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Siegel Sez

November 01, 2007

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Truth in the media? Not always. I am sure many have read about the recent disaster in Las Vegas with multiple hotels not being able to check in guests for nearly three days. The story was picked up by the national media and distributed in many industry news outlets including Hotel Online. Being who I am, I was curious how it happened.  I have been asked not to say anything until the official announcement comes out, but I will say this. The only vendor mentioned in the articles was MICROS Systems and its system OPERA. As it turned out OPERA had nothing to do with the failure.  The article never said it was OPERA that caused the failure, but it was implied. Don’t you just hate when newspapers do a story that is wrong and when they finally do a correction it is hidden in a little box somewhere in the back of the paper? 

I always create these moral dilemmas in my head. I was driving from Oceanport, N.J., to the Philadelphia Airport after the Breeders Cup last weekend where our horse Set Play decided she would rather play in the mud than run in it. It rained all weekend until Sunday morning when it was time to leave and then it was sunny and beautiful. Figures, right?  I was driving on Interstate 195 and come over a ridge driving pretty fast and there in the median was a New Jersey State Trooper. Yes, I was pulled over. Before the officer came to my car I got the rental agreement out and took my license out of my back pocket. He was actually a nice guy, we made some small talk and I even got him to laugh. Maybe I would get out of a ticket. He went to his car to check my license and when he returned I saw the ticket in his hand. Bummer. He was still smiling when he told me he was giving me a warning for speeding and a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt. Me, not wearing my seatbelt? My car never moves without my seatbelt on. I always thought that anybody who drives without a seatbelt is just plain stupid. Of course, I then realized that I had unhooked my seatbelt to get my wallet and license out of my back pocket. I told him this and shared my strong beliefs about the use of seatbelts. After giving my seatbelt speech to the cop he told me I was lucky.  The seatbelt ticket is only $45, no points, would not be reported back to Georgia and will never get on my license. I looked at him and told him I had a real problem with this. I don’t know if I can accept this ticket which we both now know is not legit. He asked if I wanted him to tear it up and instead give me a speeding ticket. What are we doing, playing let’s make a deal? I stewed, I thought and I finally relented and accepted the no seatbelt ticket but this continues to bother me.

If you are a technology vendor there are still a couple of spots in our Technology Pavilion at the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show in New York in two weeks (http://www.ihmrs.com/). This is a very inexpensive way to show your products at a great show. All you need is a laptop and a body to show your stuff and everything else (kiosk, carpeting, HSIA) is included. Plus you get to come to the Hospitality Upgrade dinner on Monday night. E-mail John Kelly right away at mailto:john_kelly@glmshows.com or call him at (914) 421-3346 if you want to join us.

Finally and by far the most important thing for me personally. After 15 years of owning a small business and never taking a vacation, and I mean never, I am finally taking one. Not being the greatest planner in the world I do know this: I will be landing in Hong Kong on Dec. 1. I will be departing Bangkok to return home on Dec. 14. I will also spend at least one night in Macau and am desperately trying to get a few days in Phuket. Thanks to Nick Price from Mandarin Oriental and Fraser Hickox from The Peninsula Hotels for helping me plan and for the upcoming tour guiding. I can’t believe I am doing this and cannot wait. Wow, a real vacation. Maybe I will blog my trip and include pictures on http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review. I loved his opening about giving back and the excitement of future hoteliers. It is great fuel for thought. 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

- The value of getting involved with colleges and universities
- Fifth edition of Kasavana/Cahill’s “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry” released
The last couple of weeks have reminded me of the value of touching base with the academic world, something I should do more often.  I’ve had the opportunity to review several thoughtful research papers, some discussing topics I hadn’t really thought about but am now intrigued by, and others providing different insights into systems selection and implementation, which I think about a lot!  It’s been a good reminder to stop and look around from time to time; you can gain much insight from looking at familiar situations through someone else’s eyes.

I’ve also had some stimulating e-mail exchanges with students, and was once again struck by the energy, focus and original thinking of younger generations.  It’s very rewarding to make presentations to student classes. In addition to providing a good stimulus to organize your own thoughts, it’s great to debate pros and cons with energetic, opinionated idealists!  Not to mention that it’s good to be able to give something back to the industry.

Think about getting more involved with those teaching the next generation of hoteliers.  It truly is a win-win for everyone.
Speaking of education, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute has just published the fifth edition of the textbook by Michael Kasavana and John Cahill, “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry.”  Revisions to this classic include new information on e-commerce, Wi-Fi, electronic payment systems, Web site design, data security and identity theft.


- Daniel Foxworth promoted to director of sales, hospitality division at Onity
- Hooman Honary joins NxTV as chief technical officer
- Eric Litwin joins NxTV as senior vice president of applications development
For more on People on the Move for 11/01/07


- Nine independent resorts install Maestro PMS and S&C
- INNfinity Systems to use Comtrol Lodging Link for interface management
- Choice completes deployment of choiceADVANTAGE PMS to all Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn hotels
For more on Property Management Systems for 11/01/07


- Amadeus implements Leonardo’s automated online gateway
- Diamond Resorts picks ICE Portal for rich media management for its North American resorts
- Crowne Plaza, Preferred Hotels sign for Knowland Group’s INSIGHT service
- Lodging Interactive launches search engine and social media integrated marketing services
For more on Marketing/Management for 11/01/07


- Hotelbeds signs with Rate Tiger for real-time inventory and room rate update services
- Karyon contracts with AnyRate Software for competitive rate intelligence services
Hotelbeds Online Destination Services, part of the recently formed TUI Travel, has signed with Rate Tiger to let its customers update their inventory and room rates in real time through a new XML interface to Rate Tiger’s RT Allocator and RT Channel Manager services.  Hotelbeds offers over 25,000 hotels and apartments in 900 destinations worldwide.  http://www.ratetiger.comhttp://www.hotelbeds.com
SoftBrands’ Karyon reservations and distribution service has contracted with AnyRate Software to provide competitive rate intelligence to independent hoteliers, groups and management companies.  http://www.any-rate.comhttp://www.karyonres.com


- Harley Davidson Museum to use ReServe Interactive
The Harley Davidson Museum has ordered ReServe Interactive to help manage its indoor and outdoor events, including weddings, conventions, trade shows, corporate functions and motorcycle rallies.  The 130,000 square foot museum is scheduled to open to the public in 2008.  http://www.harley-davidson.com


- Sofitel Chicago O’Hare installs FlytePass boarding pass kiosk
- INNCOM renames green button option from ENVIRO-MODE to ecoMODE
- Denny’s implementing free Wi-Fi through agreement with Joe Media and iPass
- FoneKey demonstrates mobile phone-based checkin at the Hotel Regal Enclave, Mumbai
For more on Guest Services for 11/01/07


- PAS achieves Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status
Back office services provider PAS has achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status with competencies in networking infrastructure solutions, advanced infrastructure solutions for hosting, and ISV/software solutions certifications.  https://eservice.pasportal.com


- Travel Spike releases Dynamic Packaging Booking Engine for one-stop booking
- Travelocity launches beta version of RoadTrip Wizard booking tool
- Crown Towers picks TravelCLICK for CRS, market intelligence and marketing services
- American Express rolling out new Hotel Hub booking interface in Europe
For more on Reservations for 11/01/07


And now for you-know-what…

A extremely wealthy, 70-year-old man returns from a vacation and shows up at his country club with an absolutely stunning, 25-year-old blonde. She clutches the man's arm tightly and seems to hang onto his every word. His buddies at the club are all astonished.

At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, "So tell us where you found this gorgeous girlfriend."

The man replies, "Girlfriend? She's my wife."

Amazed, the friends ask, "How did you persuade her to marry you?"

"I lied about my age," he says.

"Oh," they nod, knowingly. "Did you tell her you were only 50?"

He says, "Heck no. I told her I was 90."

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