Partner News

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:

AAHOA and Hospitality Success Partner

AAHOA and Hospitality Success, a New York-based company that works with hoteliers to maximize revenue management, announced a new partnership that will facilitate relationships between the company and AAHOA’s more than 18,500 members.

“I have worked 30 years to help owners run their hotels. Now I have created a first to market learning company that helps owners take control,” said Anthony Melchiorri, founder, Hospitality Success. “I have worked with AAHOA for most of those 30 years, and I can’t think of a better organization to partner with.”

Hospitality Success provides personalized coaching and guidance from Melchiorri; revenue management authority Jeremy Pinkerton; and business and marketing expert Marty Fort. The company works with hoteliers to address operational challenges, to execute strategies for acquiring and planning hotel projects, and to help owners take control of their business.

Apple Leisure Group’s Executive Chairman Receives Award

Alex Zozaya, Apple Leisure Group’s executive chairman, recently received the Dominican Tourism Champion award at the Third Asonahores Tourism Investment Forum at the Real Intercontinental Hotel in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“The Dominican Republic has long been one of the great global destinations, and for many years has played a key part of Apple Leisure Group’s growth strategy,” said Zozaya. “Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the country’s tourism scene change, evolve and grow, which makes this honor all the more personal and fulfilling. I look forward to continue collaborating with Asonahores, and contribute to the ongoing strengthening of this unique destination.”

Widewaters Hotels Honored by Hilton as Full-Service Developer of the Year

Widewaters Hotels was named Developer of the Year in the full-service category in this year’s Hilton Legacy Awards.

The Legacy Awards recognize the passion, creativity and innovative spirit of Hilton’s partners who are committed to quality projects that meet or exceed brand standards and have a positive impact on communities around the world. The leaders of Hilton’s development and brand teams select the winners based on strict criteria, including hotel quality and commitment to guest experience. Hilton previously named Widewaters a 2012 North American multi-brand Developer of the Year.

“It’s a great honor, once again, to receive this prestigious award,” said William Holstein, SVP of Widewaters Group. “We are passionate about creating the ultimate guest experience, providing rewarding opportunities for our associates and delivering exceptional returns for our owners and partners. Partnering with Hilton has been, and continues to be, a mutually beneficial relationship, and we are happy they see us as a great representation of their brand.”

Within the past year Widewaters has opened two Curio Collection by Hilton hotels – The Porter Portland in Oregon and The Charter Hotel Seattle in Washington.

Base4 Named Preferred Best Western Design Partner

Best Western has named architecture, engineering and design firm Base4 as one of its preferred design partners.

“We thank and appreciate the Best Western team for this recognition,” said Blair Hildahl, principal, Base4. “Our team of 270-plus highly skilled architects, engineers, project managers and leaders play to win. BASE4’s global offices render us 24-hour workdays, helping us run more quality checks within the stipulated timeframe—resulting in fewer roadblocks during the city and franchise reviews.”

Le Meridien Hotel Teams with AVaStar

AVaStar, the hospitality industry’s first subscription support program for audiovisual/event technology services, is driving profitability for Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center.

The contemporary hotel, with approximately 4,000 sq. ft. of event space, has taken control of its destiny and relationship with customers. A few months ago, management began looking for a solution that would increase revenues, drive profits and enhance the customer/meeting planner experience by having all services delivered by an internal team instead of using third-party providers.

With AVaStar, the company is taking control of its AV operation, improving guest service and far exceeding year-over-year net profitability. “It’s a pretty typical scenario: Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center was not large enough for a third-party AV provider to dedicate full-time staff to the property, so a technician would come to the hotel on days where there were AV needs for the meetings,” said Eric Bracht, AVaStar managing director. “The technician would set the AV equipment, then wait around all day until the meetings ended to put it away. Most of the equipment needed was standard presentation gear, like a computer display, some microphones and flipcharts. Hotel management believed they could provide these services on their own, but lacked the focused internal resources. The AVaStar solution resolves this issue for them by providing the missing layer of support.”

The AVaStar program is built upon a single, dedicated SaaS platform for conducting all AV technology activities, including planning and providing audiovisual services, managing meeting needs, scheduling resources, getting guided technical assistance and tracking financial performance. It ensures that equipment and services are delivered and meeting customer expectations by prompting non-technical users with interactive, step-by-step sales, setup and troubleshooting procedures. By ensuring that equipment is where it needs to be, when it needs to be and in peak working condition and appearance, the customer experience is improved, revenues are tracked, and expenses are managed. Flawless execution minimizes credits and rebates to customers and a detailed tracking system ensures that same-day changes are captured and billed.

“We chose AVaStar to improve our bottom line significantly and at the same time provide a more attentive, personalized service to our guests, and we have not been disappointed,” said Martin Schooley, VP, operations at Wischermann Partners Inc., manager of Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center. “We’ve enjoyed an almost 40% year-over-year improvement in profitability in just the first five months. AVaStar has been creative and responsive, as we have tailored a program that meets the needs of our hotel and our guests. I can recommend AVaStar with great confidence and say they will be part of the conversation as we search for audiovisual solutions in all of our hotels in the future.”