INNOVATIONS IN HOTEL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

CUSTOM FITTINGS BEAT THE ODDS

In 2000, Symmons Industries, a manufacturer of commercial and residential plumbing products, took a gamble that held promise of paying long-term rewards.

That year, Symmons pursued the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino development in Uncasville, CT. The company faced a challenge as it offered nothing in its regular product lines to reflect the proposed Native American design theme of Mohegan. On a long-shot bet, Symmons built a model to complement the theme described by the Mohegan design team and submitted its model for consideration.

That effort paid off when the firm won the bid for the 1,300-room Mohegan Sun project. Six months later, the modeling process used for the Mohegan became the catalyst behind Symmons' Signature Design Studio: a design process that yields custom-designed and custom-manufactured bathroom fittings. More importantly, the Mohegan Sun installation signaled Symmons' recognition of a growing demand in the hospitality industry for unique designs in décor and amenities.

After the Mohegan Sun project, the team at Symmons noted that many designers, engineers and owners were expressing disappointment with other manufacturers, who provided nothing more than off-the-shelf fixtures and valves that were prone to serious quality and maintenance problems. Responding to this market interest, Symmons created a new and unique product design and production process — and thus, Signature Design Studio was born.

“Out-of-the-box thinking is inherent to the company's culture and name,” says Symmons' Vice President of Marketing Dominic Solis. “Making this jump to an entirely new way of doing business was far too risky an endeavor for many companies in this industry. At Symmons we're encouraged to take the initiative — to risk a failed idea.” Circle 75

Laundry Products

Procter & Gamble offers a complete commercial on-premise laundry program featuring Tide, Clorox and Downy. Built around trusted brands, the program provides the cleaning power of Tide, the softness of Downy and the whitening of Clorox Bleach. It does not use harsh acids or alkaline ingredients or phosphate, maximizing employee and environmental safety. Circle 76

Print Carpet

Durkan Hospitality blends old-world design elements and contemporary styling with Monte Largo print carpet. Monte Largo includes nine broadloom patterns, one circular medallion, five design borders, one rug surround and one four-door rug. Circle 77

Self-Service Computers

GBCBlue provides a system of self-service computers, printers and copiers designed to protect guest data and identifies while providing industry-leading security, privacy and system refresh protocols. Offerings range from charge-for-use to free-to-guest models as well as the hybrid ComboBlue, which gives guests a limited amount of free computer time before the system goes into the charge mode. Circle 78

Ice Machine

Hoshizaki America, Inc. introduces the KM-255 BAH crescent cuber ice machine with built-in storage. The unit produces up to 235 pounds of ice within 24 hours with a built-in storage bin holding 120 pounds. The self-contained design is available as an air-cooled model. Circle 79

Remote Jack Pack

The LG Electronics Auto-Sensing Remote Jack Pack aims to deliver connectivity, convergence and convenience to the lodging industry. The device serves as an all-in-one hub for multiple audio/video inputs that allow guests to interface with the TV and external portable devices such as DVD/CD players, laptop PCs, video game players, MP3 players and camcorders. A USB connection is also available for future applications. Circle 80

Wall Switch Sensors

The Lighting Management Systems Division's Decora Wall Switch Sensors, available in occupancy-sensing and vacancy-sensing models, incorporate a convenient LED nightlight in a single, compact device. The LED nightlight uses a photocell to automatically illuminate a room based on the ambient light level present. Circle 81

Educational Textbook

The Educational Institute of the AH&LA published a new edition of its Lodging Management Program Year 2 textbook. It has been updated to include more emphasis on management and technology skills and also incorporate the most up-to-date information on the hospitality industry. Circle 82

Center-Connection Radiator

The Myson T6 IVC Center-Connection radiator is a dual-panel, double-convector radiator offering the advantages of a standard two-inch central connection as well as the standard four-corner connections. Eighteen size heights are available with lengths to 78-3/4 inches. Circle 83

Bath Accessories

Symmons offers new bathroom accessories to complement its Elements line of luxury bathroom fittings. The accessories collection includes a towel bar, towel ring, robe hook and toilet paper holder available to match five exclusively designed suite offerings of the Elements line. Each accessory is available in brass, polished chrome or brushed-satin nickel. Circle 84

Hand Hygiene

Ecolab created a Clean Hands initiative to raise awareness of the importance of hand washing, promote staff compliance with CDC and FDA guidelines and reduce the spread of infection from unclean hands. Available to Ecolab customers at no charge, the Clean Hands awareness and compliance tools include a manager training guide, posters for sinks and employee areas and more. Circle 85

Bathtub Solution

BCD's Soft Blast System is said to be safe and effective in reestablishing slip resistance which has been lost on bathtubs due to age or improper cleaning procedures. A Soft Blast technician, using a specially designed etching machine, gently blasts and vacuums the area to be re-etched. Once finished, in about 10 minutes, the bathtub slip resistance has been raised over 400 percent with no surface damage, claims the company. Circle 86

Conference Seating

La-Z-Boy Contract Furniture has introduced a new executive/conference seating collection, along with a new group of stacking and ganging guest seating. The Lemans executive and conference chair optimizes both comfort and versatility. The fully upholstered chair offers customizable seating positions and height adjustability. Circle 87

PLASMAS BRIGHTEN BENTLEY BEACH

The Bentley Beach Hotel on Miami Beach's Ocean Drive prides itself on being among the most stylish properties on the super-stylish South Beach scene. One reason its executives feel that way is the Panasonic wide-screen, high-contrast plasma displays the Bentley Beach features in its 109 junior, one- and two-bedroom luxury suites. The hotel's signature, 3,500-square-foot penthouse features two 42-inch plasmas and one 50-inch display.

Located in the area's hottest new “landscape” — SoFi, or South of Fifth — The Bentley Beach has already purchased more than 50 Panasonic plasma displays, primarily the 37-inch model. Their sleek design complements the hotel's distinctive décor, which features custom furniture manufactured in Europe.

Maria Machado, assistant executive manager for The Bentley Hotels, says not only was the investment cost-effective, but “the plasmas also provide us with durable, commercial-grade displays designed for round-the-clock use.

“Our guests are impressed and pleased, and the equipment has been performing beautifully,” she adds.

The 9-Series hospitality models boast Panasonic's exceptional image quality, including a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 for remarkable depth perception. The wide-screen 16:9 aspect displays can display amazing detail, Panasonic says. The units also offer seamless integration in virtually any AV, IT or interactive environment.

For more information on The Bentley Beach Hotel, visit www.thebentleyhotels.com. For more information on Panasonic professional plasma displays for hospitality, visit www.panasonic.com/hospitality. Circle 88

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