INNOVATIONS IN HOTEL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

WORKING TO FORGE A SAFETY CULTURE

Expanding insurance coverage, better safety practices and a comprehensive approach have lowered costs for Premier Resorts International. Wausau Insurance provides the coverage and Lockton Companies of Colorado is the broker. The partnership has led to a reduction in workers compensation claims.

“We have an account willing to invest money and resources into loss prevention,” says Evan Byington, territory manager for Wausau in Orem, UT. “A lot of the agencies we work with do not have loss prevention employees on their staff, but Lockton does.

“When a policy holder is willing to invest the money necessary and you have an agency and a carrier with quality loss prevention individuals, you get the best of all worlds.”

Brad Goulding, president and owner of Premier, instituted new safety procedures and enrolled several employees, at $665 per person, in Wausau's decision driving course, Byington says.

The companies work to “make sure our reserves are not too high and that we return injured employees to light-duty work as soon as possible,” Byington says.

“We want our employees to be safe and our facilities to be safe for our employees and our customers,” Goulding says. “We bonus our employees based on safety scores, safe environments, working safely and using common sense.”

Wausau has provided workers compensation coverage to Premier for eight years, spreading it to general liability and automobile in the last two. “Bringing in automobile and liability gave it more of a comprehensive approach,” says B.J. Rood, senior vice president and unit manager for Lockton.

“If you improve employee driving habits and have fewer accidents, you're less likely to have injuries to employees as well. That benefits both auto and workers compensation. And if you reduce slip and fall hazards, that helps general liability.

“Instead of being an insurance buyer, Premier is moving into risk management,” Rood says. “That's what Brad was talking about: safety culture.”
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Phones

Teledex introduces two new telephones: the iPhone IP, a pure SIP-based VoIP phone; and the iPhone Hybrid, which combines analog voice handling with an IP-based data-driven display. The iPhone Hybrid is upgradable to an iPhone IP via a simple firmware upgrade. The two versions share the same case design, which is a rework of the Teledex guest-room design. The content is served up and managed by the iPhone Content Management Console and Content Aggregator Server, which are both part of the overall iPhone solution.
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Digital Radios

Motorola introduces on-site two-way radios that deliver the benefits of advanced digital technology to front desk personnel, concierges and event planners. The DTR series operate without monthly fees, service contracts or per-minute charges.
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One-Cup Coffee

Classic Coffee Concepts introduces a new one-cup in-room coffee program. The program eliminates the need for cleaning or replacing glass decanters by brewing the coffee directly into an insulated disposable 12-oz. cup. A heavy-duty, dishwasher-safe brew basket is provided.
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Amenity Products

In addition to basic amenities for hair, skin and personal care, Ready Care Industries offers products for professional massage and body treatments, locker rooms, custom dispensers and private labeled retail. With its extensive product selection, industry professionals can eliminate the hassle of multiple orders, shipments and invoices.
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Chicken Wings

Pierce Chicken offers WingSations in six flavors: Spicy Garlic, Maple Chipotle, Insane Hot, Caribbean Spice, Savory Rotisserie and Bold 'n Spicy BBQ. WingSations flavors are created using a branded product process called FlavorQuest that includes consumer testing, in-depth research and consumer validation.
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Laptop Safe

Onity introduces the Laptop 50 electronic safe. Secured with a user-chosen three- to six-digit PIN code, the Laptop 50 provides peace-of-mind and convenience for both hotel guests and maintenance staff. Simple instructions and an LED display with telephone-style keypad make operation seamless and intuitive, claims the company.
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Furniture

La-Z-Boy Contract Furniture Group introduces a transitional lobby/lounge table collection, along with a new series of versatile stacking chairs. Also new is a lobby/lounge seating collection and a “retro-styled” executive chair. The new transitional table group, called the Cicero Series by La-Z-Boy Contract, is a collection of metal tables developed for lobby and lounge environments.
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Green Amenities

A partnership between Custom Amenities Inc. and Pineapple Hospitality Inc. has produced the Environmentally Sensitive Amenities line. The collection features dozens of 100-percent biodegradable guest toiletries and other amenities with a variety of product packaging. ESA products contain minimal preservatives, minimal labeling and are packaged in non-bleached natural board for easy biodegradation.
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BEDDING TAKES A BEATING

The bedding industry has been hard hit by foam shortages caused by disruptions in petrochemical processing facilities due to the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes. Petrochemical processing facilities supply an essential raw material called TDI that's used to manufacture polyurethane foam, one of the primary materials used in the mattress, furniture, carpet and automobile seating industries. @TX:However, bedding manufacturer Sealy reports it has turned the corner on the foam supply shortage issue. Sealy plants are now producing and shipping orders on regular delivery cycles.

Still, other issues loom. “Pricing is the next challenge that we and our customers face,” cautions David McIlquham, Sealy chairman and chief executive officer. “Due to unprecedented cost increases in polyurethane foam, as well as price hikes in fuel and other petroleum-based commodities as a result of this season's hurricane disasters, Sealy will raise prices across all its domestic product lines to offset rising costs of raw materials used in the manufacture of its bedding products.” The price increases vary by product line and mattress size and took effect Nov. 14.

Bedding isn't the only hospitality-related product affected by the cost increases. “I think you'll see widespread price increases on anything that has any type of petrochemical-based component, from carpeting and upholstery fabrics to comforters and vinyls,” foresees Leo Vogel, director of contract sales and marketing for the company.
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Electronic Lock

Signature by VingCard is an electronic lock that is design-centric in nature and appeals to sophisticated tastes, claims the company. Only the bezel for card insertion and the designer handle are visible on the outside of the guest-room door. The Signature series lock integrates with every design style, giving the corridor a seamless appearance. It also offers an upgrade to Contact Less Technology.
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In-Room Entertainment

KoolConnect Technologies teamed with InfoValue Computing to introduce nPVR (Networked Personal Video Recording), a technology that allows guests to record their favorite programs and play them back at their convenience. Programs are stored from a central server, making the service less complex and offering an array of features.
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Dryer

American Dryer Corp. introduced a 75-pound dryer that saves up to 30 percent in natural gas consumption, it claims. Using a 100-percent axial airflow design, the dryer maximizes heat usage to provide fast dry times while using less gas. It also features a 12-volt, single-phase reversing tumbler.
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Ice Maker/Dispenser

Hoshizaki's DKM-500 Serenity Series hotel ice maker and dispenser can produce up to 471 pounds of ice per 24 hours, dispenses 13 pounds of ice per minute and stores up to 200 pounds of ice. The unit's one-piece, self-contained design reduces opportunities for cross contamination.
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Business Center Solution

Eleven Wireless introduces ElevenBC, a new lobby and business center computer solution. ElevenBC offers hotels the ability to deploy an all-in-one computer that guests can use to access e-mail, applications and the Internet, as well as print in color and black-and-white. ElevenBC caters to both Windows and Mac users.
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Green Lodging Program

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is partnering with Pineapple Hospitality Inc. to help Florida's lodging industry create a healthier, safer indoor environment and reduce the generation of solid waste in hotels and motels across the state. Through the public-private partnership, Pineapple will provide Florida's lodging industry with technical assistance on products and services that preserve air quality, conserve energy, reduce water consumption and reduce the generation of solid waste in their facilities.
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Laundry and Daily Cleaners

Procter & Gamble offers an on-premise laundry and daily cleaners program to hotels in select markets across the U.S. The P&G Pro Line Lodging Program is a full line of laundry and daily cleaners, featuring, for the laundry, Tide with stain removal, Downy to add softness without perfumes or dyes and Clorox Bleach to keep whites white.
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Hotel Software

Inncom International, Inc. launched INNcontrol II, a new software package designed to serve the guest-room control and property automation needs of the hospitality industry. The package features a user-friendly interface that allows hotel staff to view and control a single guestroom, multiple guestrooms, and/ or the entire hotel within a “quick view.” Real-time reports include service call reporting, occupancy reporting, temperature reporting, equipment operation reporting and more.
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