Pegasus Changes Guard

Mike Kistner, a colorful veteran of hospitality technology, has succeeded John F. Davis III, a differently flamboyant veteran of that field, as chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. Davis left Pegasus after nearly 20 years “to pursue other opportunities,” according to the Pegasus news release about Kistner's ascension.

Kistner assumed the company's top post three years after joining Pegasus as vice president of operations and service delivery. He presided over the development and refinement of RezView NG, software blending Pegasus's existing central reservation system platform and database integration technology Pegasus secured in its acquisition of GuestClick in 2007. Also bought that spring: former Cendant Corp. CRS distribution system WizCom, a competitor.

RezView NG represents the consolidation and streamlining of Pegasus's core competency: online travel distribution.

Since 2007, Pegasus has completed its first successful round of upgrades to RezView NG, software that aims to address the growth of online travel shopping, the increasing sophistication of consumer recognition (aka customer relationship management) and demand for rich content. Kistner calls RezView NG a breakthrough and the only truly web-based CRS in the hospitality industry.

“Most of our competitors would have claimed global victory if they had 1,000 properties installed,” Kistner said in an interview at Stubb's Bar-B-Q, a funky bar in Austin, TX in June where Pegasus threw a party during the Hospitality Information Technology Exposition & Conference. “We're deploying an additional 8,000 over the course of 2008.”

The initial RezView NG upgrade covers more than 1,000 properties from Grand Heritage Hotel Group, Great Hotels of the World, Turkey Direct and other independent properties. Soon to join that upgrade fold: all the hotels represented by Utell International. That move helps explain the recent hiring of Ric Leutwyler as president of Pegasus representation services, including Utell Hotels & Resorts.

Like Kistner, Leutwyler is a former executive at Best Western International--and a former Cendant executive. His new post puts Leutwyler in charge of Pegasus representation services affecting more than 11,000 hotels worldwide.

“With legacy systems, it usually takes 90 days to bring a new functionality to market,” Kistner says. “With RezView NG, a customer can wake up the next morning with new features and functionality. I like to say that the system was developed without the intrusion of commercial realities.”

At its core, Pegasus is a technology and switch company. “It doesn't matter what you speak,” says Kistner, who began his hospitality career in operations at Super 8 in Aberdeen, SD. “We will learn to speak your language. And we've created an appliance that does that.”

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