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October 29, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
Président® Brie, the choice for practical excellence
When the best is also practical, people get excited. And chefs are excited about Président Brie. Premium, old world Brie, crafted to exceed the highest standards, in easy-to-handle formats. Slice it in seconds. Slip onto cheese plates. Slide into sandwiches. Click here for recipes.
  Business Update 
  • Pebblebrook acquires Hotel Palomar San Francisco for $58M
    Pebblebrook Hotel Trust has agreed to buy the 196-room Hotel Palomar San Francisco for $58 million. Previous owner Griffin Capital Corp. says it was forced to cut operating expenses on the property during the recession. "A concerted team effort through the lean times and leading up to the sale allowed Griffin Capital to return to its investors over 167% of their originally invested equity, which translates to an average annual return exceeding 13%," said Michael Escalante, chief investment officer at Griffin Capital, in a statement. (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Choice Hotels International sees domestic unit growth
    Choice Hotels International is experiencing increased growth, and CEO Steve Joyce says capital has been easier to come by for franchisees. Choice "executed 89 new domestic hotel franchise contracts" during the third quarter, 10 more than last year's total during the same period, this feature says. "The bottom line is that we are extremely pleased with the new construction and conversion activity across the board," Joyce said. (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • DoubleTree by Hilton in Cocoa Beach, Fla., is sold for $15.1M
    New Zealand-based CP Group has purchased the 148-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront hotel in Florida for $15.1 million through its U.S. arm, Pandey Hotel Corp. "In addition to its oceanfront resort location, the variety of leisure, government and business activity around Cocoa Beach gives the hotel added dimensions not usually associated with a resort location," said Pandey asset manager John Andrews. (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Business Leaders Make Loyal Travel Customers
Did you know that 100% of senior B2B business decision makers are a member of at least one loyalty program? SmartBrief helps marketers reach over one million business travelers who are devoted customers, who maximize business travel through awards programs and extended stays. View infographic and audience overview.
  Market Trends 
  • Cox & Kings exec reveals trend forecast for travel industry in 2013
    Travel in 2013 will see more trips to historical sites, family travel to exotic destinations and extended luxury vacations, says Scott Wiseman, president of the Americas unit of luxury-travel firm Cox & Kings, which has unveiled its forecast for next year's travel trends. "Authentic, life-changing moments are still high on travelers' priorities list, and -- with this age's tech-savvy -- sharing these moments instantly with those back home is more convenient and exciting than ever, creating a rich, dynamic dialogue about travel and new cultures," Wiseman said. TravelAge West (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AH&LA SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Spotlight on Technology 
  • Spanish hotel to offer payment method linked to guest biometrics
    The Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel in Spain is preparing to unveil a new biometrics-based payment system that allows guests to pay for their stay and other amenities at the touch of a finger. The move follows the hotel's introduction last year of RFID wristbands and totems linked to Facebook that allow guests to share their hotel experiences in real time through the social media website. Travolution (U.K.) (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Column: 2 tech trends that are shaping the hotel landscape
    Today's tech-savvy travelers are bringing their own mobile devices and content to their hotel rooms, which brings fresh challenges for the industry to offer compatible technology, writes technology consultant Terence Ronson. "[I]n the true fashion of trends, we now want to be un-wired and stream wirelessly to whatever is the playback unit of choice. ... Now you have to have Airplay or similar enabled devices to cope with this, and unless you are going through a refurb cycle ... then you are going to have to find a fix, to cope with this other trend," Ronson writes. Hotel News Resource/Hotel Management Asia -- Hotel Technology Guide (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bye, bye room keys: Doors unlock with smartphones
    A new hotel door lock system by y!kes uses Bluetooth technology to grant guests room access. To use the system, hotel guests download an app and log in. The app would then link the reservation to the mobile device, which would then notify guests when the room is ready. After entering a PIN, guests would retrieve their room number. The system automatically checks visitors in the lobby, and opens the door when they touch the handle. Hotel Management online (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Guests' impulse to lift small room items opens a marketing window
    Hotel operators should view the items they lose daily to impulsive souvenir-taking guests as an opportunity to strengthen guest loyalty, says Rob Kwortnik of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. "Is it possible that when people take things, it's actually driven more by the desire for keepsake value? Once I leave, the experience is gone. But when I take something ... I've kept something that's part of the experience," Kwortnik says. (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • AH&LA launches mobile app
    AH&LA has released its first mobile app for smartphones. This official app keeps members up to date on the latest events on Capitol Hill; gives access to our Information Center; and connects members to AH&LA's social media activity. Members also get the latest on networking opportunities with top lodging leaders, education offerings and special events, including the upcoming Fall Conference/IHMRS, the largest event of the year! To learn more, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lodging CEOs talk diversity

    The industry's top CEOs emphasize the business case for promoting and pursuing diversity, highlighting its importance to their workforce, guests and vendors. View the video and other resources to help drive new business. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind."
--Hans Hofmann,
German-American abstract expressionist painter

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