Cookies on HFTP Bytes

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us give you the best possible user experience.
By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Read our Privacy Notice to learn more.

I understand
  • 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.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

    As we prepare to transition to the new HFTP Global board at the 2018 Annual Convention in October, I would like to take the time to reflect on my year serving as HFTP Global president.

  • 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.

  • IT Spending in the Lodging Industry Three-year Analysis: 2015–2017

    By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Arlene Ramirez, CHE, CHAE; and Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. PART II: An analysis of IT spending data in the lodging industry based on reporting in the new USALI Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems.

commercial

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.
commercial

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.
commercial

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.
commercial

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.
commercial

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.
commercial

The Peabody Memphis Installs Aptech PVNG Cloud Accounting to Simplify Processes

Aptech ·17 October 2018
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced that The Peabody Memphis upgraded its back office financial system to cloud-based PVNG Enterprise Accounting to simplify accounting operations and safeguard data in the cloud. The landmark 464-room Memphis luxury hotel was named the 2018 'Best Historic Hotel' in USA TODAY's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. 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."Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Accounting is easy to learn and use for our staff. One of our growth initiatives is to put as much data in the cloud as possible, PVNG hotel accounting software does this for us," said Kristen Barnett, The Peabody Memphis' Director of Financial Reporting. "Our conversion process to PVNG was simple, and the system's navigation is intuitive." The Peabody Memphis accounting team uses Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers to access PVNG. The system is compatible with all major internet browsers. Aptech hosts the PVNG system at its secure network data center in Pittsburgh.Sam Costa, Aptech director of customer service said, "The Peabody Memphis used Aptech's Profitvue hotel accounting software system for a number of years. We engineered PVNG to enable smooth data conversion from other back office systems. The system is cloud-based so Aptech's team can provide personal hands-on support to simplify the upgrade process.""Aptech support is excellent. Their experienced professional staff ensured every detail of our conversion was addressed and completed," Barnett said. "PVNG's response time is very fast. This makes it easier for our accounting team to move between accounts payable and G/L modules to get the work done faster. It does what it is supposed to do quickly."PVNG provides an easy to navigate architecture. Its robust functionality emerged from Aptech's legacy application, Profitvue, used by thousands of hotel accounting professionals. PVNG 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.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

The Peabody Memphis Installs Aptech PVNG Cloud Accounting to Simplify Processes

mycloud HOSPITALITY·17 October 2018
Aptech Computer Systems announced that The Peabody Memphis upgraded its back office financial system to cloud-based PVNG Enterprise Accounting to simplify accounting operations and safeguard data in the cloud. The landmark 464-room Memphis luxury hotel was named the 2018 ‘Best Historic Hotel’ in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. 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.
commercial

RateGain and Hotelogix join hands to help hotels with real-time distribution

RateGain ·16 October 2018
The partnership would establish a two-way connectivity, where rates and availability from the Hotelogix PMS will automatically be pushed to RezGain, RateGain's Channel Management platform for distribution across all the connected demand partners. Similarly, bookings on OTAs would also get instantaneously updated on Hotelogix PMS delivered through RateGainExpressing his views on this partnership, Apurva Chamaria, Chief Revenue Officer at RateGain said, "This well-reasoned joint effort with Hotelogix indicates our commitment towards partnering with hospitality technology leaders that offer significant value to hotels. Through this association, we aim to offer a premium product to progressive hoteliers globally to help them maximize their business potential available across online platforms."RateGain supports hotels across the globe to ensure real-time centralized distribution, zero overbooking and parity assurance with its Channel Management and DHISCO switch solutions. The company helps 500,000 hotels in over 191 countries in their effort to update rates and inventory across multiple OTAs, instantly. RateGain connects its hotel partners to over 127 leading OTAs and other sales channels.Commenting on this strategic alliance, Prabhash Bhatnagar, Founder at Hotelogix said, "RateGain is a global leader in Distribution technology space. We are excited about this alliance as it helps hotels to move onto the cloud with a comprehensive management and distribution solution."Speaking on the usefulness of this integration, Anastasia D. Vorobyeva, General Manager at Ayurveda Bhavan Center, India said, "We serve to a sizeable number of international patrons and we attract them through 10 OTAs that we are connected to. With this integration, we now get to save time, and it will surely get us more OTA bookings. Plus, it has also ensured zero double-booking that used to result in guest dissatisfaction earlier."About HotelogixHotelogix provides a robust cloud-based Hotel PMS that helps hotels to automate and manage their end-to-end operations with ease. It also assists hotels to drive growth, increase revenue and to enhance their online reputation. The PMS is hosted on Amazon Web Services, and thus offers the much-needed stability and security to hoteliers. The company has rich experience in serving global markets with customers in 100 plus countries including developed geographies such as North America and Europe.About RateGainRateGain is a leading provider of cloud-based innovative solutions for the Travel and Hospitality Industry. RateGain provides the latest technology in rate intelligence, price optimization, seamless electronic distribution, and brand engagement. Founded in 2004, RateGain has 12,000 clients around the globe including hotels, online travel agents, airlines, car rental companies, cruise liners as well as tour operators and wholesalers like IHG, Melia Hotels International, Lufthansa, Expedia, Hertz Corporation, Priceline.com, Carnival Cruise, etc. RateGain processes over 20 billion data point daily from more than 1,000 sites to provide value every day. In 2018, RateGain acquired DHISCO to become the leading, comprehensive travel and hospitality technology distribution platform. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we help hospitality and travel companies make more revenue every day. For more information, please visit https://rategain.com/Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the statements containing the words 'planned', 'expects', 'believes',' strategy', 'opportunity', 'anticipates', 'hopes' or other similar words. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding impact of pending regulatory proceedings, fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services, data services and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, customer acceptance of our services, products and fee structures, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, our ability to integrate acquired assets in a cost-effective and timely manner, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-timeframe contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of our brand development efforts, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies /entities in which we have made strategic investments.
commercial

Nor1 Partners with SLS Las Vegas to Optimize Upsell Revenue and Enhance Guest Experience

Nor1 ·11 October 2018
Santa Clara, CA and Las Vegas, NV - SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino has signed an agreement to begin utilizing the entire Nor1 Merchandising Platform Product Suite to actively engage their guests throughout their journeys. The Nor1 Merchandising Platform Product Suite is designed to deliver intelligent, personalized, compelling offers to the right guest at the right time and at the right price and includes eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, and eReach, all powered by Nor1's patented, dynamic decisions intelligence engine PRiME."We are extremely excited to partner with SLS Las Vegas to use our entire Nor1 Merchandising Platform at their distinctive luxury resort and casino," stated Pavan Kapur, Nor1's SVP of Global Gaming. "The ability that our full product suite provides includes the right upsells at the right times during the guest journey, when the guest is contemplating how to make their trip more enjoyable and they're most ready to spend their travel dollars, which is key to enhancing guest experience and maximizing revenue.""The Nor1 Merchandising Platform provides us with the decision intelligence and easy-to-use tools we need to provide smart, personalized, compelling offers to our guests for our premium rooms and services, as well as our on-property amenities such as Restaurants, Spa, Entertainment, and Gaming," said Brian Christensen, VP of Revenue Management, SLS Las Vegas. "Being able to present these opportunities to our guests at the most appropriate times, in a manner that enhances our guests' experiences and satisfaction while maximizing our revenue is a great win-win for all."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 SLS Las Vegas SLS Las Vegas is an all-encompassing resort and casino with 1,615 guest rooms and suites in three distinctive towers, over 95,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a collection of acclaimed restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. The inviting casino occupies 60,000 square feet and features approximately 600 of the latest slot and video poker machines complemented by more than 50 classic table games. An impressive selection of culinary and cocktail offerings include Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres, named "Best Restaurant in Nevada" by Business Insider; Katsuya; Cleo; Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book; 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria; Northside Cafe & Chinese Kitchen; The Sayers Club; and The Perq. The resort is also home to The Foundry, an intimate, live entertainment venue. Additionally, SLS houses a sports book operated by global gaming leader, William Hill. For more information about SLS, please visit slslasvegas.com and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.MEDIA CONTACTS Nor1, Inc.David Hallmanmedia@nor1.comSLS Las VegasThe Publicity LabSLS_PR@thepublicitylab.com
commercial

RobertDouglas Announces the Promotion of Evan Hurd to Principal & Managing Director

RobertDouglas ·25 September 2018
"I am delighted to welcome Evan as a partner in the firm," said Robert Stiles, Managing Director and co-founder of RobertDouglas. "He has played an integral role in establishing RobertDouglas as one of the leading hospitality transaction advisory firms in the nation. Douglas Hercher, Managing Director and co-founder of RobertDouglas added that "this promotion marks a significant milestone for RobertDouglas and is a well-deserved result of Evan's tireless efforts to represent the interests of our clients in the lodging capital markets."Evan Hurd focuses on advising clients in the sale, financing, and joint venture capitalization of institutional-quality hotel properties and portfolios throughout North America. Recent transactions led by Mr. Hurd include the sales of the James Chicago, the Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, 70 Park Avenue and Jade Hotels in Manhattan, the Ames Hotel in Boston, the Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson in Tarrytown, New York, and advising in the restructuring of a significant hotel portfolio in New York City.Prior to joining RobertDouglas in 2013, Mr. Hurd served as an acquisitions officer at Barings Real Estate Advisers (formerly Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers), where he was involved in over $750 million of hotel acquisitions on behalf of a closed-end discretionary fund, Mass Mutual Financial Group, and other separate-account clients. Prior to that role, Mr. Hurd was a Director of Acquisitions at HEI Hotels & Resorts, and involved in numerous value-add transactions on behalf of HEI Hospitality Funds II & III. Mr. Hurd is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and is a regular speaker at industry events.
commercial

RobertDouglas Advises McNeill Hotel Company on Origination and Structuring of up to $150 Million of Growth Capital

RobertDouglas ·20 September 2018
RobertDouglas announced today that it advised McNeill Hotel Company, a leading developer, owner, and operator of premium branded select-service hotels, in securing a commitment of up to $150 million from an institutional capital source to invest in the company's existing portfolio and fund future growth opportunities. The commitment was made by a fund managed by Almanac Realty Investors, a New York City based private investment firm specializing in providing growth capital to vertically-integrated real estate businesses.McNeill Hotel Company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, was founded in 2015 by Phillip McNeill, Jr. and Mark Ricketts, second-generation hoteliers and former senior executives at Equity Inns. Members of the company's leadership team have on average in excess of 30 years' experience in hotel investment, asset management, and operations. McNeill Hotel Company's existing portfolio consists of 18 properties comprising nearly 2,000 rooms. Going forward, the company will deploy capital in carefully-underwritten secondary markets with strong, recognizable demand drivers, while continuing to manage its properties subject to franchise affiliations with industry leading select-service brands."The combination of its deeply-experienced leadership team and strong asset management credentials make McNeill Hotel Company one of the most impressive vertically-integrated investors in the select-service hotel sector" remarked Rob Stiles, Principal & Managing Director at RobertDouglas. "We are proud to have been able to assist this best-in-class team at an important inflection point in the growth of their company.""This transaction highlights the degree of sophistication that now exists in the capital markets for the select-service segment of the broader hotel industry," commented David Smith, Director at RobertDouglas. Lindsey Whang, a Senior Associate, added "With a substantial and flexibly-structured financial backing from an institutional investor, the McNeill platform is now ideally poised to capitalize on new ground-up construction, acquisition, and third-party management deals, and we are excited to be a part of its ongoing emergence as one of the most important players in the sector."
commercial

RateGain announces another blockbuster release for its Rate Shopping Solution, Optima

RateGain ·18 September 2018
New Delhi, Sep 18, 2018: RateGain Technologies, a leading hospitality and travel technology solutions company, today announced the launch of an all-new, smart User Interface and Experience for its premier rate shopping tool , Optima, with the introduction of Cluster Dashboard and Smart Shopping. The new, sleek Cluster Dashboard presents all the essential rate shopping data in a visually appealing and descriptive manner. With this set of releases, the users surely will have all the ammunition to power their pricing decision in a single dashboard.Following are the highlights of the release:Cluster Dashboard: View multiple properties in a single dashboard through a highly intuitive interface which enables eyeballing rates across check in dates easier than ever before. The dashboard is equipped with a "Market Positioning Widget" giving you a graphical view of your price positioning vis-a-vis your competitors. A "Market Compression" indicator highlighting dates where you can yield better due to supply in the market going down and much more. All these insights are made available in an excel format as well for a consolidated view across properties.Iterative LOS: Gone are the days when you had to analyse rates across multiple LOSs to check if any of your competitors are putting min. LOS restrictions. With our new smart shopping capabilities, now you can easily identify minimum LOS rate restrictions placed by your competitors for obtaining higher yields on all your channels.According to Bhanu Chopra, CEO, RateGain, "We are pleased to announce the introduction of the new Cluster Dashboard in our rate shopping tool, a unique feature that would help our clients analyse their competition in a quick, comprehensive way so that they respond quickly to the market changes. The launch of Cluster Dashboard is a response to the clients' growing need to have all the important competitive real-time information bundled together at one place, without having the need to switch to different sections. We hope that the new feature adds value and the users make the most of it."Optima is RateGain's advanced rate shopping tool, which offers comprehensive rate intelligence to a growing number of hotels across the globe by efficiently tracking all OTAs, meta-search sites and other leading platforms. The Product had recently introduced a 'Lightning Refresh' feature in Optima, which gave hotels access to real-time competitor rates across various distribution channels.About RateGainRateGain is a leading provider of cloud-based innovative solutions for the Travel and Hospitality Industry. RateGain provides the latest technology in rate intelligence, price optimization, seamless electronic distribution, and brand engagement. Founded in 2004, RateGain has 12,000 clients around the globe including hotels, online travel agents, airlines, car rental companies, cruise liners as well as tour operators and wholesalers like IHG, Melia Hotels International, Lufthansa, Expedia, Hertz Corporation, Priceline.com, Carnival Cruise, etc. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we help hospitality and travel companies make more revenue every dayForward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the statements containing the words 'planned', 'expects', 'believes',' strategy', 'opportunity', 'anticipates', 'hopes' or other similar words. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding impact of pending regulatory proceedings, fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services, data services and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, customer acceptance of our services, products and fee structures, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, our ability to integrate acquired assets in a cost-effective and timely manner, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-timeframe contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of our brand development efforts, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies /entities in which we have made strategic investments.
commercial

RLH Corporation Streamlines System Connectivity with Hapi Data Platform

HAPI ·18 September 2018
Orlando, FL - September 18, 2018 - Hapi, a transformative new data streaming, integration and enrichment platform designed to solve the hotel industry's rapidly expanding data management challenges, announces the successful deployment of PMS data connectors developed to support the needs of RLH Corporation (NYSE:RLH). The connectors have been developed in order to link a portion of RLH Corporation's hotels to a new revenue management system, as well as to the company's enterprise data warehouse (EDW)."At RLH Corporation, we give our owners freedom in the way they run their hotels and that includes giving them a choice in the vendors and technology solutions that they choose to implement," said John Edwards, SVP and Chief Information Officer at RLH Corporation. "For our economy brands, we currently have seven approved PMS vendors and two options for central reservation systems. From a corporate perspective, however, this creates challenges in integrating the various systems' data streams which is why we were interested in Hapi."Hapi solved this challenge for RLH Corporation by developing real-time data connectors that normalize data from different PMSs, enrich it and expose it for the company to use in various ways. For example, RLH Corporation can leverage the streams to drive revenue through improved rate management and yielding strategies in real time.In addition to creating added revenue optimization opportunities at the individual hotel level, Hapi also saves a great deal of time and money for RLH Corporation, as the connectors eliminate the need for costly and time-intensive system integrations."A typical system integration in the hospitality technology sector takes approximately 12-18 months to work through, test and deploy," said Luis Segredo, president and CEO of Data Travel, LLC, the developer of the Hapi platform. "We are happy to say that we were able to create the connector for RLH Corporation in about 3 months, from start to finish. This shorter cycle has a domino effect on subsequent integration opportunities. For instance, we were able to layer in the EDW connector, and future connections will be an even smaller effort."RLH Corporation currently has about a dozen hotels on the system and expects to have over 500 hotels deployed by the end of 2018."We are very excited about Hapi's solution and the connectors they have built," continued Edwards. "The ability to normalize data and present it back to the hotels in a way that is actionable is a true game changer for us."For more information, please visit hapicloud.io.
commercial

Nor1 to Offer Its Upgrade, Upsell, and Merchandising Platform to More Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Through Partnership with HRS

Nor1 ·18 September 2018
Silicon Valley, CA - Nor1, Inc. today announced a distribution partnership with Hospitality & Retail Systems (HRS) to expand its reach to more hotels around the world and enable them to increase RevPAR and ADR through the use of its industry-leading upgrade solutions eStandby Upgrade, eXpress UpgradeTM, and CheckIn MerchandisingTM.Nor1, Inc., the leader in hospitality merchandising technology, services more than one million rooms at more than 5,000 properties that currently benefit from its real-time, data-driven pricing and merchandising solutions powered by PRiME.HRS, a market leader in IT for the hospitality and retail industries and the largest Oracle Hospitality Platinum Partner worldwide, supplies innovative management solutions to more than 3,000 hotels, restaurants, and trading companies around the world."We are extremely pleased and excited to partner with HRS," said Jason G. Bryant, Nor1's Founder and CEO. "HRS's reputation of providing innovative solutions to the hospitality industry and their extensive knowledge and experience with Oracle Opera, make them well-suited to present our suite of upsell products to their hotels and resorts clients.""We are delighted to represent Nor1's industry-leading merchandising platform," stated Joanne Vaughan, CEO at HRS. "Our commitment to providing hotels with the most innovative solutions to improve their performance and increase their bottom line is a perfect fit with Nor1's real-time, data-driven upsell solutions."About Nor1 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 HRSFounded in 1990, HRS was created with the aim of providing a superior customer experience, both for service industry companies and their clients. Now in its 29th year, HRS provides innovative management solutions for: hotels, restaurants, retail chains, stadiums, spas and fitness clubs. HRS has an impressive portfolio of products and services, these include: pre-project analysis, hardware and software supply, strategic IT consulting, solutions implementation and integration, staff training and consulting, 24/7 technical support, plus a wide range of professional customer services. The company has developed an excellent reputation for providing quality services together with a strong global presence. HRS has established itself not just as an IT solution provider but also as a proactive contributor to the hospitality industry.For more information, please contact Oleg Kudrin at okudrin@hrsinternational.com or visit www.hrsinternational.com.
commercial

New Partnership Gives Cloudbeds' Properties A Secure Payment Option in Latin America

Cloudbeds ·13 September 2018
SAN DIEGO -- Cloudbeds and PayU recently partnered to offer a secure electronic payment processing solution to hospitality properties located in Latin America. Properties that activate this integration will be able to receive online payments from guests whether they pay with a local or international credit card.Thousands of properties will benefit from the highest security protocols and a competitive promotional rate from PayU for six months if they open an account with PayU before Dec. 12, 2018. This payment gateway is available now to properties located in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, with Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia, and more countries coming online soon."This partnership with PayU provides state of the art security and payment automation to our properties and their guests," said Sebastien Leitner, Director of Global Partnerships at Cloudbeds. "It aligns nicely with our product and partnership strategy."Properties that use Cloudbeds' property management system will be able to process payments online directly from the Cloudbeds' interface without a physical point of sale device.In addition to Latin America, this technology will soon be available to properties located in India.About PayUPayU uses its history and experience in payment means to provide financial services in emerging markets. With operations in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, PayU is the main online payment services provider in 17 high-growth markets, offering a fast, simple, and efficient process for merchants and buyers in different channels (desktop, mobile devices, e-wallet, and physical retail). It currently operates more than 250 payment methods in more than 25 currencies, reaching nearly 2.3 billion potential consumers. PayU has more than 1,800 payment specialists who support more than 300,000 merchants and millions of consumers who make payments through the tool. The company is part of the online payments division of Naspers Ltd., which in Latin America has incorporated Pagosonline and DineroMail, and the Brazilian companies Bcash and Fcontrol, and is now one of the five leading companies of the sector in the region.
commercial

Oliver Companies Goes Mobile: Installs Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting for 18 Properties

Aptech ·13 September 2018
Aptech Computer Systems announced that Oliver Companies, Inc. upgraded its back office financial processes to PVNG Enterprise Accounting. Oliver Companies converted from Aptech's Profitvue hotel accounting software to web-based PVNG to enable mobile system access to company financials and property performance reports. Oliver Companies is based in Duluth, MN. It operates 18 properties across eight states that fly flags from Hilton, IHG, Choice and others. 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."Oliver Companies upgraded its accounting platform to Aptech's PVNG because it is a flexible, online enterprise solution that lets our team oversee operations while traveling," said Nicole Murphy, Oliver Companies assistant controller. "Mobile access is important to us. We have two offices and our CFO can log onto PVNG and work wherever she is. Plus, if we have a heavy snow day we can work from our homes." Murphy noted that Oliver's conversion to PVNG went well. "Aptech's team helped us build processes for our 18 properties to share a standard format. Our full-service conference properties have slightly different requirements than our limited service hotels. PVNG hotel accounting software handles them all very well."PVNG provides an easy to navigate architecture. Its robust functionality emerged from Aptech's legacy application, Profitvue, used by thousands of hotel accounting professionals. PVNG 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 is easy to use because each field is clearly marked so we get our work done faster," Murphy said. "The system's processes are self-explanatory and intuitive. We just started a new accountant; he learned the system quickly and got started right away." Oliver Companies also uses Aptech's Execuvue Business Intelligence System. "PVNG automatically uploads property data to our Execuvue system nightly so we have same-day information on property performance to help us manage better."System upgrades evolve effortlessly because PVNG is web-based and hosted at Aptech's secure data center. "I am pleased with how responsive Aptech has been with our conversion," Murphy said. "We had functionality requests to make the system fit Oliver's operations. Aptech made the changes quickly. Aptech values its customers, like Oliver Companies, and this shows by listening to our requests and implementing them to make our operation smoother."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.
commercial

Hoteliers + Non-Desk Hotel Workers to Benefit from Beekeeper's $13 Million 'Series A' Extension

Beekeeper ·11 September 2018
Beekeeper, the leading communication and operations platform for connecting a hotel's non-desk workers across locations and departments, announced today that it has raised an additional $13 million as a part of its Series A extension round. Built from the ground up for secure, centralized operational communication on mobile and desktop devices, Beekeeper plans to deploy its latest round of capital by continuing to invest in hospitality market growth, innovation and its information security management system to maintain their ISO 27001:2013 certification. This will ensure the platform delivers a simple and elegant experience for hotel workers while maintaining the highest security levels.Atomico and Keen Venture Partners led the round with a diverse group of strategic investors including Samsung Next, Edenred Capital Partners (ECP), and Swiss Post who have joined Beekeeper's mission to connect the nearly 2 billion non-desk workers who have been forgotten when it comes to digitalization within companies. All existing key investors, including FYRFLY Venture Partners, ALPANA Ventures and investiere.ch, participated in the round as well.Aligning employees without email addresses or corporate devices with the entire organization in a centralized, secure environment is a major challenge. Seventy-five percent of the workforce currently use their personal mobile devices to communicate with co-workers, and the lack of proper operational communication tools has forced employees to use consumer-based workarounds like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Data privacy scandals by consumer giant Facebook and the launch of GDPR has emphasized the importance of data privacy and security."Atomico is proud to support Beekeeper as their innovative employee communication and operations platform, built specifically for the world's two billion non-desk workers, continues to succeed on a global scale," said Ben Blume, Principal at Atomico. "Over the last few years we've watched Cris, Flavio and the team build not only a world class product and culture, but consistently win some of the world's most well recognized corporations as clients across a range of industries from hospitality and manufacturing to retail and construction. It is a testament to our belief that big enterprise SaaS winners will continue to emerge from Europe.""Beekeeper plays right into the heart of the digital workplace trend," said Robert Verwaayen, general partner at Keen Ventures. "We believe that Beekeeper is on a path to become an indispensable collaboration tool for the 80% of the global workforce that has been largely forgotten by digital technology. The market opportunity, strength of the product and the talent of the team gives Beekeeper a real shot at becoming a meaningful giant in the mobile enterprise space."This round of capital will also be dedicated to the next evolution of Beekeeper's Marketplace and plug-in ecosystem. As the central employee touchpoint, Beekeeper has the unique ability to streamline internal communications and operational tools within one intuitive app that desk and non-desk workers can access in real time from their mobile phone. Through Beekeeper's integrations and out-of-the-box apps, corporations can consolidate operational tools and communications into a simplified employee experience - something that will be imperative as frontline workers are introduced to corporate technology, many for the first time.Christina Bechhold Russ, principal at Samsung NEXT Ventures said, "Non-desk-based workers are one of the most overlooked markets for digital services, yet they are estimated to have a mobile penetration rate of 84% and only continues to grow. Beekeeper enables employers with distributed workforces from manufacturing companies to retailers to seamlessly connect everyone in the organization and transform the way information is disseminated and shared. A strategic investment for NEXT, this is a great opportunity to support a fast-growing scale-up leveraging mobile devices to define the future of work."Beekeeper's new financing comes within a year of closing its Series A round and marks a time of rapid corporate growth. In the past year, Fortune 500 firms across the globe have adopted Beekeeper to improve internal communications and streamline operations. Beekeeper has also increased its user base by more than 500% and is currently being used in more than 137 countries worldwide.
commercial

Spirides Arranges $2.33 Million Hotel Debt Refinancing for Hilton Hampton Inn Laurinburg, NC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 4 September 2018
TAMPA, FL--Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed on a $2.33 million debt refinancing with a permanent loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered lender to refinance existing debt for the Hampton Inn by Hilton in Laurinburg, North Carolina.Hampton Inn Laurinburg, NC features 50 guest rooms with an interior corridor in one 3-story building and is situated on 6 acres of land. The hotel is located just off of Interstate 74 at 115 Hampton Circle, Laurinburg, Scotland County, North Carolina. It is located one mile from St. Andrews College and is near the Scottish Heritage Center. Scottish immigrants originally settled this area in the late 1700s. Laurinburg was named for a prominent family of Scottish settlers, the McLaurins. Laurinburg is located near the South Carolina border and is 80 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.The financing arranged by Spirides for Hampton Inn Laurinburg includes paying off a floating interest rate loan and replacing it with a fixed interest rate loan at a 52% loan to value ratio and a 25 year amortization. The interest rate is now fixed at a favorable interest rate for 5 years, and then it adjusts according to a set spread above the prevailing 5 year SWAP rate at the time and then is fixed for another 5 years upon franchise renewal.The Hampton by Hilton brand is the number one ranked lodging franchise for the past nine years according to Entrepreneur. Hampton has more than 2,380 hotels open in 22 countries and territories. It operates in the upper midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. The brand is about celebration and diversity - embracing local culture and giving guests a true experience during their stay, along with free, hot breakfast and free Wi-fi.
commercial

Softscribe Inc. Identifies Top 12 Quotes from Industry Leaders at Hotel Data Conference 2018

Softscribe ·23 August 2018
BENTONVILLE, AR -- Softscribe Inc., a leading hotel tech PR firm, attended the 10th annual Hotel Data Conference (HDC) this month in Nashville, TN with top industry leaders and technology providers. Smith Travel Research (STR) hosted 675 attendees, with 71 on the waitlist, at the Omni Nashville for a 3-day deep dive into data, performance, and trends for the global hospitality industry.Softscribe Inc. CEO, Julie Keyser Squires, attended on behalf of the company's PR clients.Top Quotes from Hotel Industry LeadersA series of panels, breakout tracks and plenary sessions featured leaders from the global hotel industry. Speakers shared insights about trends, market changes, and actionable scenarios. Here are Softscribe Inc.'s top quotes from conference leaders.1. "We're in the best demand environment we've ever seen in the industry. It's not been this strong since 1994, when the industry was 40% smaller than today. Occupancy remains at record highs. It could go for another two years." - Isaac Collazo, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG)2. "What could end the current cycle? a. The economy. b. Over building. c. Unpredictable demand. d. Oil/energy price increase. e. Asset price bubble." - Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels' Americas Research3. "It takes the industry 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years to recover from Black Swan events." (Editor's note: Like Superstorm Sandy) - Robin Rossman, STR4. "Growth rates on labor expenses are higher than revenue and profits." - Amanda Hite, President & CEO, STR5. "In non-union hotels, 32% goes to labor costs. In union hotels, 40% goes to labor." - Jan Freitag, SVP Lodging Insights, STR6. Alternative Accommodations: Are They Really Alternative? "It is a growing, morphing space. There will be fallouts, consolidations and consistencies. Look for a partner." - Jon Wohlfert, Co-CEO and Founding Partner, RESIDE Worldwide"Embrace it." - Andrew Kitchell, CEO, Lyric"The customers have spoken. Figure out how to make it fit your business." - Steve Caron, VP, Head of Vacation Rentals, Choice Hotels International7. "Customer experience is integral. Use your data better. We created a program two years ago that lets guests choose a third party perk: Starbucks, Uber, Avis, etc." - Jamie Russo, VP Loyalty Programs & Customer Engagement, Choice Hotels Int'l8. "Your highest loyal guest still delivers your highest, most profitable revenue stream. We have to evolve those experiences." -Sloan Dean, COO, Remington Hotels9. "84% of U.S. travelers took part in an in-destination activity during their last leisure trip." - Lorraine Sileo, SVP Research and Business Operations, Phocuswright, Inc.10. "Guest satisfaction. We are focused on experiences. Engage the customer. Show them the value of creating memories that will last a lifetime." - Nicole Lundin, Head of Loyalty & Social Engagement. Viceroy Hotel Group11. Beers with the Bosses Panel. "Be aggressive. Continue to move forward. We've never had this demand from all directions." - Jim Chu, Global Head of Development & Owner Relations, Hyatt Hotels Corp."We should not refer to each other as competitors. Help each other. Take care of each other." - Rob Palleschi, CEO, G6 Hospitality"This is a sustainable industry, a growing industry. More and more people are traveling." - Mitch Patel, President & CEO, Founder of Vision Hospitality Group, Inc."The conference is terrific this year. My single biggest concern - and I'm surprised what it is - is the possibility of tariffs. A trade war could be a problem for our industry." - Randy Smith, Chairman and Co-Founder, Smith Travel Research12. "Room demand is coming mainly from upper and upper midscale in urban areas." - Jan Freitag, SVP Lodging Insights, STRThe 2019 Hotel Data Conference will be held August 14 to 16, 2019, at the new JW Marriott Nashville. Watch for details at www.hoteldataconference.com.Tech Companies, do you want to increase sales and influence? Call or email Michael Squires, President of Softscribe Inc., at 404-256-5512 or mbs(at)softscribeinc.com to set up a discovery meeting and brainstorm a few PR and marketing ideas.About Softscribe Inc. Achieves Significant Business Growth for Tech Clients in the Hospitality Industry. Softscribe Inc. is an award-winning Hotel Tech PR agency that specializes in B2B public relations, branding and market consulting. We are the best in the industry at achieving significant business growth for technology companies. Our clients deliver enterprise solutions to the global hotel market and related industries Generates the Right Client Messages 100% of the Time. Our focus is marketing content, search, and social media. We generate the right messages for client audiences 100% of the time. This is essential to close sales.Softscribe Inc.'s professional team surpasses expectations with an average 19 years' industry experience in branding, marketing communications and technology PR.We are proud of our best-in-class clients and are ready to help you, too. Please give us a shout now, or visit www.softscribeinc.com.
commercial

Lightstone's Business Intelligence Platform Gives Execs Portfolio Performance in the Palm of their Hand

Aptech · 7 August 2018
Lightstone is a national real estate investor/developer with 28 hospitality properties nationwide. The company's current portfolio emphasizes select services hotels, branded by Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and Starwood. How big do you think its asset management team is?"I am responsible for overseeing hotel performance across our 28-property REIT and I am always on a plane," said Marc Dober, vice president, asset management for Lightstone. "We buy and develop hotels to grow our business. Business is based on numbers; budget, revenue, expenses, EBIDTA. The only way we could efficiently manage our portfolio by the numbers as we grew was to automate data gathering, analysis and reporting. Last year we implemented a hospitality business intelligence system called Execuvue from Aptech Computer Systems. Today I have a staff of two and go over the numbers on my handheld while I'm traveling."BI system replaces one full-time analystDober has a handful of reports he evaluates first thing every morning, regardless of where he is. "Execuvue automatically gathers and analyzes data from our Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Starwood properties at night audit. I also review the latest STAR data on my mobile. The system gives me analysis and reporting within minutes to support our business decisions or answer questions on the fly with near real-time data," said Dober. "Execuvue replaces a full-time staff member and makes it possible to manage more efficiently with better information." Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence is an IBM Cognos-based ASP enterprise hospitality business intelligence application hosted at Aptech's secure data operations center.Lightstone evaluates property performance based on brands and management companies. "We compare GOPs and other metrics from our hotels and Execuvue factors in monthly STAR numbers to help benchmark our management companies," said Dober. "A cloud-based BI system is very cost effective. It eliminates the need for hardware and servers and the physical system is secure off-site so I can focus on operating properties. The big plus for me is that I can access our data remotely in a mobile format if needed. This lets me review the reporting I need for my next meeting while I am traveling."Lightstone is developing Moxy properties with Marriott in several markets. Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), named Lightstone's Moxy Times Square as Development of the Year Select/Limited Service hotel for 2017. "We are currently developing 6 Moxys. These properties have a unique F&B reporting format. We worked with Aptech to create custom reporting and a data interface with our Moxy property point of sale systems," said Dober. The Moxy concept replaces the traditional room service model with The Pickup, a twist on the traditional grab-and-go concept. Bar Moxy is the social center of the hotel that offers guests and locals a co-working space during the day while transforming into a buzzing lounge at night."Aptech is a great technology partner for Lightstone. They helped us customize a report for several processes that may be unique to Lightstone's operation," said Dober. "We recently developed an 'on the books' report that looks at reservations for a specific period and compares it against the same period last year. This lets us predict performance more accurately and adjust our strategy as needed."Aptech is the leading provider of hotel software for business intelligence, budgeting, and enterprise financial accounting. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.About Lightstone Lightstone, founded by David Lichtenstein, is one of the largest and most diversified privately held real estate companies in the United States. Lightstone is active in 28 states across the country, developing, managing and investing in all sectors of the real estate market, including residential, hospitality, commercial, and retail. With over 176 existing properties, Lightstone's $3 billion portfolio currently includes over 6 million square feet of office, retail and industrial commercial properties, over 15,000 residential units, and 4,000 hotel keys. Lightstone also owns over 12,000 land lots across the country.Headquartered in New York City, Lightstone continues to grow its development portfolio with approximately $2.3 billion currently under development in the residential and hospitality sectors spread across New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami.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.
commercial

GDPR Compliance Deadline Has Come and Gone; What Does it Mean for Hotels?

Beekeeper ·24 July 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline has passed, and it now requires every hotel in the world to have guidelines in place that protect European Union (EU) residents' personally identifiable information against security breaches. While a lot has been discussed to help hoteliers become compliant, many are wondering "what comes next?" Dr. Amir Ameri, Data Protection Officer for Beekeeper, a GDPR-compliant developer of a digital workplace app hailed as the "Most Innovative Technology" for 2018 and the "People's Choice" by actual users and buyers, is providing answers to some of hoteliers most frequently asked questions.Q: How quickly will regulators levy major fines if a hotel or hospitality-related business is not GDPR compliant?A: Before a fine is levied, an offence must be established. This may be due to an incident impacting personal data of an employee or a guest or a defined regulatory audit. Hence, establishing an offence in this matter would require evidencing several criteria, performing audits, assessing the knowledge of the offender to the offence, i.e. establishing intent and the level of due diligence the offender had met. Taking all factors into consideration, previous court rulings in the EU have taken time to give a ruling in data protection and privacy matters. Article 83 states: "In any event, the fines imposed shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive." This will be case dependent and influenced by the legal proceedings in the jurisdiction in question as defined by the regulatory body.Q: Will the GDPR regulation help or hinder future innovation?A: In my opinion, not only will GDPR regulation significantly help future innovation, but it will also establish an absolute maximum of the necessary level of "trust" required to have a flourishing use of any future innovation.Q: Will the GDPR regulation help or hinder my hotel's global marketing efforts?A: Understanding that establishing "trust" is the cornerstone of any successful marketing effort, there is nothing better than upholding a basic "undeclared human right" in any company's effort to commercialize their product. Adapting to new processes and marketing efforts will be necessary, but it's also addressing an important need in the minds of most consumers.Q: What do hotels need to do to maintain their opt-in-subscriptions? What will this mean to customer loyalty and bottom line revenues for the future?A: It is helpful if businesses/hotels recognize that personal data is not a free commodity and there is an ownership title associated with the personal data to the data subject. Safeguarding this is all GDPR requires. Incentives, or any form of compensatory measures of interest to the data subject, may result in maintaining a higher customer loyalty. It is important to note, however, that customer loyalty and bottom line revenues were only impacted for businesses/hotels with a model to use a "free commodity = personal data" to generate income. As we all know, in a free economy, this itself is considered an unfair distribution of resources and a disadvantage for a healthy economy and it is not tolerated in many countries.Q: What happens if there is a third-party breach? For example, a hotel uses WhatsApp to stay connected to their employees. What happens to that hotel if WhatsApp is not compliant? Is it liable for the breach or is WhatsApp solely responsible?A: One of the points that GDPR addresses clearly is the responsibility of each party in the processing life cycle. In this respect, although GDPR has a "pass through" approach, it is the responsibility of the controller to be transparent towards the data subject and manage such risks with the processors and the involved third parties. For example, having a data processing agreement in place between the involved entities, performing risk assessments and taking other risk mitigating measures are the norm in managing this type of risk. In the example stated, since the hotel is considered as the controller, certainly the hotel will be audited to establish whether it had performed its due diligence towards managing this risk or not. Basic assumption is that the data subject was informed and consented to in the first place to allow WhatsApp to have possession of their personal data. If not, clearly the hotel will be held liable in a first instance.Q: Understanding that GDPR is not a one-off compliance effort (like the rush to fix the Y2K Millennium Bug) and continuous changes will need to be made, is there a grace period on updates? Will there be a global schedule specifying when updates need to be made? How does a company know if it's up-to-date with all the recent regulations?A: GDPR is the law and became enforceable on May 25th, 2018. The grace period for meeting GDPR requirements started in April 2016, with a 2-year period allowed for compliance. Although, it has happened in the past that regulators have "extended" enforceability timelines, to date, I am not aware of any extension periods for the start of enforcement of GDPR.
commercial

CHMWarnick Launches Proph+IT a Technology Platform Hotel Asset Management 2.0

CHMWarnick ·18 July 2018
CHMWarnick, the preeminent hotel asset management and owner advisory services company, announced today the launch of Proph+IT, a revolutionary technology platform that harnesses the power of big data from an ownership lens to optimize hospitality investments and has the potential to redefine asset management as the industry knows it today."For years now, the hospitality industry has been struggling with big data, from how to acquire it to who owns it and to how to truly use it to one's advantage," said Fern Kanter, managing director/EVP of CHMWarnick and strategic lead on the Proph+IT initiative. "Proph+IT was created specifically to take large amounts of property data and distill it through an ownership lens, to effectively and strategically utilize the information. With this platform, our asset management team can quickly and confidently analyze information, including automated alerts of trends and key variances, to better focus on a property's profitability and value enhancement."Proph+IT was custom developed to create the ultimate asset management tool. Data is provided directly from management companies, populated with millions of data points from each hotel's trial balance, across historical and current monthly financial data, as well as forecasted performance. This data is then automatically coded to CHMWarnick's chart of accounts, making it the most detailed benchmarking and analytics available within hotel asset management today. The platform was created to evaluate numerous industry issues, including gaining complete financial data access beyond the typical "owner's package P&L" and affording the most comprehensive and intuitive analysis and monitoring system of financial performance trends possible today."Automation and comparability of data represent a significant advancement, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of realizing our new data-driven capabilities. Proph+IT puts the data in the hands of the experts, and our ability to cross-tabulate data points and follow trends on a multi-dimensional basis gives us, and by extension our owners, insight into a whole new realm of thinking about the operating model," added Kanter."Proph+IT immediately raises the industry bar for asset management technology and the ability to achieve results," said Chad Crandell, managing director and CEO of CHMWarnick. "While benchmarking has always been a core practice of ours for identifying opportunities, the size and scale of our asset management portfolio today has given way to a whole new opportunity for benchmarking and evaluating profit contribution across all areas of the operation and influencing future performance. Having been the first company dedicated to third-party hotel asset management almost 20 years ago, this is a natural next step for CHMWarnick to set a higher standard within the industry and establish 'asset management 2.0.' With an ever more complex hotel operating environment and expense growth often outpacing revenue gains, we have created a platform that allows us to connect the dots faster to make strategic decisions that positively impact value and monitor initiatives in real time on behalf of our owners."The proprietary platform, available exclusively to CHMWarnick clients, draws from a database of more than 3.5 million data points, with approximately 150,000 to 300,000 data points added each month. The system ultimately will track all current and new hotels that come into CHMWarnick's asset management platform, as well as data provided by major brand operators and third-party managers, alike."Fully integrated, the system will comprise more than 70 hotels, including full-service, select-service, convention, luxury, union/non-union hotels and destination resorts, providing incredible benchmarking capabilities and efficiencies, saving the roughly 2,000-man-hours required annually just to produce models and reports for assets in their current form," said Dan Lomartra, CHMWarnick associate and lead programmer of Proph+IT. "Once you factor in time saved producing portfolio-wide analyses, benchmarking and expanding versions of current reports, we're talking vastly improved speed with respect to identifying opportunities across our asset management portfolio. This creates considerably more time to dedicate to examining trends and drawing correlations from data, rather than inputting. Furthermore, we've effectively reduced the average window by which asset managers can access property data each month by about ten days through this automation. Proph+IT saves time by accessing and synthesizing a trove of data in a fraction of the time. This platform will revolutionize hotel asset management as we know it."
commercial

InsureSign ranks as the No. 1 e-signature software for usability on G2Crowd

InsureSign ·18 July 2018
CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 11, 2018) -- G2Crowd, the world's leading business solutions review website, has today released its Summer 2018 Report on e-signature software - and InsureSign ranks No. 1 for its usability and customer support.InsureSign is currently the highest rated e-signature tool for overall satisfaction on G2Crowd, with 4.9 out of 5 possible stars (a 97 percent satisfaction score). InsureSign's efficient, time-saving features make it a perfect tool for event sales."We've always focused on providing our users in the hospitality industry with the easiest way to get their documents signed and the best hands-on, personalized service," says Joe Floyd, founder and CEO of InsureSign. "We're grateful that our users have been so happy with our software that they've decided to tell others. Our customers tell us that their sales teams are getting almost all contracts signed and returned the same day, which never happened before using InsureSign."InsureSign has tens of thousands of users across several industries. All InsureSign users enjoy getting their documents signed the easiest way possible, along with unlimited signatures, documents and templates each month, and the benefits of audit trails, auto reminders, auto archival, company branding and more.InsureSign also offers a premium plan that includes a unique suite of innovative features, including text-message signing, in-person signing, reusable forms, a tool for securing company reviews and more.InsureSignInsureSign is the simplest, fastest and most secure way to get documents signed electronically. Trusted by thousands of businesses of all sizes across North America, InsureSign lets your customers easily sign your documents from their laptops, tablets and mobile devices - and even via text message. Curious future customers can try InsureSign free for 14 days at www.insuresign.com.
commercial

Spirides Arranges $5 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Holiday Inn Express in Latta, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 6 July 2018
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed on a $5 million construction and permanent loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn Express in Latta, South Carolina.This soon to be built Holiday Inn Express will feature 68 guest rooms and suites in one 4-story building situated on 4 acres of land. It will be located at 1325 Cattle Farm Road at SC Highway 38 just off of Interstate 95 Exit 181 near the City of Latta in Dillon County, SC which is part of the Florence metropolitan area. Exit 181 is one of the primary exits off of Interstate 95 that leads to the very popular Myrtle Beach, SC resort area. Dillon County is the home of the Interstate 95 roadside attraction called South of the Border.The site of this new Holiday Inn Express development is located just a few minutes drive from the recently opened South Carolina Ports Authority's Inland Port Dillon, a $50.5 million intermodal cargo transfer hub located 130 miles from the Port of Charleston, SC. Inland ports are where trains and trucks exchange tens of thousands of overseas shipping containers packed with consumer goods. Also located nearby are Darlington Raceway & Museum, McLeod Regional Hospital, Florence Civic Center, regional offices of Mohawk Industries and Johnson Controls, and two South Carolina National Guard stations."Inland port intermodal complexes are a new type of demand generator that we are now seeing as the shipping container traffic at our nations' shipping seaports continues to grow. Inland Port Dillon is expected to convert an estimated 45,000 shipping container movements from truck to rail and vice versa within its first year of operation, and it has already created 1,000 new jobs," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "Inland Port Dillon is a state-of-the-art intermodal shipping facility which will turbo charge the economy in Dillon County. This inland port was brilliantly developed in a part of South Carolina which historically has had high unemployment and poverty rates, but that is now quickly changing thanks to the opening of this inland port," continues Spirides.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn Express development project include a 78% loan to cost ratio, an interest rate of U.S. Prime Rate + 1.75%, a 12 month interest only period through the construction phase, and a 25 year term with a 25 year amortization. There is no prepayment penalty after the first three years of the loan.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.
commercial

Broadvine Introduces New Products for its Platform: Broadvine Insights and Broadvine Essentials

Broadvine ·19 June 2018
Raleigh, NC -- Broadvine, a leader in Financial Performance Management software for the hospitality industry, announced today it released two new products to increase the breadth and flexibility of its application. Broadvine Insights expands the data and analysis capabilities of the existing application while Broadvine Essentials provides an entry-level product to companies needing to automate data consolidation, reporting, and forecasting processes."With Broadvine Insights, our customers will be able to use additional data and analysis to better predict what is likely to happen instead of relying on historical data to guide their decisions," said Shawn Barber, CEO of Broadvine. "The initial release of Insights includes robust, visual dashboards for pace and forecast accuracy which drive more accountability to the property ensuring the business will produce the forecasted results. This is essential to delivering value to owners and Insights makes it easier achieve those commitments."In addition, Broadvine introduced Essentials, a combination of its reporting, budgeting, and forecasting modules with an expedited onboarding program and a collection of key reports. Essentials is a cost-effective package targeted to companies with less complex properties or a smaller portfolio of hotels that would benefit from automated reports and an easy to use process for budgeting and forecasting.Broadvine's application platform provides real-time data and analysis for use in making more strategic and profitable decisions. By consolidating data from various property management systems, third-party data sources, time and attendance systems, and the accounting platform, owners and operators have complete revenue and statistical analysis reports and insights to make better decisions - all in real-time and across their portfolio.With these new options, Broadvine provides flexibility to owners and operators of all complexities and portfolio sizes.For more information, please visit Broadvine at HITEC Booth #931 or visit www.broadvine.com.

Newletter

Thank you for subscribing. Your email address has been added to our mailing list.
Close
To subscribe to the Finance Bytes Newsletter please enter your contact details below.
An error occured, please check your input and try again.
I do want to receive the Finance Bytes email newsletter.
By submitting this form, you have read and agreed to the Privacy Notice of HFTP.
You may unsubscribe to these emails at any time.
CancelSubscribe