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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Internal Controls and the Important Roles They Play in Eradicating Fraud

    Although I have been preoccupied with getting in the education sessions purely related to hospitality finance, technologies and hotel pre-opening, I made sure to participate in Fun with Fraud and Enchanting Employee Embezzlement in Clubs and Hotels presented by Jerry Trieber, CPA, CHAE, CFE, CFF, CGMA, HFTP Global past president and director of audit services/support at HEI Hotels and Resorts.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

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New Castle Hotels & Resorts Installs Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Accounting System for 21 Properties

Aptech ·18 March 2019
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced New Castle Hotels & Resorts upgraded its back office system to PVNG Enterprise Financial Accounting to centralize processes for 21 properties. New Castle Hotels & Resorts (NCH) is a prominent operator of Marriott, Hilton, Choice and independent properties. Aptech Computer Systems is the leading provider of business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise hotel accounting software systems in the hospitality industry. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."NCH used Aptech's Profitvue multi-property accounting system for 30 years. We evaluated many systems and selected Aptech's PVNG for future operations," said Nina Selvaggi, New Castle Hotels & Resorts director of hotel accounting. "Aptech has more experience with hotel accounting software than any other provider and we value that expertise. We easily converted our 21 companies to Aptech's new PVNG enterprise accounting platform. This was the smoothest system conversion I have ever been involved in. PVNG is an excellent financial accounting system for a reasonable price. The system is very user-friendly. There was very little I needed to do for the conversion, Aptech handled everything."Aptech's browser-based PVNG Enterprise Accounting System simplifies accounting operations and safeguards data in the cloud. Its easy to navigate architecture, and robust functionality expands on Aptech's Profitvue application used by thousands of hotel accounting professionals. PVNG supports one property or a large multi-brand, multi-property portfolio."Aptech is the industry standard for a reason; that reason is experience," said Jill Wilder, Aptech vice president. "We worked closely with New Castle Hotels' team during their installation. They are a great group of hospitality professionals that thoroughly understand multi-property, multi-company financial processes. Nina and her group put PVNG to work for NCH's Marriott, Hilton and other flags easily.""PVNG gives us the flexibility to add users and restrict their roles within the program. This is important in multi-company operations," Selvaggi said. "We now have all properties entering their own accounts payable invoices directly into PVNG. The properties have access to see the payment status of their vendors and this has streamlined our AP process. Financial Reports are simple to run and can be quickly converted into an Excel format. Aptech's support and training are excellent. After conversion, Aptech assigned one person to guide us through the new system. She handled all our concerns quickly. We are very pleased with PVNG and the support we receive from Aptech."PVNG is the next generation of enterprise accounting. It is uniquely engineered to accommodate a variety of deployment options and can easily handle both single and multi-property accounting. PVNG uses the most current technology platform and incorporates AP, GL, AR, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with familiar browser navigation."PVNG makes it simple for operators to become 11th Edition-compliant by implementing its packaged chart of accounts and financial statements. Plus, PVNG's cloud platform lets Aptech monitor and support all aspects of users' system processes for hands-on support if needed," Wilder said.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com. About New Castle Hotels & ResortsNew Castle Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with 21 hotels and resorts and nearly 4,000 rooms under contract or in development. New Castle's growing portfolio of hotels spans nine states and three Canadian provinces and includes several of Canada's historic landmark resorts. The privately-held company was established by David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America. New Castle is a preferred or approved operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Choice families. Learn more about New Castle on Facebook.
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Convention Centers Worldwide Implement the InvoTech Uniform System to Improve Operational Efficiencies

InvoTech ·15 March 2019
LOS ANGELES, CA - InvoTech Systems is the leading provider of advanced Linen Management, Laundry and Uniform Systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Australia manages the uniform inventory for 700 employees and has been part of InvoTech's extensive worldwide client portfolio since 2012. Click here for more information on InvoTech's Linen, Laundry and Uniform Systems.We Interviewed Mark Punchihewa, Uniform Manager at MCEC regarding the uniform activity at the Convention Centre:What made you be interested in an inventory management system?MP: We manage a large amount of uniforms and employees (700 staff and 10,000 garments). Manually managing the uniform inventory is very labor intensive.What processes were in place before using the InvoTech UHF-RFID Uniform System at the Convention Centre?MP: The only process in place was a manual process, we had no way of maintaining the inventory or knowing what we had. We simply kept a master list of uniforms and we loaded the racks using people's names.Do you now have better control on uniform purchases?MP:We now fully control the uniform purchasing and the budgets. We know what to buy and when to buy it. We also know who has what, all pieces are accounted for.How long did it take for you to start experiencing cost-savings and other benefits?MP: Cost saving benefits in about 6 months, many other benefits right away.How much time and labor are you currently saving per day?MP: Our labor savings are approximately 6 hrs per day / 42 hrs per week for us this represents thousands of dollars of savings per year.What would you say are the 5 most beneficial features of the Uniform System?MP: Controlling losses, purchases, assigning uniforms, washing cycles and laundry activity.What do you think is the most important benefit the system provides for businesses?MP: Labor benefits, time, purchases and inventory control.What is the report (or reports) that you use the most?MP: Inventory and purchasing reports.Do you find the system reliable and easy to use?MP: The system is very reliable and easy to use, self-explanatory. Never had any problems with the system performance.Is the User Guide a useful tool?MP: The User guide is a great addition in case we have questions about functionality.Do you find it easy to train others to use the system?MP: It is very easy to train others, and we usually just train them and give them access for certain functionality only.How good do you find the reports?MP: The reports are used daily, they are reliable and very useful.Have you used the Support Desk? If yes, how would you grade the Support Desk service?MP: We have used the Support Desk and have always been satisfied with the responses and response time. Time difference can sometimes be a challenge!Would you recommend this system to other convention centers/event spaces?MP: Yes, the system delivers so many benefits to operations like us, not sure how other places like ours do it without a system.If you were to move locations would you want to install the InvoTech Uniform System in your new location?MP: Absolutely!InvoTech has over 600 satisfied clients worldwide in more than 30 countries, including hotels, resorts, casinos, theme parks, stadiums, arenas, convention centers, medical centers, cleanrooms, and laundries. Why InvoTech? Because major brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, MGM International, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, Intel, Pfizer, Madison Square Garden, and Staples Center rely on InvoTech Systems to provide operational efficiency, full-accountability, and turn-key solutions for laundry, linen and uniform management. See what our clients are saying about us.
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DKN Hotels Partners with ProfitSword to Create Seamless Data Management and Transfer Process

ProfitSword ·21 February 2019
Irvine, Calif. - ProfitSword, hospitality's premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the implementation of its ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution by DKN Hotels, one of California's premier hotel management companies. Providing hotel management, development and building services, DKN Hotels currently oversees more than 10 properties and now with the integration of ProfitSage into its data management and accounting process, can ensure the automated and accurate sharing of performance data from all locations in real time."When previously relying on a manual process to extract required analytical information from each property, our night auditors often spent countless hours having to compile and then re-verify the accuracy of data before it could be entered into our proprietary accounting software," says Ana Almada, vice president of operations at DKN Hotels. "We had first tried another solution to see if it could serve as an efficient and automated interface between the different PMS solutions and our accounting program, but found that an array of data inaccuracies essentially made the integration useless. With ProfitSage now in place that can be fully trusted to always provide up-to-date and accurate information throughout our organization. This new technology will allow us to realize higher NOIs for owners as we bring additional managed hotels into the DKN portfolio."Data that DKN Hotels can now instantly access includes details on market segments from reservations and sales, daily revenue and key revenue indicators, daily labor, transactions for expenses and even revenue from credit card purchases. With ProfitSage able to provide pre-set levels of access to specific data, DKN Hotels personnel can also be sure of their ability to quickly locate information that is relevant to their exact needs."One of the biggest challenges that hoteliers face is being able to identify an effective means of integrating all of the disparate systems that may be in use at any one property or across a portfolio of properties," says Paul Bennie, director of business development at ProfitSword. "This is especially true when it comes to business intelligence, where planning effectively critically relies on timely access to analytics from an array of platforms, departments, locations and personnel. We are honored to have been selected by DKN Hotels in order to overcome their data interface challenges, and are pleased that they now have a solution in place that is easy to use and always reliable in instantly sharing performance information the moment that it is needed."In addition to streamlining the integration and sharing of data, ProfitSage is also sought out by hospitality professionals for its industry-leading budgeting and forecasting abilities. Providing customized metrics and instant access to historical data, ProfitSage offers hoteliers the ability to forecast based on real-time changes to business patterns. With hotel profits subject to an array of external factors such as time of year, weather and upcoming events, ProfitSage further allows hoteliers to create multiple budget and forecast versions in order to account for 'what-if' scenarios, and ensure the highest possible level of business success.
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Airline Hotels Installs Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Accounting at 9 Properties

Aptech · 6 February 2019
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced that Airline Hotels upgraded its financial system to PVNG Enterprise Hotel Accounting Software at nine properties. Airline Hotels is a second-generation, family-founded, hospitality company, based out of Saskatchewan that owns and operates hotels. Browser-based PVNG hotel accounting software simplifies accounting operations and safeguards data in the cloud. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise hotel accounting software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Airline Hotels tapped PVNG in late 2018 to migrate its financial operation and chain data to the cloud for easier access and better business decisions," said Todd Asmundson, corporate controller for Airline Hotels. "PVNG is a full-function hospitality enterprise back office system that is very easy to use. We migrated our data with Microsoft SharePoint to put all our records in the cloud. We trained our managers to access their property data and see the numbers for all our hotels. Seeing the performance data helps them manage better by comparing operation strategies from other properties. This also frees our accounting staff to focus on analysis rather than supporting management inquiries."Airline Hotels previously used Aptech's Profitvue Back Office Accounting system and converted files and reports to PVNG. "Profitvue did a great job for Airline for many years. We work closely with Aptech's team and they provide excellent support for us up in Canada," Asmundson said. "PVNG provides a large number of great reports and handles the Canadian dollar and date conventions perfectly."PVNG lets operators have total flexibility allowing or limiting data access across multiple properties. "We used to do benchmark reporting that compared property performance. PVNG lets our managers do their own evaluations. We can restrict access to specific data, but we want our managers to see how their associates are doing. For example, our lounge managers can compare revenue and expenses at other properties to learn what management practices are working best. PVNG works very well for us."Sam Costa, Aptech director of customer service said, "Airline Hotels had a smooth conversion from Profitvue to PVNG's cloud platform. Their nine property management teams picked up the new system right away. Their system license lets them have unlimited users per property so Airline's team can make the best use of PVNG's data access flexibility."PVNG's user interface is built on an easy to navigate architecture. Its robust functionality and platform is completely new. The system expands on processes valued by thousands of accounting professionals that use Aptech's legacy application, Profitvue. The PVNG Enterprise Accounting System supports one property or a large multi-brand, multi-property portfolio. It uses the most current technology platform and incorporates AP, GL, AR, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with familiar browser navigation. PVNG also makes it simple to become 11th Edition compliant by implementing its packaged chart of accounts and financial statements. PVNG's cloud platform also lets Aptech monitor and support all aspects of their system processes for hands on support if needed." Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com. About Airline Hotels Airline Hotels, one of Canada's Best Managed Companies, is an award-winning, privately-held Canadian company with hotels in SK, AB, MB, and ON. As an equal opportunity employer to 920 associates, we believe in our values: Respect, Integrity, Teamwork and Entrepreneurship. For information go to www.airlinehotels.ca
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Heritage Hotels & Resorts Partners with ProfitSword to Streamline Data Management and Budgeting/Forecasting Operations

ProfitSword ·29 January 2019
Albuquerque, M.N. - ProfitSword, hospitality's premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the implementation of its ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution by Heritage Hotels & Resorts, a hotel management company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Renowned for its mission to promote Southwestern, Native American and Spanish culture by partnering with non-profit organizations and individuals to create a unique style at each one of its properties, Heritage Hotels & Resorts has experienced dramatic business growth over the last five years. While continuing to acquire additional locations, company leadership soon identified the need to implement a business intelligence and forecast strategy that could keep pace with the increasing complexities of a rapidly expanding organization.While completing the process of general ledger (GL) code consolidation on its newly acquired properties, Heritage Hotels & Resorts encountered common industry difficulties in attempting to integrate separate chart of accounts data, including the updating and syncing of information in real time. Previously using a tedious, manual process to input the daily income journal (IJ) which dramatically hinders the forecasting process, the IJ is now automated within the ProfitSage solution and completed in seconds. Forecasts can then be created or updated immediately using real-time data. By seamlessly integrating with a multitude of disparate systems, including PMS, POS, and GL platforms, ProfitSage can instantly retrieve financial data from all of a company's locations and provide access to the information in one user-friendly dashboard. Using a single database, ProfitSage further ensures that any updates or notes made by an individual staff member is instantly shared with other employees in real time, guaranteeing data uniformity and accuracy at all times."When first testing ProfitSage, the quality of detailed reporting along with its effectiveness in comparing actual performance to multiple forecasts in one intuitive dashboard, was something that simply wowed us because we had never seen anything like it before," says Jason Couillard, Chief Financial Officer at Heritage Hotels & Resorts. "While we did initially look at other competing solutions, nothing was remotely comparable to the ProfitSage platform and none of the other companies could offer what ProfitSword already does."Founded by hospitality professionals with years of experience in the industry, ProfitSword is able to work with its clients in customizing performance reports that deliver the precise information required. Such reports can be pre-scheduled and automatically sent to appropriate personnel whenever needed, further reducing the time and labor required to complete budgeting and forecasting tasks."ProfitSword is honored to partner with Heritage Hotels & Resorts in providing them with the means to make informed decisions quickly, effortlessly and with complete confidence," states Paul Bennie, Director of business development at ProfitSword. "Growing a business and the bottom line requires actionable data that can be efficiently gathered, easily organized and presented to all decision makers to overcome challenges and achieve success and ProfitSword is proud to participate in that success with all our partners.In addition to ProfitSage, ProfitSword's line of data management platforms also includes ProfitPace, ProfitPlan and ProfitWizard. A solution developed to effectively manage sales data, ProfitPace allows businesses to efficiently monitor sales team efforts to ensure that the company is on track to achieve individual and company sales goals. It also allows for the comparison of sales pace to forecast, budget, prior years and same time last year trends. Using ProfitPlan, hoteliers can incorporate stylized report templates to produce several types of reports required to manage daily tasks and information. ProfitSword's data analysis tool, ProfitWizard, combines business intelligence, decision support, performance management and ad-hoc reporting for efficient analysis of data.
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VivoAquatics Receives Growth Investment, Led by Level Equity

VivoAquatics ·22 January 2019
VivoAquatics, the leading water management and real-time monitoring platform for hotels, resorts, fitness clubs and other commercial facilities announced it has secured Series A financing led by Level Equity, a growth equity firm focused on software and automation companies. The funding represents another milestone for the company as leading brands and properties continue to adopt the VivoPoint software and IoT platform to proactively manage the risks and costs of water within a facility while improving the guest experience. Funds will be used to expand the suite of integrations across a commercial facility, expand sales and marketing, and drive strategic opportunities."We are thrilled to partner with Level Equity and our investor group to help facility and engineering leaders better manage water across commercial properties to protect their brand and assets," says Willan Johnson, CEO of VivoAquatics. "This is a dynamic and growing industry and we look forward to providing the applications and tools to assist facility owners and managers create baselines and benchmarks, establish standards and provide real-time monitoring and support to help them manage water more cost effectively and safely."VivoPoint is a platform of controllers, sensors, communication gateways and software to provide facilities with real-time control and monitoring of water quality and usage (both water and energy). VivoPoint is currently used by hundreds of commercial facilities including many of the world's leading resorts, waterparks and hospitality organizations to manage their recreational water (i.e., swimming pools, spas, lakes, streams, fountains). The company is now piloting VivoPoint across other functions (i.e., irrigation, cooling towers, etc.) within a facility."We recognize that commercial facility owners and managers face a daunting task in managing water as compliance and safety requirements increase, sustainability objectives are set, and costs increase," said George McCulloch, Founder and Co-CEO of Level Equity. "VivoAquatics' strong industry experience, exceptional and capital efficient growth and their amazing client orientation sets them apart as a market leader. We share their vision for continuing to build a world class software and IoT solution."About VivoAquatics: Founded in 2015, VivoAquatics is an innovative water management company providing automation solutions to hospitality destinations, water parks, fitness clubs, multi-family REITs and municipalities through its VivoPoint application. The brand's services and and VivoPoint software solution is specially designed to give clients greater control over their systems, equipment and staff for improved operational efficiency and ongoing cost-savings. For more information on VivoAquatics, please visit www.vivoaquatics.comAbout Level Equity:Based in New York, NY, Level Equity is a growth equity firm focused on providing capital to rapidly growing software and internet companies. The firm manages over $1.65 billion across a series of long term committed investment partnerships. For more information about Level Equity, visit www.levelequity.com.
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Chesapeake Hospitality Maximizes Data Management and Forecasting Efficiency with ProfitSword

ProfitSword ·16 January 2019
Greenbelt, Md. - ProfitSword, hospitality's premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the implementation of its ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution by Chesapeake Hospitality, one of the largest independent operators in the hospitality industry, specializing in full-service and upscale properties. Previously utilizing a separate third-party platform for data management and forecasting operations, Chesapeake Hospitality ultimately selected ProfitSage in order to provide its portfolio and staff with a more robust and accessible solution that could also address the complexities of ongoing company growth."After all of our departments performed an extensive evaluation of potential replacements, ProfitSage unanimously stood out as an intuitive solution that could easily extract the precise data needed to maximize profits, improve efficiency and better serve our clients," says Louis Schaab, Chief Financial Officer at Chesapeake Hospitality. "Unlike other platforms that have been developed by programmers with a purely technological background, ProfitSword is operated by individuals that have an extensive history in working within the hospitality industry, and that expertise is certainly reflected in their ability to produce a platform that fully caters to all of our data forecasting needs. With its unique insight on the industry and as a company that has served our market the longest, ProfitSword really does serve as a bellwether in the field of data management and analytics, and I can absolutely foresee us working with them in order to implement more of their solutions."With ProfitSage, company leadership and hoteliers at each Chesapeake property can gain instant and real time access to an array of valuable performance metrics, including financial statements, sales data and revenue reports. Through ProfitSage's ability to integrate with multiple disparate systems and by its maintaining of a single shared database, staff members can be confident that any data being analyzed is complete, uniform and accurate at all times. Further enhancing data management efficiency is ProfitSage's ability to automate the delivery of reports that can be scheduled on a pre-set basis."We are honored to be identified as the most reputable and established innovator of business intelligence technology by Chesapeake Hospitality, and are pleased that their employees now have the ability to understand precisely what their data means and how to use it most effectively," states Paul Bennie, Director of business development at ProfitSword. "We look forward to further working with Chesapeake Hospitality in identifying other areas that can benefit from our experience in enhancing overall business intelligence efficiency."In addition to ProfitSage, ProfitSword's line of data management platforms also includes ProfitPace, ProfitPlan and ProfitWizard. A solution developed to effectively manage sales data, ProfitPace allows businesses to efficiently monitor sales team efforts to ensure that the company is on track to achieve individual and company sales goals. It also allows for the comparison of sales pace to forecast, budget, prior years and same time last year trends. Using ProfitPlan, hoteliers can incorporate stylized report templates to produce several types of reports required to manage daily tasks and information. ProfitSword's data analysis tool, ProfitWizard, combines business intelligence, decision support, performance management and ad-hoc reporting for efficient analysis of data.

Embedding eWOM into efficiency DEA modelling: An application to the hospitality sector

mycloud HOSPITALITY·16 January 2019
Author(s): Marcello M. Mariani, Franco Visani - This paper develops and tests an innovative DEA model in the hospitality sector, by originally embedding online customer ratings among the outputs of the model. Based on a sample of 268 independent hotels located in Rome (Italy), we test a eWOM-informed DEA model and find that the introduction of online ratings among the outputs of the model significantly affects the assessment of hotels' efficiency regardless of hotel category. The efficiency rankings generated by the DEA models embedding eWOM are radically different compared to those resulting from DEA models exclusively based on financial variables. The number of hotels improving their position in the efficiency rankings is lower than the number of hotels decreasing in the ranking.
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CMS Calendar Widget: Filter ADA Updates

VIZERGY Blog·11 January 2019
Vizergy continues to stay on top of the latest ADA standards for digital products within the hospitality industry. The newest enhancement includes an update on our calendar widget allowing the user to filter ADA updates.
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Spirides Arranges $8.7 Million Hotel Development Loan for New Holiday Inn in Downtown Columbia, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 9 January 2019
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed an $8.7 million building conversion and term, first priority conventional loan from a Southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina.This new 90 guest room, 10-story, full-service Holiday Inn is being developed by converting an existing 1950s era office building into a unique, first class hotel. The building is located at 1233 Washington Street in the heart of Downtown Columbia, Richland County, SC. Hotel amenities will include the Holiday Inn Gen 4 design package, interior corridors, swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant and lounge, business center, market pantry, and a guest laundry. Nearby attractions and demand generators include the South Carolina State House Capitol and government office buildings, University of South Carolina, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina State Museum, Colonial Life Arena, Williams-Brice Stadium, Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens, EdVenture Children's Museum, local hospitals, and numerous office buildings, shops, restaurants, banks, and corporate headquarters.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn development project include a five-year term with a very favorable fixed rate of interest for the life of the loan, 70% loan to cost ratio, interest only monthly mortgage payments for the first 18 months through the construction period, followed by principal and interest payments based on a 20-year amortization schedule for the remainder of the term."Since there was no vacant land available on which to build a new hotel in the Central Business District of Downtown Columbia this ingenious building conversion project is an excellent example of adaptive reuse," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "The investors are breathing new life into an old building while conserving resources and extending the life of a historic landmark. There is a very good chance you will soon see this building on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, from a business competitive strategy perspective, this project is a clever way for a new hotel to enter a prime market which otherwise has very high barriers to entry," continues Spirides.The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) "Holiday Inn brand family is the largest hotel brand in the world, with the largest development pipeline," according to the IHG website. The first Holiday Inn was opened in 1952, and today 1,173 Holiday Inns are open for business with another 263 hotels in the pipeline. Full-service Holiday Inns, all of which feature a restaurant and lounge, operate in the upper-midscale segment of the lodging industry.
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Kahala Hotel & Resort Upgrades Financial Accounting to Aptech PVNG

Aptech · 8 January 2019
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced that Kahala Hotel & Resort installed PVNG Enterprise Accounting to upgrade its back office financial processes. The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a respected luxury oceanfront destination known for its gracious Hawaiian hospitality and elegant amenities. Browser-based PVNG simplifies accounting operations and safeguards data in the cloud. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise hotel accounting software systems.Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Kahala Hotel & Resort upgraded its back office accounting software to PVNG because it is a strong hospitality financial system that is easy to use and simple to learn," said Thushara Perera, Kahala's director of finance. "PVNG was an easy transition. Aptech trained our team online and its professional staff is always available when we have questions." The PVNG implementation for Kahala Hotel & Resort was done using the property's specific chart of accounts. "All of our financial statements were custom reports written by Aptech to match Kahala's own chart of accounts," Perera said.PVNG's user interface is built on an easy to navigate architecture. Its robust functionality and platform is completely new. The system expands on processes valued by thousands of accounting professionals that use Aptech's legacy application, Profitvue. The PVNG Enterprise Accounting System supports one property or a large multi-brand, multi-property portfolio. It uses the most current technology platform and incorporates AP, GL, AR, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with familiar browser navigation. PVNG also makes it simple to become 11th Edition compliant by implementing its packaged chart of accounts and financial statements.Sam Costa, Aptech director of customer service said, "The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a widely known full-service Hawaiian destination with five restaurants and a luxury spa. Its complex operation was a perfect fit for PVNG. We converted the system's financials to reflect Kahala's unique chart of accounts. PVNG makes it simple to convert data from other back office systems. Plus, its cloud platform lets Aptech monitor and support all aspects of the upgrade process."About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com. About The Kahala Hotel & ResortThe legendary Kahala Hotel & Resort is an oceanfront, destination luxury property known for its gracious Hawaiian hospitality. Located just minutes from Waikiki, The Kahala offers an exclusive ambiance of a neighbor island experience. The Kahala has been Honolulu's social address for weddings and gatherings since its opening in 1964. World leaders, royalty, rock bands and Oscar winners call the 338-room resort their Hawaiian home-away-from -home. The Kahala is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The resort is home to The Kahala Spa, lush tropical gardens and a natural ocean-water lagoon with the hotel's own resident dolphins cared for by Dolphin Quest. The Kahala also has five restaurants: Plumeria Beach House, Seaside Grill, The Veranda, Arancino and the award-winning Hoku's restaurant. Stay connected with The Kahala via KahalaResort.com.

A Quick and Easy Approach to Financial Fraud Detection

mycloud HOSPITALITY·20 December 2018
Financial fraud is a significant cost in the hospitality industry. According to the Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the typical organization loses 5 percent of its annual revenues to fraud. Hotels in particular are estimated to lose 5 to 6 percent of revenues to fraud on average, while the National Restaurant Association estimates that restaurants on average lose 4 percent of revenues to fraud.
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SAI, Mediafolio, and eHotelier Partner to Create a Targeted In-App Learning Experience

Systems Associates, Inc. ·19 December 2018
This partnership combines each company's expert knowledge to create a simple and integrated training solution for hotel operations teams. The combined back-of-house solution provides hotel staff with tools to follow standard operating procedures to deliver a quality, consistent product experience to guests. "When onboarding new staff members, equipping users with useful information through an effective training method is a fundamental element to their success. Our goal is to improve the user experience by providing convenient access to the right information. With this integration, employee training becomes quicker; enabling staff to serve guests with their best foot forward," said Matthew Stephens, President of eHotelier.These integrated systems will help employees of all departments onboard quicker, especially housekeeping and engineering. Having this resource handy may also aid new or outsourced housekeeping teams in deciphering how employees should complete services based on the different brand standards at each hotel. Instead of having a supervisor or experienced housekeeper repeatedly train new employees on the specifics of rooms and services, like placement of amenities, or how a certain hotel brand readies a room, eHotelier and SingleStep can populate property-specific information from within SAI's PerfectRoom App. The PerfectRoom App, a module of SynergyMMS specifically designed for Housekeeping teams to boost productivity, allows guest room attendants to view their next assignment and process rooms in real-time based on priority."Hoteliers need to empower their staff with resources that help them perform their job better and consistently," said John Clark, SynergyMMS Vice President. "We are excited to have a tool that combines productivity and quality assurance in a single easy-to-use platform. This is the best way to get more value from labor. By improving training quality and effectiveness during onboarding, hotel teams can spend more time boosting the guest experience."With SingleStep's enhanced learning tools and eHotelier's industry-specific content, both available directly in SynergyMMS Apps, onboarding processes can take less time without losing effectiveness. "This complete guided solution creates a better overall user experience. There is no need to install, test, and deploy a second application; all three products are available from within the SynergyMMS platform," said Matt Kowalczyk, President of Mediafolio Technologies, referring to the seamless integration between the systems, "Users will never have to leave the app to get property-specific information, thus creating a more efficient way of training and continued learning." The combination will also act as a help reference for users. "How-to" videos and step-by-step written content are available immediately to explain how to carry out duties based on criteria provided by management.About Mediafolio TechnologiesMediafolio Technologies, Inc, founded in Seattle, Washington, in 2013, developed a robust internet platform displays intelligent control software for stadiums, 911 dispatch centers, corporate theaters, and most recently for its flagship platform, SingleStep, deployed in hotels worldwide. SingleStep is the only intelligent training platform that uses context to deliver timely, incremental content to workforces to provide more consistent, on-brand services while spending less time learning directly from supervisors. Visit www.singlestep.com to learn more.About eHoteliereHotelier.com is the world's largest online hospitality portal, currently serving over 200,000 hospitality professionals from 196 countries around the globe. eHotelier provides professional development resources to industry professionals through online learning, career development, reference materials and collaboration. eHotelier uses learning materials created by world-renowned associations and institutions and courses specifically created under the guidance and endorsement of leading industry educators. By learning from any mobile or web device worldwide and with currently over 130 courses available, users can unlock full potential in their hospitality career. Industry leaders are relying on eHotelier to grow their careers, their teams and their businesses. Visit https://ehotelier.com/ to learn more.About Systems Associates Inc. Systems Associates Inc. is a developer of software and hardware solutions for Maintenance and Energy Management in the hospitality, education, government, commercial real estate, and retail markets. Operating in the cloud, these enterprise solutions give customers global access to innovative technologies. SynergyMMS improves the condition of a property by creating "synergy" between the various departments involved in the maintenance process thereby increasing the productivity of staff and the longevity of assets. With over 30+ years of quality relationships, SAI's experience and portfolio is an excellent resource for hospitality clients globally. For more information on SAI and/or its CONTROLIQ and SynergyMMS solutions, visit www.saicorporate.com, www.controliq.com, and www.synergymms.com respectively.
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Nor1 and Great Wolf Resorts Expand Commercial Relationship; Accelerating Guest Personalization and Pack Member (Employee) Engagement

Nor1 ·18 December 2018
December 18, 2018 -Silicon Valley, CA and Chicago, IL - Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., North America's largest family of indoor water park resorts agreed to expand their relationship with Nor1, the leader in hospitality upgrade and merchandising technology, by extending Great Wolf's utilization of the Nor1 Product Suite across their portfolio to include CheckIn Merchandising in addition to eStandby Upgrade, already in use at Great Wolf.The Nor1 Product Suite, powered by Nor1's patented, dynamic decisions intelligence engine, PRiME, is designed to drive value based on an intelligent, data-driven approach to guest engagement across the entire guest lifecycle, and includes eStandby Upgrade and CheckIn Merchandising."We are extremely excited to extend our relationship with a partner that focuses on continually elevating the guest experience," states Jason G. Bryant, Nor1's Founder & CEO. "Great Wolf fully embraces the Nor1 premise that to make significant gains in guest satisfaction while increasing company financial performance, an organization must deliver an authentic 'sales through service' approach. We know guests who are afforded the opportunity to personalize their vacation through enhanced experiences, activities and products are more likely to return. With the countless in-lodge family activities, dining options and character themed room types, Great Wolf is a perfect fit for the Nor1 suite."The Nor1 product suite provides intelligent merchandising solutions for every stage of the reservation lifecycle and guest experience, enabling hospitality companies to offer their guests the products, services and experiences most likely to make their trip more enjoyable, and at the a when they're actively planning their getaway."At Great Wolf Resorts, our renewed partnership with Nor1 provides us with powerful, easy-to-use tools that allow our pack members to fully focus on our guests and families. By delivering exceptional service while authentically presenting each family with unique, memory-making opportunities, we forge a closer relationship between our guests and front-line pack members" explains Brian Casebolt, Senior Vice President of Ancillary Revenue. "From our frontline team to lodge and corporate leadership, the feedback is clear - Nor1 has accelerated our performance - driving higher guest satisfaction, greater pack engagement and improved profitability. A win-win for all involved."Nor1 services more than 1 million rooms at over 5,000 properties that currently benefit from its real-time, data-driven pricing and merchandising solutions. The company holds patents on the industry's only real-time decision engine related to premium inventory which leverages the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence methods and maintains over 150M unique buyer behavior records.About Nor1, Inc. Nor1 is the leader in hospitality upgrade, up-sell, and merchandising technology. Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices across the world, Nor1 provides data-driven pricing and merchandising products that maximize incremental revenues for Hilton, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, Wyndham, and other global hotels and resorts.Nor1's real-time pricing and merchandising intelligence engine, PRiME, powers eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, eReach, and eDirect to recommend the most relevant upgrade to the right guest at the right time for the most optimal price.Our investors include Concur Technologies, Goldman Sachs, and Accel Partners.For more information, please visit www.nor1.com.About Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. is North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge brand. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash., Fitchburg, Mass., Charlotte, N.C.; Garden Grove, Calif., Colorado Springs, Colo., Bloomington, Minn., LaGrange, Ga., and Gurnee, Ill. Additional resorts planned include Scottsdale, Ariz. (late 2019) and Manteca, Calif. (mid 2020).Additional information may be found on the company's Web site at www.greatwolf.com.Media Contact:Great Wolf LodgeJason Lasecki, Director of Corporate CommunicationsC: 608.807.8061 / E: JLasecki@greatwolf.comAll product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this press release are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, and brands does not imply endorsement.
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SevenRooms Announces Continuation Of Partnership With American Express

SevenRooms, Inc. ·13 December 2018
NEW YORK (December 13, 2018) -- SevenRooms, the all-in-one reservation, seating and guest management platform, today announced an expansion of their relationship with American Express to help provide UK Platinum Cardmembers with access to restaurant reservations across the globe, all within the American Express mobile app.The SevenRooms integration into American Express' new digital reservation service enables UK Platinum Cardmembers to quickly search and instantly book reservations at hundreds of American Express Global Dining Collection partners worldwide, and even more restaurants nationwide in the UK. This partnership builds on an existing relationship with American Express and its Platinum and Centurion Dining Concierge, whereby SevenRooms provides quick and seamless access to global reservation inventory for Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers."Having enjoyed collaborating with American Express for almost five years, we're excited to expand our successful partnership through this new integration into their UK mobile app, bringing ease of booking to UK Platinum Cardmembers," said Joel Montaniel, CEO & Founder at SevenRooms. "Through our partnership with American Express, we are driving further value for our hospitality and restaurant partners by opening a direct, mobile booking channel for American Express' premium Cardmembers who enjoy dining at premier restaurants around the world. We look forward to the year ahead as we continue to add more restaurant inventory, and bring more value to American Express Platinum Cardmembers around the world.""As our Premium Cardmembers love to dine out, we are excited to expand our relationship with SevenRooms to put hundreds of Global Dining Collection restaurants, as well as thousands of other restaurants across the globe at our Cardmembers' fingertips so they can search and book reservations for every occasion while on the go," said Chris Cracchiolo, SVP, Global Loyalty & Benefits at American Express.For more information on SevenRooms, or to get in touch regarding the partnership, please visit www.sevenrooms.com.##About SevenRoomsFrom neighborhood restaurants to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, SevenRooms empowers operators to create and cultivate meaningful, direct relationships with guests that make exceptional experiences possible. Founded in 2011 in New York, the reservation, seating and guest management solution gives operators the tools they need to develop direct relationships with guests, boosting revenue and enabling personalized service and marketing. SevenRooms has restaurant, hotel and nightlife clients in more than 100 cities worldwide, including: Jumeirah Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Standard Hotels, LDV Hospitality, Live Nation, Zuma, TAO Group, Bagatelle, Altamarea Group, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, NoHo Hospitality Group, Chase Hospitality Group, Mercer Street Hospitality, Corbin and King and The h.wood Group.About the American Express Mobile App Digital Reservation ServiceLaunched in October 2018, the digital reservation service in the Amex mobile app enables UK Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers to instantly book thousands of restaurants on the go including exclusive Cardmember reservations. This service is part of the American Express Global Dining Collection, which offers Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers one-of-a-kind dining experiences and access to hundreds of exclusive tables reserved daily at some of the most sought-after restaurants in the world.
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Urgo Hotels & Resorts Installs Targetvue for Standardized Budget Across 40 Properties

Aptech · 5 December 2018
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced that Urgo Hotels & Resorts implemented the Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting system to standardize budget control processes throughout its portfolio. Urgo provides management for international brands including Marriott and Hilton as well as independent properties across major markets in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise hotel accounting software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Urgo wanted better control of its budget processes. Targetvue gives us that control," said Jim Bowne, VP/Corporate Controller, at Urgo Hotels & Resorts. "Targetvue provides us one version of the budget. Each property can make its budget updates and we have a workbook that reflects each property's daily updates. We review and accept the changes at the corporate office, lock the budget, and send to ownership for approval. Targetvue gives Urgo one platform with one budget, not multiple spreadsheet variations.""Targetvue provides an automated forecasting platform that builds on daily updated performance data from property operations. It is a continuous 'pulse meter' that compares actual against plan," said Jill Wilder, Aptech vice president. "This 'living budget' gives operators the ability to plan day by day for the greatest profitability."Urgo also installed Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Hotel Accounting software. "We overhauled our entire financial reporting platform" said Bowne. "Targetvue lets us automatically transfer numbers to our GL so we no longer have to do this manually. This saves us time and eliminates the rekeying of data, which keeps our operation more accurate."Urgo Hotels & Resorts created a custom chart of accounts to incorporate their multiple entities. "Targetvue made our custom chart work," said Bowne. "Aptech made modifications to suit Urgo's operations. The nice thing about Targetvue is that you can refine processes and make changes as the process/company evolves. Our budget process is driven at the property level. The general manager and the team oversees the initial development of the budget. Our corporate team reviews and provides guidance for the property's data and goals."Targetvue went live at Urgo in 4Q 2018. "Many of our entities need data fast and Targetvue helps us stay ahead of the curve to get numbers we need to react timely to changes in operations," Bowne said. "Aptech is customer service oriented. They showed us how to use Targetvue's budgeting system. We expect to implement Targetvue's forecasting capabilities in the near future."About Urgo Hotels & ResortsUrgo Hotels is a Bethesda, Maryland-based hotel company that develops, owns and/or operates 42 distinctive and unique hotels and resorts with an aggregate of more than 4,900 rooms in major markets and resorts in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The company develops, builds and operates for its own account, and provides third-party management and asset management services. For more information about Urgo Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.urgohotels.com.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
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VENZA and TraknProtect empower hotel employees

VENZA · 4 December 2018
VENZA has announced a new partnership with Chicago-based TraknProtect, a move designed to provide hotels with safety buttons and ongoing employee training in one easy-to-use system.This development comes as legislation strengthening sexual harassment policies in the hospitality industry has become widespread and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and its major hotel members (including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Wyndham) have announced plans by 2020 to provide employee safety devices to all staff that directly interact with guests. The laws in New York, Seattle and Chicago are already in effect, with Miami Beach following in August 2019. Along with the need for better personal security solutions, hoteliers are realizing that they must integrate better staff training platforms, a solution now available to VENZA and TraknProtect clients as a more effective way to deliver employee training.Utilizing a network of BLE & Wi-Fi gateways, the TraknProtect platform gathers real-time location data from the safety buttons once they are activated. The proprietary software (available via mobile app, web app and desktop) allows designated staff to receive alerts and respond quickly, knowing the exact location of their employees, even if they have moved since triggering the alert."Recognizing that both our companies were in alignment--empowering hospitality employees with our respective services--we decided to partner and better serve the industry," said Josh Bergen, VENZA President. "With this new partnership, VENZA will be utilizing PEAK, its proprietary learning portal to host training courses for TraknProtect clients." The partnership also assures hotel management that they are compliant while mitigating their liability and securing the safety of their staff, an issue taking on more urgency with the #MeToo movement and initiatives by many major hotel brands to strengthen sexual harassment awareness and training. By leveraging PEAK, clients will be better able to identify and address knowledge gaps and vulnerabilities in their employee training, access program information on how to use the safety buttons and instruct those responsible for responding to safety button alerts."Hoteliers are increasingly focused on the importance of creating safe environments for staff and guests, and we are especially pleased to develop our partnership with VENZA at a time when more hotel companies and more cities are developing stronger protection and security measures," said Parminder Batra, CEO & Co-Founder of TraknProtect.About VENZADrawing on decades of experience, VENZA is a data protection company that can help organizations mitigate their vulnerabilities and ensure compliance, keeping guests and their data safe from breaches. By delivering a security solution for readiness, reassurance and response, VENZA offers 360-degree visibility for proactive management of risks--so users can focus on guest service and building trust in their brand. Better visibility means better defense. Know the risks, protect the enterprise with VENZA.More than 225,000 users in 100+ countries look to VENZA for tools, technology, and strategic security support. Founded in 2008 with a decade of service to the hospitality industry, VENZA is a privately held company with regional offices in Atlanta, GA and The Hague, Netherlands. For more information, visit VENZAgroup.com.About TraknProtectBased in Chicago, IL, TraknProtect is a real-time location technology company enabling hotels to integrate the power of location data into their safety and operations systems. TraknProtect offers the only safety button solution tailored for the hospitality industry and is premised on the fastest-growing Internet of Things (IoT) platform in the industry. TraknProtect endeavors to help hotels enhance guest satisfaction, increase employee efficiency, and improve employee safety throughout their properties.Through its proprietary software (mobile app, web app, and desktop), a property's security team or designated staff have access to real-time location data of an employee during a distress call, as well as inventory, food & beverage ("F&B") room service trays and vendor or staff activity on property, all on one platform.
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Driftwood Acquisitions & Development Enters Atlanta Market With Acquisition Of Three Marriott-branded Hotels

Driftwood Acquisitions & Development · 3 December 2018
Driftwood Acquisitions and Development (DAD) a privately held investment firm specializing in the acquisition and development of quality hotel assets announced today its entry into the Atlanta market with the acquisition of three Marriott-flagged properties as part of a six-property Marriott select-service portfolio. The hotels DAD acquired are: Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Buckhead; Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Perimeter Center; and Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Alpharetta. All of the properties were renovated between 2015 and 2017. Hunter Hotel Advisors brokered the transaction.DAD is inviting accredited investors to co-invest in these three hotels through its unique syndication platform, which allows clients to invest in institutional-quality, fully-financed, income-producing hotel projects in the United States. Since launching in 2015, DAD has built a portfolio that now includes 18 operating hotels and two new-build developments under construction. All of its properties are managed by DADs sister company, Driftwood Hospitality Management (DHM), a leader in providing solutions-based services for the domestic and international hotel industry with over 20 years of expertise in hotel acquisition, development, repositioning, renovation and operations. We are delighted to be entering Atlantas thriving hotel market with the acqui sition of these three high-quality, Marriott-branded hotels, said Carlos J. Rodriguez Sr., chairman and chief executive officer of DAD. With this acquisition, DAD can offer its clients an unprecedented opportunity to co-invest in several recently renovated assets in Atlantas most sought-after submarkets. The other three hotels included in the transaction that will be managed by DHM but owned separately by DADs joint venture partner are: the 82-room SpringHill Suites Atlanta Alpharetta; the 88-room TownPlace Suites Atlanta Alpharetta; and 81-room TownPlace Suites Atlanta Kennesaw.Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Buckhead, located at 3092 Piedmont Road NE, is a 115-guestroom hotel in one of Atlantas most affluent neighborhoods and thriving business districts. Home to nearly 70,000 jobs, Buckhead received over 32 million visitors in 2017. The hotel is a five-minute walk to the Buckhead MARTA rail stop, which offers a direct line to Hartsfi eld-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and close to the areas most popular shopping and entertainment centers, such as The Buckhead Theatre, Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square.Fairfield Inn Atlanta Perimeter Center, located at 1145 Hammond Drive, is a 114-guestroom hotel conveniently located north of downtown Atlanta in Sandy Springs a city that has more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other city in the U.S. The hotel is located directly next to the new $1 billion, 2.2 million-square-foot State Farm campus, and within minutes of multinational headquarters for companies including UPS, Cox Communications, Cisco, Mercedes Benz USA, and Amtrak. It is also close to three major area hospitals containing more than 40 percent of the metro areas hospital beds.Fairfield Inn Suites Alpharetta, located at 11385 Haynes Bridge Road, is an 88-guestroom hotel located off Exit 9 on SR-400 in the Technology City of the South. With over 600 techn ology/telecomm companies, (including LexisNexis, ADP, Equifax, HP, FiServ, Comcast and AT&T) and 20 million square feet of office space, Alpharetta has one of the largest concentrations of high-tech firms in a single community in the U.S. Alpharettas healthcare sector includes more than 90 hospitals and psychiatric care centers and more than 13,000 licensed physicians. Home to some of the most affluent families in the southeast, Alpharetta boasts a strong retail/leisure sector with a mix of historic downtown shopping and high-end boutiques.
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Spirides Arranges $5 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Radisson in Florence, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 3 December 2018
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed a $5 million construction to permanent first priority mortgage loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Radisson Park Inn in Florence, South Carolina.This soon to be built Radisson Park Inn will be a limited-service hotel featuring 60 guest rooms and suites in a 3-story interior corridor building situated on 1.5 acres of land. Hotel features will include a breakfast area, business center, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, guest laundry, meeting room, market, and vending area. The hotel will be located in Florence County, South Carolina on Mandeville Drive just off of Interstate 95 at the W. Lucas Street (U.S. Highway 52) exit. The hotel will be located in the Fairfield Festival business and retail development and will be situated less than three miles from Florence city center. The site is located just minutes from Darlington Raceway & Museum, Florence Regional Airport, and Florence Civic Center. Other nearby demand generators and attractions include The War Between the States Museum, Magnolia Mall, Pee Dee Farmers Market, Florence Art Gallery, Veterans Park, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence Symphony Orchestra, Florence Little Theatre, colleges, universities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, various businesses, and corporate headquarters.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Radisson Park Inn development include a favorable interest rate, a 25-year term, an 80% loan to cost ratio, interest only monthly mortgage payments for the first 12 months of the loan through the construction period, followed by principal and interest payments based on a 24-year amortization for the remainder of the term."The City of Florence, South Carolina, which was founded as a railroad hub, today remains vitally linked with the U.S. transportation system by being the midway point between New York City and Miami, Florida on Interstate 95. This geographic fact has led to strong demand for hotel accommodations at Interstate 95's exits in the metropolitan Florence area. Additionally, Florence's good interstate access, which also includes Interstate 20, has allowed it to be the home of a QVC Distribution Center, an Otis Elevator manufacturing plant, and a Honda manufacturing plant among numerous other businesses," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "Florence's national transportation system nexus coupled together with the City of Florence's ongoing large downtown redevelopment project will only continue to boost demand for hotel rooms in Florence," continues Spirides.Park Inn by Radisson is a growing upper midscale hotel brand. With 149 hotels currently operating and another 54 in development, the concept features all necessary modern hotel services and amenities, a unique guest service philosophy called "Adding Color to Life," and a cost-effective building design which includes colorful and contemporary interiors with a hip and modern feel. Radisson Hotel Group defines the Park Inn brand's competitive set as including Hilton Garden Inn, Four Points by Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott.
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SevenRooms Partners With FreedomPay To Offer A Secure Commerce Platform To Hospitality Clients

SevenRooms, Inc. ·27 November 2018
PHILADELPHIA (November 27, 2018) -- FreedomPay, the global leader in secure commerce technology for lodging, gaming, retail, restaurants, stadiums and other hospitality merchants, has integrated with SevenRooms, a leading, all-in-one reservation, seating and guest management platform. With this integration, SevenRooms is able to offer restaurant partners a secure way to store credit card data and process payments through FreedomPay's PCI-validated P2PE payment platform.By integrating to FreedomPay, SevenRooms clients can increase revenue and enhance the guest experience. FreedomPay's Advanced Commerce Platform enables SevenRooms restaurant and hospitality partners to charge a credit card at the time of a reservation booking, reducing the likelihood of cancellations and no-shows while increasing prepayment revenue. All guest credit card information can also be saved in a fully PCI-compliant manner, minimizing a restaurant's risk in capturing and storing sensitive transactional data. By tokenizing credit card information, restaurants are able to comply with the highest level of payment security."SevenRooms is a leader in reservation, seating and guest management services, putting ease of use at the forefront of the customer experience," said Christopher Kronenthal, FreedomPay President and Chief Technology Officer. "We're thrilled to have SevenRooms integrate to our Advanced Commerce Platform, resulting in secure online payments, better profitability and an improved guest experience.""FreedomPay allows us to keep customers' data secure while ensuring the reservation and booking aspect of their hospitality experience is seamless," said Joel Montaniel, CEO & Founder, SevenRooms. "As a leader in secure commerce technology, FreedomPay was the natural choice to bring additional enterprise-grade payment functionality to our platform. We are committed to driving further value for our enterprise clients by offering them more ways to securely process payments at their properties both online and offline."About FreedomPayThe FreedomPay Commerce Platform is the best way for merchants to simplify complex payment environments. Validated by the PCI Security Standards Council for Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) along with EMV, Tokenization, Contactless and DCC capabilities, global leaders in retail, hospitality, gaming, education, healthcare and financial services trust FreedomPay to deliver unmatched security and advanced value-added services. With broad integrations across top point-of-sale, device manufacturers and payment processors, supported by rapid API adoption, FreedomPay, the industry's first TransAtlantic payments solution, is driving the future of commerce and customer interaction. For more information, go to www.freedompay.com.About SevenRoomsFrom neighborhood restaurants to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, SevenRooms empowers operators to create and cultivate meaningful, direct relationships with guests that make exceptional experiences possible. Founded in 2011 in New York, the reservation, seating and guest management solution gives operators the tools they need to develop direct relationships with guests, boosting revenue and enabling personalized service and marketing. SevenRooms has restaurant, hotel and nightlife clients in more than 100 cities worldwide, including: Jumeirah Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Standard Hotels, LDV Hospitality, Live Nation, Zuma, TAO Group, Bagatelle, Altamarea Group, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, NoHo Hospitality Group, Chase Hospitality Group, Mercer Street Hospitality, Corbin and King and The h.wood Group. www.sevenrooms.com
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Maestro PMS Helps Free Up Staff, Empowers Guests with Self-Serve Online Payment Portal; 'Anytime,' 'Any Device'

NORTHWIND-Maestro ·19 November 2018
Markham, Ontario - Maestro PMS just made advanced payment processes safer and more convenient for independent operators and their guests. Maestro adds to its full array of mobile and online solutions with the launch of its Payment Portal module that engages guests online by connecting them with a property to quickly make payments against their upcoming reservations. The new system also saves the property time and reduces collection fees by automatically emailing deposit reminders. Maestro PMS is the preferred cloud and on-premise property software solution. Maestro offers web browser and windows access in either deployment for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers and multi-property groups."Maestro's new Payment Portal is ideal for guests who want the flexibility to self-serve their advance deposit payments. It is a perfect way for properties to engage with guests and meet the mobile needs of today's travelers," said Warren Dehan, Maestro PMS President. "Our Payment Portal module lets guests make payments anytime from any device without giving their credit card number over the phone. The system uses a secure website that is fully integrated in Maestro property software so advance deposits are posted real time."The module lets a hotel automatically email payment reminders with a link to the Payment Portal at predetermined intervals to free the accounting staff for other duties. Maestro's Payment Portal website is branded with the property software's look and feel and is fully secure for credit card payments. "The module is flexible to adapt to any property's billing policies for single or multiple advance deposit payments," said Dehan. "In the future the Payment Portal will be available for use by condo properties, club member payments and corporate contract groups."The Maestro Property Management System delivers flexible and scalable deployment options with an identical full-featured web browser or windows solution available in the cloud or on premise. Maestro's revenue-generating hotel management software tools and services increase profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations and provide personalized and mobile guest service tools to enhance the guest experience. Click here for more information on how to engage and socialize with Maestro PMS.About Maestro PMS Maestro is the preferred cloud and on-premises PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals, and multi-property groups. Maestro's PCI certified and EMV ready enterprise system offers 20+ integrated modules on a single database including web and mobile apps to increase profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations, and enable operators to engage guests with a personalized experience. For over 40 years Maestro's Diamond Plus Service has provided unparalleled 24/7 North American based support and education services to keep hospitality groups operational and productive. Click here for more information on Maestro.
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Auro Hotels Partners with ProfitSword to Maximize Data Management Efficiency and Forecasting Abilities

ProfitSword ·13 November 2018
Greenville, S.C. - November 13, 2018 -ProfitSword, hospitality's premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the implementation of its ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution by Auro Hotels, a hotel developer, owner and manager overseeing 30 upscale properties across the United States. Originally utilizing its own in-house business intelligence platform, Auro Hotels selected ProfitSage in order to implement a more robust and systematic forecasting strategy that could adapt to the company's ongoing growth and increasing complexity, while also maximizing operational efficiency and increasing the potential for additional revenue."After identifying ProfitSword as one of the most highly regarded organizations in serving hospitality's business intelligence needs, along with its impressive customer base, the decision to implement their solutions was a straightforward one to make," states Luke Finley, Chief Financial Officer at Auro Hotels. "Since partnering with ProfitSword, we have been very impressed with the company's commitment to offering personalized support and ensuring that our properties continue to benefit from an unmatched level of data management efficiency."After extensive research in comparing competing solutions and examining the experiences of other hospitality companies, Auro Hotels identified ProfitSword as the industry's go-to provider for implementing a uniform and effective business intelligence process that could also seamlessly integrate with pre-existing systems used across its portfolio. When using ProfitSage, hoteliers at each property will be able to instantly forecast metrics, such as monthly bottom lines, daily labor expenses and accounts payable. With such information automatically uploaded into the ProfitSword user interface in real time and also made available via pre-scheduled reports, Auro Hotels can further ensure that both local hotel and corporate leadership have the necessary data to make informed, yet timely decisions."Like many hospitality management organizations that are experiencing substantial business growth, Auro Hotels required an effective business intelligence solution that could address the increasing number of disparate systems used at each location, and yet still provide staff with the ability to fully understand what their data means and how to use it most effectively," said Colin Findley, VP of business development at ProfitSword. "We are honored to have been given the opportunity to identify the challenges faced by Auro Hotels, and work with them in implementing a solution that precisely meets their needs."As a comprehensive provider of business intelligence solutions, ProfitSword's line of data management platforms also includes ProfitPace, ProfitPlan and ProfitWizard. A solution developed to effectively manage sales data, ProfitPace allows businesses to efficiently monitor sales team efforts to ensure that the company is on track to achieve individual and company sales goals. It also allows for the comparison of sales pace to forecast, budget, prior years and same time last year trends. Using ProfitPlan, hoteliers can incorporate stylized report templates to produce several types of reports required to manage daily tasks and information. ProfitSword's data analysis tool, ProfitWizard, combines business intelligence, decision support, performance management and ad-hoc reporting for efficient analysis of data.
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VENZA Appoints Josh Bergen as President

VENZA · 7 November 2018
As part of 2018's wave of growth and development, and to support its overarching drive for excellence, VENZA recognized the need to bring on an additional layer of leadership. This week, VENZA announced the appointment of Josh Bergen, CHAE, CHTP, to the position of President. Jeff Venza, formerly President & CEO, will remain with VENZA as CEO and Chairman of the Board.The move to President will leverage Bergen's hospitality background, leadership skills and financial expertise and help to position VENZA at the forefront of data protection in the hospitality industry. Jeff's focus will now be on the creation of the VENZA Board of Directors and the securing of additional strategic business partners to continue growing the business.Josh has been employed with VENZA for just over a year, and in that time, moved from VP of Marketing to Corporate Controller to the new role as President. What has been behind this quick rise through the VENZA ranks? A resume that reads like a who's who in the hospitality industry, for starters, with Josh having held several executive roles since 2006. In his esteemed career, he's also held many different positions within the hospitality industry--from operations and finance/accounting to SaaS-based sales. Hailing from Florida and having graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in hospitality management and accounting, as well as a Master of Science in Hospitality Management, his academic prowess is perfectly aligned with VENZA's goals and strategic vision. And for those who have attended the annual HITEC conventions, his street cred is legendary, having danced onstage with Wyclef Jean and Flo Rida at successive events. Bergen's diverse hospitality background, team-building skills and exceptional leadership style have been an asset to VENZA thus far and will now be fully utilized within his role as President."As President, Josh will provide leadership to position the company at the forefront of data protection within the hospitality industry, as well as develop a strategic plan to advance the company's revenue, profitability and growth. This will all be accomplished while maintaining our company's mission to guide good people to do great things," says Jeff. "He will work in conjunction with Diona Reeves, our COO, to ensure production efficiency, quality, customer service and cost-effective management of our resources."VENZA's focus will not change with this new parsing of corporate duties, "The success of our customers is the lifeblood of our company, everyone should be doing their part to protect sensitive data in this age of identity theft, using our training hotel staff are able to protect guest data on a daily basis just as the VENZA staff focusses on solving real-world data protection/compliance challenges for our hospitality clients." said Josh Bergen, President.
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OTA Insight to Release UK and European Hotel Parity Report at WTM London

OTA Insight · 1 November 2018
London -- OTA Insight, the cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry, today announced its plans to release their first-ever UK and European Hotel Parity Report during WTM London on Monday, November 5 at its launch event at the Good Hotel, London from 4:00pm. Register here. WTM London attendees will also be able to get a copy of the report at OTA Insight's stand TT323.The UK and European Hotel Parity Report provides a deep-dive into market trends affecting rate parity for hotels, including:European parity performance trendsParity performance of Major Chains versus Independents and Local ChainsRate variance breakdownContracted versus non-contracted channel performanceParity performance by channelFindings from European Hotel Parity ReportResults from OTA Insight's first-ever European Hotel Parity Report have found that price parity is a major issue for European hoteliers. 52 percent of the time, OTA rates were more competitive than an Independent or Local Chain hotel's website rate, whilst in Major Chain Hotels this occurred 44 percent of the time. The report also reveals the leading channels where these parity issues occur, with eSky topping the list for Independent Hotels and Local Chains as well as across Major Chain Hotels. The full report will provide a complete breakdown on parity for the UK and European markets.The report was compiled from data generated from OTA Insight's parity intelligence platform, Parity Insight. The user-friendly dashboard tracks where hoteliers are losing valuable revenue and finds all discrepancies between their brand and third-party channels. Through Parity Insight, revenue managers are able to view historical parity issues to monitor the evolution of their performance, track future parity issues up to 12 months in advance, as well as monitor real-time updates on how rates are appearing on OTA and metasearch websites."Our European Hotel Parity Report was created to empower revenue managers and give them a benchmark to manage their overall parity performance," says Gino Engels, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of OTA Insight. "Whether you're an independent or major hotel chain, the report will walk you through where and why parity issues arise, as well as offer some action points that will guide towards a better future parity performance."Earlier this year, OTA Insight released their first-ever North American Hotel Parity Report. Results from the North American Parity Report found that in North America, 48 percent of the time, OTA rates were more competitive than an Independent or Local Chain hotel's website rate, which is in contrast to Major Chain Hotels where this occurs 24 percent of the time.The report will be available for download on November 5 here.About OTA InsightOTA Insight empowers hoteliers to make smarter revenue and distribution decisions through its market-leading suite of cloud-based business intelligence solutions including Rate Insight, Parity Insight and Revenue Insight. With live updates, 24/7 support from our customer success team, and a highly intuitive and customizable dashboard, the OTA Insight platform integrates with other industry tools including hotel property management systems, leading RMS solutions and data benchmarking providers. OTA Insight's team of international experts are based all over the world, including the UK, US, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and India, and supports over 30,000 properties in 140 countries. Ranked one of 10 "Ones to Watch" in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, OTA Insight is widely recognized as a leader in hospitality business intelligence.For more information, visit www.otainsight.com and follow us on Twitter @otainsight.

New administration of Malaysia confirms that the tourism industry is a key economic force

mycloud HOSPITALITY·28 October 2018
Tourism as a key economic force: Malaysia, the Official Partner Country of ITB Berlin, which will take place from 6 to 10 March 2019 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, is aiming to strengthen its tourism industry.
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Spirides Arranges $7.8 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Holiday Inn Express in Rock Hill, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company ·25 October 2018
TAMPA, FL--Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed a $7.8 million construction and term first priority mortgage loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn Express in Rock Hill, South Carolina.This soon to be built Holiday Inn Express will feature 92 guest rooms and suites in a 5-story building situated on 1.4 acres of land. It will be located at 680 Tinsley Way, just off of Interstate 77 at the Dave Lyle Boulevard exit, in the City of Rock Hill, York County, SC, which is part of the Charlotte, NC metropolitan area. The hotel will be located in the Manchester Village Business and Retail Center. Cherry Park, Winthrop University and York Technical College are only a 5-mile drive from the site. Nearby attractions include Narroway Productions, Carowinds, Historic Brattonsville, and the York County Museum.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn Express development project include a very favorable fixed interest rate, a four-year term, interest only monthly mortgage payments for the first 24 months of the loan through the construction period, followed by principal and interest payments based on a 20-year amortization for the remainder of the term."The incentives offered for new business formation in the Rock Hill area are quite remarkable," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "From the City of Rock Hill's tax increment finance districts which are funding public facility and infrastructure improvements, to York County's property tax abatement and exemption programs which are stimulating capital investment, to the State of South Carolina's numerous tax credits, exemptions, and caps, there are few places in the United States that all levels of government are this unified and serious about creating a favorable environment for business development, job creation, and corporate relocation," continues Spirides.Holiday Inn Express hotels is IHG's (InterContinental Hotel Group's) fastest growing franchised brand. It has operated for over 25 years in the midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. With more than 2,570 hotels open in 33 countries the Holiday Inn Express brand has the flexibility to perform well in any location, from an interstate to an airport to an urban center.

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