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Hospitality Technology Names 2013 Hotel Visionary Award Winners

Choice Hotels International, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Red Roof Inns Honored for Technological Innovation at Annual Hotel Tech Forum

RANDOLPH, NJ -- (Marketwired) -- 04/18/13 -- Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has named the winners of the 2013 Hotel Visionary Awards. Every year, HT presents a select group of lodging companies with accolades for outstanding achievement in delivering technological excellence. This year's honorees are Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Hyatt Hotels and Red Roof Inns.

Now in their 9th year, Hotel Visionary Awards are presented in two categories: infrastructure/back-office technology, and customer-facing/in-room technology. In order to ensure that companies from across the industry are recognized for their efforts, consideration is given to size, resources and individual market segment benchmarks. Winners are selected by HT editorial staff and members of the HT advisory board on a basis of innovation, thought leadership, execution and forward-thinking vision.

"In a period of rapid technological advancement, the lodging industry continues to rise to the challenge, leveraging new tools to improve both the guest experience and operations for outstanding achievement," says Abigail A. Lorden, editor-in-chief of Hospitality Technology. "HT magazine is honored to recognize the 2013 Hotel Visionary Award winning companies for their efforts."

The winners were announced at the Hotel Technology Forum (HTF) on Thursday, April 18, 2013. The 2013 HTF, held April 17-19 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nev., is produced by Hospitality Technology, and brings together senior-level hotel technology executives for three days of networking and education, focusing on consumer trends, innovation opportunities, and the role of technology in empowering success for lodging companies.

The 2013 Visionary Award Winners
Hyatt Hotels was selected as an Infrastructure/Back-Office Technology Innovator for its development of a Group Bill solution, which allowed for a number of operational savings through the integrating of both point of sale and property management systems. The concept was conceived by Hyatt's sales and catering organization as part of a broader initiative to improve the experience for groups. The solution required the integration of five separate solutions with the Group Bill application: Hyatt's custom sales system Envision, NewMarket Daylight Sales & Catering solution, MICROS POS, Agilysys Infogenesis POS, and Micros PMS.

"The Hyatt team is honored to be recognized for its innovation. The driving force behind Group Bill was to improve both the customer and the Hyatt associate experience, and since its launch, the technology has been received with outstanding results and feedback," says Brett Cowell, VP application development, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. "We will continue to identify and build innovative solutions to better serve our customers in the Group Bill platform and others," says Cowell.

Red Roof Inns was selected as an Infrastructure/Back-Office Technology Innovator for its efforts in overhauling its legacy-interfaced environment. The ultimate solution was a convergence of its PMS and CRS technologies into one consolidated solution. Partnering with Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Red Roof Inns successfully deployed the RediStay PMS, a cloud-based platform that centralizes group sales, interfaces to the website as well as call center agents and GDS/OTAs, and completes back-office accounting with centralized accounts receivable.

"We're excited that Red Roof's comprehensive technology evolution has been recognized with the 2013 HTF Visionary Award," says Jeff Linden, CIO of Red Roof Inns. "Working with Sabre/SoftHotel, we have consolidated all of our room rate, availability and reservation activity from our contact center, redroof.com, OTA and property bookings into a single, integrated, cloud-based database. Data is now uniform across all channels, whether it's customers viewing their information on our website or a contact center agent viewing it in the call center."

Choice Hotels was chosen as a Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology Innovator for its development of an alerting system that would help in expanding the reach and impact of Amber Alerts. The project leverages the company's web-based property management system, choiceADVANTAGE, which is installed at more than 5,100 Choice hotels nationwide, to work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Choice Hotels has a long history of being committed to community service," says Todd Davis, CIO of Choice Hotels. "Working with NCMEC, our IT department developed a near real-time interface which allows Choice to broadcast Amber Alerts to franchised hotels within an alert region. This puts Amber Alerts on every computer, every laptop where our franchisees use choiceADVANTAGE for their properties. So when they are checking a guest in or out, checking on the status of room with housekeeping, or anything else related to managing their hotels, they will see the Amber Alert and can further support its critical mission."

Conrad Hotels & Resorts has been named a Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology Innovator for its development of a brand-consistent, user-friendly virtual concierge, Conrad Concierge. Conrad Hotels & Resorts seamlessly integrated the guest-facing components of the service with the property management system to create a common platform that would facilitate requests from guests to the end provider, leveraging mobile technology in order to improve customer service. To date, guests have had an overwhelmingly positive response to this personalized technology. Downloads of Conrad Concierge have surpassed expectations and customer satisfaction levels have increased across the portfolio.

"On behalf of Conrad Hotels & Resorts, it is an honor to be recognized as a Visionary Award winner for our new service-enabled technology platform, Conrad Concierge," says Tim Loughman, vice president of brand innovation and guest experience, Hilton Worldwide Luxury Brands. "The first innovation of its kind, Conrad Concierge puts full control in the hands of the smart luxury customer, while seamlessly connecting with the back-end systems of our properties. Whether choosing from three lines of bath amenities, a preferred pillow from the pillow menu, or pre-ordering dinner through room service, Conrad Concierge delivers on the brand's promise of the 'Luxury of Being Yourself.'"

Past Visionary Award Winners Include:

  • Flamingo Las Vegas (2012)
  • Gaylord Entertainment (2012)
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites (2012)
  • Hilton Worldwide (2012)
  • Choice Hotels International (2011)
  • Morgans Hotel Group (2011)
  • Galt House Hotel (2011)
  • Royal Caribbean (2011)
  • CityCenter (2010)
  • Courtyard by Marriott (2010)
  • JHM Hotels Group (2010)
  • InterContinental Hotels Group (2009)
  • Harrah's Entertainment (2009)
  • Hyatt Place (2009)
  • Thayer Lodging Group (2009)
  • MTM Luxury Lodging (2008)
  • The Peninsula Hotels (2008)
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (2008)
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2007)
  • Ginn Resorts (2007)
  • Hilton Hotels Corporation (2007)
  • Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (2006)
  • Harrah's Entertainment (2006)
  • MGM Mirage (2006)
  • Wyndham International (2005)
  • Sea Island Company (2005)
  • Marriott International (2005)
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2005)
  • Hyatt International (2005)

About Hospitality Technology
Hospitality Technology (HT) is the only publication dedicated to covering the role of information technology in improving business performance for hotel and restaurant operators. The Hospitality Technology editorial portfolio includes: a print publication that publishes nine times annually and reaches more than 16,000 hospitality industry executives, three networking and educational events (MURTEC, Hotel Technology Forum and Restaurant Executive Summit), a comprehensive website, e-newsletters, web seminars, and several exclusive annual reports and studies. Visit Hospitality Technology online at www.htmagazine.com. Hospitality Technology is published by media company Edgell Communications, headquartered in Randolph, N.J.

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Contact:
Abigail A. Lorden
Editor-in-Chief
Hospitality Technology
Email Contact
Phone: 973.607.1358

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