LODGENET GOES BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT

Don't think of LodgeNet as just a hotel video on-demand company anymore. The Sioux Falls, SD-based firm recently rebranded and repositioned itself as a full-service company that helps hotel customers plan, manage and implement HDTV systems, broadband Internet services and other digital and media initiatives.

In mid-January, the company became LodgeNet Interactive to better align its identity with its mission as a broad-based technology company that provides guest-room entertainment, hotel services and solutions and TV advertising opportunities. In the past year, LodgeNet purchased three competing or complimentary firms — StayOnline, On Command and The Hotel Network — to solidify its dominant position in the market.

In announcing the name change, the company also unveiled LodgeNet Professional Solutions Group, a unit dedicated to helping hotels plan and implement guest-room communications solutions. The team will help hotels decide what HDTV sets to choose and how to marry the hardware with LodgeNet's array of entertainment and Internet options. As part of the group, LodgeNet now offers a Certified Installation Program to ensure that all elements of high-def hardware and programming are compatible and will perform up to guest expectations.

“Just as many consumers are turning to services like Geek Squad to assist in the implementation of in-home media systems, hotel operators are realizing they need more complex solutions to their in-room technology needs,” says Scott Young, LodgeNet's senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

In recent years, LodgeNet has worked with a number of chains and individual properties to implement new media and connectivity systems. For example, it designed and implemented the high-def media systems for the new Hyatt Place brand. It also worked with the Waldorf=Astoria in New York, the Westin Arlington (VA) and the Westin Boston Waterfront on new MATV systems. It also was part of the development of Hilton's Sight+Sound Room and Starwood's Scene@Sheraton program.
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Pants Press

The Corby pants press keeps guests from struggling with an iron. Perfect for guests in a hurry, the valet stand distributed by Focus Products gently eases out wrinkles. It's specified by many of Europe's leading hoteliers, the company says.
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Guestrooms

The Carroll Adams Group's new division Rapid Rooms offers owners and developers flexibility in upgrading properties. Four different room styles — business, resort, family and tropical — allow owners to choose the best fit for the property.
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Mountable PC

Aurora Multimedia's latest release of the XPC rack mountable PC, the XPC-HD, maintains the line's tiny footprint that allows two units to be rack mounted side-by-side in a single-rack space. The internal systems are reworked with enough power to launch high-definition media.
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Catering Tables

The SICO Catering Table allows a beautifully presented service to be completely set up in the kitchen and rolled into use by one person, the company says. SICO can reduce labor costs because there is no need to double-handle everything on the table. Construction includes tops that allow for cleaning with either soap and water or steam.
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Label Printer

Brother offers a variety of label printers that will meet any office's needs, from affordable compact models to commercial models that integrate with office networks. The QL-500 is the entry-level model that can print up to 50 labels per minute and offers a manual cutter. The QL-650TD includes a built-in time and date function, while the QL-1050 allows users to print on up to four-inch-wide tape.
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Minibar

The SmartCube minibar from Minibar North America has moveable sensor trays that allow for limitless product choices, maximum product visibility and a strong in-room profit potential. There's even room for two-liter bottles in the advanced, modular system.
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Carpet

Durkan Hospitality's Chromistique carpet collection uses an intriguing mix of colors and patterns to bring a fresh perspective to the industry. Along with Chromistique's print and CYP products for public spaces, custom patterns from the Merit line offer a solution for guestrooms and corridors.
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Software

GBCblue's upgraded guest computing kiosk software, the Client Manager 4, delivers enhanced reliability, more communication features and heightened security including the first hardware keystone logger inhibitor. CM4, for use with GBCblue guest-use computers, provides 99-percent uptime and customizable multimedia user experience with hardware invasion detection, the company says.
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Bedding

United Feather & Down's new expanded, 28-page catalog for hospitality bedding features new constructions and designs for pillows, duvet inserts, comforters, blankets, mattress toppers and fiber/featherbeds. MicroMax, a down alternative, is a fiber fill with distinctive tactile/performance characteristics second only to natural down, the company says.
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Commercial Laundry

The Maytag Commercial External Chemical Injection System features easy-access chemical supply and electrical connections on the outside of the machine. The design eliminates the need to open the washer, which can cut service time and keep chemical supplies running smoothly. The system is available for all multi-load Maytag rigid-mount front-load washer/extractions and soft-mount high-speed extractors.
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Lighting Technology

Philips Lighting Company introduces its new family of Halogena Energy Advantage lamps. The bulbs are offered in a variety of shapes and wattages and have a bright, long life and 30-38 percent energy savings over traditional incandescent technology, Philips says. The bulbs are available in 40-, 50- and 70-watt traditional shapes, as well as a 40-watt flood light model, and are rated for 3,000 hours.
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Insurance Coverage

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company offers a new insurance product, Historic Property-Gard, designed to meet the needs of historic and vintage commercial properties. The company says it's the only insurer to offer a comprehensive insurance product for historic buildings, which includes tax recapture coverage.
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