INNOVATIONS IN HOTEL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

HOOKED ON HBO

Years ago, when satellite television was in its infancy, Johnny Walker used to “pick up” Home Box Office on his dishes for free. The Nashville-based hotel executive soon found himself blocked and he eventually had to pay back royalties to — and for — HBO. Now, he's a happy, paying patron of HBO, which he deploys throughout all six hotels in the Johnny Walker Hospitality Group portfolio.

The six properties his firm manages include two Comfort Inns each in Nashville and San Antonio; and a Days Inn and the independent Fiddler's Inn in Nashville. Three Johnny Walker properties are on Music Valley Road near Nashville's storied Opryland Hotel. Some have “multiple HBO,” in the guestrooms and in the public spaces, Walker says.

“I've had HBO a long time,” he says, chuckling. “I go back in the industry a long way. When satellites first came, we put in early ones. I've had up to 35 properties at one time, over about a 25-year career. Those satellite dishes were unregulated when they first came out, and we were picking up HBO back then, and they put blockers on in some way.

“We finally paid a royalty fee to get back on,” Walker adds, “and now we are predominantly cable. Of the six hotels, four are on cable, and two are DIRECTV.” All have HBO.

Walker himself watches HBO, but only “when I'm on the road, in San Antonio.

“Life is too fast here at home to sit down and watch a whole movie on HBO. But I like to watch when I'm on the road.”
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Wall Box

FSR now manufactures a wall box for 15-inch LCD computer monitors. The MWB-15 is ideal for hotels, conference centers and all general meeting spaces as it reduces both time and money in construction and installation costs. The screen-surround bezel is made of aluminum and is available in clear or black anodized finishes.
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VoIP SIP Telephone

TeleMatrix, Inc. says that its VoIP 3000IP telephone is now compatible with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as well as Mitel's MiNET protocols. The 3000IP is said to be the world's first VoIP guestroom telephone. It has the same form factor and features of a typical guestroom phone including five or 10 speed dial keys, speakerphone and message retrieval key.
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Flat Panel Mount

Chief Manufacturing offers a way to retrofit existing CRT installations with flat panels. Installers can simply unthread the current CRT television mount from the 1.5-inch NPT and rethread the MCS or PCS single ceiling mount without changing out the pipe or ceiling plate. The mounts feature Chief's Q-Latch mounting system for quick connect/disconnect and integrated security.
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Housekeeping Carts

Rubbermaid Commercial Products introduces its new line of Compact Housekeeping Carts. The carts feature a smarter design that provides superior maneuverability without compromising overall storage capacity, claims the company. All supplies can be accessed from both sides of the cart. When folded, the cart is 38 percent more compact than the company's standard sized cart while still offering five cubic feet of cabinet storage capacity.
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In-Room Coffee

Keurig introduces its new in-room brewing system. The Keurig Brewed offers a fresh-brewed cup of coffee in minutes, due to the patented K-Cup Portion Pack brewing system. There are no messy pots to clean and more than 150 gourmet coffees and teas and hot cocoa to choose from.
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Plastic Repair Kit

A plastic welding kit that includes everything necessary for repairing moderately cracked and gouged personal watercraft, canoes and kayaks has been introduced by Malcom Co., Inc. The PWC Plastic Repair Kit features a compact 1,200-watt heat gun, tube nozzle and two pounds of assorted welding rod in round and flat shapes from 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch wide.
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Repeater Package

The CAE50-Gemini SOHO Dual Band Repeater Package from CellAntenna Corp. is designed to improve reception for all types of cellular service, including GSM, CDMA and TDMA, operating on cellular (850 MHz) band, also called GSM850, and the PCS (1900 MHz) band. This means that anyone, regardless of the wireless carrier, can significantly amplify his or her cell phone signal reception.
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Hand Sanitizing Spray

Clorox Anywhere Hand Sanitizing Spray is a bleach-free, alcohol-based spray that is formulated to kill 99.999 percent of germs on contact and does not dry out hands or leave a sticky, greasy residue, claims the company. Available in a spray, the delivery mechanism also helps target places in the hand that can often be missed by traditional sanitizers, such as fingernails, knuckles and spaces between fingers.
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Microbe-Fighting Carpet

Foss Mfg. Co., a designer and manufacturer of non-woven fabrics and specialty synthetic fibers, announces its Fosshield antimicrobial technology, said to safely and effectively inhibit growth of destructive and odor-causing bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus. Fosshield incorporates a silver- and copper-based, inorganic antimicrobial additive into the outer layer of the fiber. When woven in, it invisibly and continuously combats the growth of dangerous microbes, extending product life and maintaining a hygienically clean surface.
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Water Basketball Game

Backyard Pool Products.com offers the Rock the House Water Basketball game for in-ground and above-ground swimming pools with decks. Featuring an extra-wide, double-winged backboard that corrals errant shots set atop a rugged base that fills with water or sand for stability, the unit snaps together in seconds by one person. It may be left outside year-round or quickly drained and stored seasonally.
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Chandelier

The E101-Euro Mica Chandelier from Mica Lamp Company is centered with a 17-inch diameter mica lens bowl and three seven-inch diameter mica lens bowls. It features a natural stone appearance, without the heavy weight, and will not crack like thick alabaster stone.
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All American Cookie

The All American Cookie from Otis Spunkmeyer was created to honor U.S. troops on the patriotic holidays of Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day and the 4th of July. It's a 1.33-ounce cookie with red, white and blue candy-coated chocolate pieces. Preportioned frozen cookie dough means no mixing or scooping; cooks from frozen without thawing.
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Casual Seating

Tropitone Furniture Co. introduces a style of casual furniture which is manufactured using a polymer molding process to create a sophisticated and contemporary seating collection with rugged durability. The Mobilis Collection is designed to be modular and can be mixed and matched to create a broad array of seating combinations. It is also said to be environmentally friendly, since in the manufacturing process, very little scrap is generated and the polymer materials that the pieces are molded with can be recycled.
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Dessert Toppings

Smucker's PlateScrapers dessert toppings enhance the appeal of dessert drink offerings. The contoured bottle design and applicator tip, which controls product flow, make it easy to create “masterpieces” for any skill level. One can menu dessert drinks such as Cinnamon Bun Cappuccino, Bananas Foster Iced Coffee and Raspberry Cream Lemonade. The toppings are available in five flavors: chocolate, raspberry, caramel, vanilla and chocolate fudge.
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Luxury Faucets

Symmons launched a collection of pull-out kitchen faucets. Five new styles include Andora, Fiano, Forza, Moscato and Vello. Available in Radiance satin, polished chrome or Radiance polished brass finish, the new line reflects the style and elegance of Symmons' Elements Line of bathroom fittings, which were originally created for world-class hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and the Ritz-Carlton.
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Screen Cleaner

Origin Laboratories LLC offers Purosol TV & Computer Screen Cleaner, an enzyme-based cleaning product formulated for use on LCD and plasma television and computer screens, and is the first in a new line of Purosol Professional environmentally safe industrial cleaning products. The solution is available in a commercial-size 16-ounce bottle with a trigger containing a micro-mist head to control dispersion.
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Hair Dryer

The new 1635 Sunbeam hair dryer has 1,875 watts of power to dry hair fast. It features dual-voltage operation: 125v or 250v. Dryer folds for easy storage.
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Steam iron

Andis developed a new retractable cord steam iron with safety features to ensure that guests can't leave irons turned on in vacant rooms. If the iron is idle while resting on the heel for more than 15 minutes, it will stop heating. If it is left in the ironing position without moving for more than 30 seconds, or if it tips over, it will also stop heating.
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