INTERNATIONAL REPORT— Whether it’s celebrating an anniversary, receiving an award, earning a certification, debuting a new product or expanding the business, hotel companies and vendors achieve new milestones on a daily basis. Here’s a look at recent accomplishments:
Blueprint RF Receives Marriott Award
Blueprint RF, a Cox Communications Company, was recently awarded first place in overall partner performance, Americas Region, in the inaugural Property Internet Award of Excellence from Marriott International.
Acquired by Cox in August 2017, Blueprint RF is a managed network solutions provider serving major hotel brands and properties across the U.S. It was given the honor for showing exemplary performance in the adoption and compliances to Marriott’s Property Internet Accountability Framework during the 2019 calendar year.
“The transformation of our connected experiences has begun,” said Alex Ajdelsztajn, director of Americas property internet, Marriott International. “A large part of our success is Blueprint RF’s commitment to contribute and pull through our vision.”
Built from the ground up, Blueprint RF’s network intelligence, custom-designed solutions, real-time monitoring and dedicated support staff helps ensure Marriott guests have a hassle-free connection, regardless where they are on a property, according to the company. Its WiFi networks are designed specifically for travelers and are customized to each Marriott property.
“On behalf of everyone here at Blueprint RF and Cox Business, we thank you for this unique and special recognition,” said James Tubo, executive director of operations, Blueprint RF. “We couldn’t be prouder. Marriott continues to lead the hospitality industry with rigorous, leading-edge technology standards, while at the same promoting and encouraging meaningful innovation. Programs like this are a perfect example of Marriott’s multifaceted commitment to excellence.”
Row NYC Partners with HIS
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions, has implemented BeyondTV GuestCast and an advanced WiFi upgrade at the 1,300-room Row NYC Hotel.
Recognizing that each of its guests have distinct television viewing preferences, hotel leadership sought out an advanced platform that could provide a hassle-free casting experience, allowing guests to view virtually anything of their choice on a larger screen. By selecting HIS and BeyondTV GuestCast, the property was able to implement a cost-effective solution specifically designed for the hotel environment, according to the company. BeyondTV GuestCast, for example, is able to sidestep complex integrations by being fully compatible with virtually any television and network used by hotels today. Able to mirror the same level of functionality that guests have become accustomed to when at home and now increasingly expect from their hotel experience, the solution further provides guests with the ability to cast more than 1,000 mobile-based apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Pandora.
Properties utilizing HIS’ WiFi services are also able to ensure that guests can instantly connect their devices and begin casting their favorite apps without requiring any additional steps or assistance from hotel staff. With guests frequently concerned over data privacy issues, the solution also stands apart thanks to eliminating the need for guests to enter in personal login information as well as its device isolation capabilities that prevent content from being cast to other guestrooms.
Hersha to Build Well in Tanzania
In October of 2018, Hersha Hotels and Resorts revealed that EarthView, its corporate sustainability program, would provide support to Waterboys, the hallmark initiative of The Chris Long Foundation, through the sale of EarthView water bottles at Hersha hotels. EarthView bottles are made from 100% recycled materials, and for each bottle sold, Hersha donates $1 to support Waterboys’ clean water projects in East Africa.
Since the launch, EarthView water sales have surpassed expectations. Hersha hotels from coast to coast were empowered to significantly contribute to the cause through water sales—from Maryland’s Annapolis Waterfront hotel selling 4,511 bottles to Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara, CA, raising $8,338 in donation dollars. The first well from proceeds is scheduled to be completed in March 2020 in Unyankumi—a village in the Singida Region of Tanzania.
“Our EarthView water bottle provides clean, safe water to our guests while at the same time offers life-sustaining water to a community in need,” said Jay H. Shah, CEO, Hersha. “In this way, we can help address the pressing challenges we face as a global society while supporting our company’s goals and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Our first well in Tanzania will provide water to 8,000 people who previously lacked any permanent source of clean water.”
As with many communities around the world, the villagers of Unyankumi have faced challenges in regard to accessible, clean water and sanitation. Current conditions have caused the community to depend on hand-dug wells owned by individuals, that often dry up and are insufficient to serve all of the villagers. Lack of clean water also leads to many other challenges, including barriers to education, agriculture and healthcare in the community.
The creation of a well will not only save countless hours spent retrieving water but will also give the community a better chance at developing a secondary school in the future—currently, only a primary school exists in the community.
Launched in 2015 by former Philadelphia Eagle Chris Long, Waterboys unites NFL and NBA players, fans and corporate supporters in service. The charity provides underserved rural communities in emerging economies with clean, safe and sustainable water by drilling wells to serve communities in need.
“Our first year of partnership with Hersha has yielded tremendous results for Waterboys and, more importantly, for the community of Unyankumi that will be transformed by the well that has been funded,” said Chris Long, founder, Chris Long Foundation. “We pride ourselves on our ability to engage fans and corporations in innovative ways with our mission. EarthView water bottles are another example of how the collective impact of raising awareness in multiple hotels paired with fans making one small action can result in meaningful change for thousands of people.”
The Current Hotel Selects Agilysys InfoGenesis
The Current Hotel, a new Autograph Collection property in Tampa, FL, has selected Agilysys InfoGenesis point of sale (POS) to help deliver a world-class guest experience and maximize operational efficiency in its food and beverage operations.
“Agilysys InfoGenesis came highly recommended,” said Andrew Nielsen, general manager, The Current Hotel. “InfoGenesis’ deep functionality helps our servers better meet the needs of our guests, while InfoGenesis Flex tablets provide added agility in our rooftop bar and gift shop. We look forward to continuing to expand our Agilysys relationship as our needs grow in the future.”
Agilysys InfoGenesis point-of-sale system combines powerful, easy-to-use terminal and tablet touchscreen applications with rich configuration options and strong reporting and analysis features, according to the company. Designed to serve guests more effectively while being easy to set up and maintain, the system manages any combination of food, beverage and retail services, and integrates with other Agilysys applications and a wide variety of third-party offerings.
neUBase4 Launched for Modular Design
neUBase4 is a joint effort by two award-winning design firms—BASE4 and neUdesign. Its goal is to make modular construction affordable and accessible to all developers for any project, anywhere.
While both firms remain separate entities for traditional projects, neUBase4 combines years of firsthand modular experience and expertise to serve clients, create an immersive design experience, and leverage our extensive network to get the best deals.
The new venture offers the full range of design solutions and consultation for permanent modular projects in all sectors, including hospitality, multifamily, mixed-use, senior living, student housing and other commercial projects.
It partners with leading modular manufacturers and offer complete architecture, engineering and interior design solutions.
Quiltcraft Adds Weidner
Quiltcraft has added Kelley Weidner as its new director of sales and marketing.
Weidner is responsible for cultivating key client relationships, strengthening national partnerships and implementing new market strategies. Her 15 years of hospitality brand relationships and broad understanding of hotel standards will contribute to the continued success of the Quiltcraft products and services.
“We are excited to have Kelley in this new role,” said David Pearson, president, Quiltcraft. “Kelley shares our appreciation for the people, culture and values that define our company. These beliefs enable us to build and maintain successful long-term relationships. Kelley demonstrates a passion for positive change and growth in order to provide exceptional product and service to our customer.”
Prior to joining Quiltcraft, Weidner led the hospitality division at Serta Simmons Bedding overseeing the dual brand portfolio and business operations, supporting some of the world’s leading hotel brands across all segments.