specialist for Carlson Companies in Minneapolis, Minn., focusing on Latin American hotels.  His previous work included freelance translation for the Mexican government; he is also president of Oaxaca Streetchildren Grassroots, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children receive an education in Mexico.


- Agilysys adds InfoGenesis to product portfolio
- Rough Creek Lodge and Resort selects Visual One
- Agilysys to buy Innovativ Systems Design, largest U.S. Sun Microsystems reseller
- Provenance Hotels picks SoftBrands’ Epitome for Hotel Murano, Tacoma, Wash.
- SunSwept Resorts in Saint Lucia implement NORTHWIND’s Maestro Suite
- Rudding Park selects Maestro-PMS Suite for four-stage implementation
For more on Property Management Systems for 06/07/07


- Starwood to implement first hospitality application of Microsoft’s new Surface
- Watt Stopper/Legrand offers card key switches to turn off guestroom lighting when a guest leaves the room
- Staybridge Suites offers free wireless HSIA throughout hotels' premises
- iBAHN certifies the VPNs of five hundred corporations worldwide
- Graves 601 Hotel, Minneapolis implements NxTV’s converged IP network
- MGM Grand Detroit to install NxTV 100 percent IP-based, co-ax-free distribution system for in-room entertainment
- NxTV completes rollout of new high-density digital entertainment servers
- Swisscom adds NewspaperDirect’s PressDisplay.com to Room 2.0 Hospitality Internet service
- Choice selects Hotel Technologies’ CS1233BA alarm clock radio as standard for Comfort Suites
- Venetian Las Vegas renovating 3,014 all-suite rooms with three TVs each
- Most travelers would use guestroom minibars more often if the prices were more reasonable, per TripAdvisor survey
For more on Guest Services for 06/07/07


- Klaus Kohlmayr joins IDeaS as director of services
- Gideon Dean hired by TIG Global as SVP of global hospitality sales
- Joel Carver joins SECURE-RES as senior vice president of sales
For more on People on the Move for 06/07/07


- Five major cultural trends key to understanding consumers’ expectations
- InnQuest releases enhanced interface between roomMaster 2000 PMS and InnLink
- Carlton Hotel, N.Y. signs with GenaRes and gCommerce Solutions
- Arizona Inn, Tucson, Ariz. picks TravelCLICK
- Pegasus, Mobile Travel Technologies offer reservations via phone/PDS Internet browsers
- Phoenix Inn Suites selects SynXis’ RedX for distribution services for eleven properties
- SynXis to upgrade all hotel customers to RedX by end of July
- SynXis completes direct connection with Travelocity
- Sabre acquires Internet hospitality marketing vendor E-site Marketing
- Blackstone Group files IPO for Orbitz
- TripSync allows travelers to hold reservation for 24 hours without penalty or payment
For more on Reservations for 06/07/07


- Red Lion Hotels names VRX Studios its official online visual content provider
- Wyndham Hotel Group adds Baymont brand to agreement with VRX Studios for property photography services
Red Lion Hotels has contracted with VRX Studios as its official online visual content provider, to produce, manage and distribute still images, virtual tours and interactive maps of Red Lion hotel properties across the United States.

Wyndham Hotel Group has extended its custom services agreement with VRX Studios for property photography services by adding the Baymont Inn and Suites hotel brand.  This brings the total number of properties to be photographed under the agreement to more than 5,300. 
http://www.redlion.com, http://www.vrxstudios.com


- Affinia picks EZ Yield for six properties in New York and Chicago
- French hotel chain Citéa installs FastBooking’s Checker and Updater tools in all hotels
- Titania Hotel, Athens, Greece implements EzRMS’ Internet Product Suite
- Mango Bay Resorts implements Karyon distribution services for six resorts
For more on Revenue Management for 06/07/07


- Foxwoods Resort Casino selects Passkey
Foxwoods Resort Casino has selected Passkey as its standard method for handling and managing group reservations.  The Foxwoods complex includes 1,400 guestrooms, 50+ F&B and retail outlets, a 1,400 seat theater and 55,000 square feet of meeting space.  http://www.foxwoods.comhttp://www.passkey.com


- Agilysys acquires InfoGenesis
- Restolingua releases Web-based menu editing, translation and printing system
Agilysys has acquired POS vendor InfoGenesis to add to its increasing range of hospitality-industry systems, which also includes the LMS and Visual One PMSs. InfoGenesis has a significant presence in casinos, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, stadiums and foodservice.  http://www.infogenesis.comhttp://www.agilysys.com
Philippines-based Restolingua has released its Web-based menu editing, translation and printing system.  Restolingua’s Basic Package allows translation from and to Dutch, U.K. English, U.S. English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.  A future release will make available an online culinary dictionary allowing for word-by-word translation.  http://www.restolingua.com


And now for you-know-what…

A little old lady was sitting on a bench at a local retirement home. A man walked over and sat down on the other end of the bench.

After a few moments, the woman asked, "Are you new here?"

He replied, "I lived here years ago."

"So, where were you all these years?" she asked.

"In prison," he said.

"Why did they put you in prison?" she inquired.

He looked at her, and very quietly said, "I killed my wife."

"Oh," said the woman. "So you're single."

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