Hotel Online  Special Report

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Doubletree Novi Doubles In-Room Entertainment Revenue, Enhances Guest Service With Interactive TV Upgrade 
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Suburban Detroit Hotel Riding Wave of Regional Turnaround,
Boosts In-Room Revenue 100%
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May 18, 2004 - There’s a saying in the Motor City: as the auto industry goes, so goes Detroit. With General Motors forecasting a healthy $4 billion from operations this year and Ford turning in a $2 billion first quarter, Detroit hoteliers are ramping up their offerings to accommodate an anticipated recovery throughout the region. The Doubletree Novi is no exception. Operated by Oklahoma City-based Southern Hospitality, the Doubletree Novi is just 30 minutes from the Detroit Metro Airport, placing it squarely in the state’s fastest growing business area. With more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a business center and two pools, the property is perfectly positioned to serve local companies and business travelers – and that’s where management is investing its sales effort.
 
“We have plenty of contacts with local companies, and as their business picks up we are turning over every rock in their sales and HR departments,” explains general manager Jim Gilbert, who says bookings at the hotel are up five percent over last year. Accommodating the ramped-up demand has meant bringing in more of the brand’s signature chocolate chip cookies – and installing an all-new in-room entertainment system. 

“Workhorse” System Boosts Revenues Inside And Outside The Room

Gilbert, a 25-year lodging veteran, tells his staff to greet every guest as a “regular”, and he encourages his managers to deliver the unexpected. Many of his guests


Jim Gilbert
General Manager
Doubletree Hotel Novi
have been pleasantly surprised by the in-room entertainment and information provided through the sigNETure TVSM system installed by LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation last November. “This system really takes in-room television to the next level by impacting our guests from the minute they enter the room until the time they check out,” Gilbert says. He claims that guests have especially appreciated the number of on-demand movie choices (enhanced with LodgeNet’s On-Screen Controls feature), as well as the all-ages appeal of the system’s Nintendo® game offerings. That response has shown up big on the bottom line. “The revenue from our previous in-room provider was $1,500 to $1,800 in a good month,” notes Gilbert. “With the new LodgeNet system, my numbers for November through February – our slow months – were never less than $3,000.”

The Doubletree Novi is using its sigNETure TV system to secure a greater “share of guest” outside the room as well. “The more we use this system, the more we realize how flexible it is – to the point of helping us direct guests to other revenue centers on the property,” Gilbert continues. “We can create on-screen promotions and schedule who sees them, and when. So right now, for example, one of the first things our guests see on their TVs is a promotion for playoff drink specials in our sports bar.” 

TV Enhances Guest Convenience By Enabling Real-Time Response, Personalized Touches 

Guest convenience has also gotten a boost from the Doubletree Novi’s sigNETure TV solution. Guests using the in-room Account Review/Checkout service can have their folio e-mailed to any location, providing the documentation they need without stopping at the front desk. They can access Hilton HHonors® frequent guest information through the television. And LodgeNet’s Guest Survey service is helping the hotel maintain an environment of prompt, friendly service. “We encourage guests to use the TV as a direct line to us – not just at checkout, but any time during the stay,” Gilbert explains. “If a guest lodges a complaint from the guest room TV, we get a printout at the front desk and can quickly assign staff to resolve the issue.” 

Personalization is part of the package, too. As part of the Doubletree’s goal to extend a “small-town” feel and make guests comfortable, managers post the names of incoming VIPs on the guest TV splash screen and broadcast them to every room. “When the Masons come in, we recognize the group and their most prominent members so they see their name when they turn on their TVs,” Gilbert says. 

As the Doubletree Novi benefits from the upswing in its market, Gilbert is convinced his sigNETure TV system is up to the challenge of more guests and higher expectations. “Doubletree is one of the more relaxed brands in the Hilton organization, and the look and feel of LodgeNet’s system – plus the guest-targeted content and hotel marketing capabilities – fit the brand and our hotel to a T,” Gilbert concludes. “I believe the essence of hospitality is being able to offer guests the kind of property and in-room amenities that let them feel at home, relax, and play after work. Making a difference to the people who come in the door is what keeps me going every morning.”

About Doubletree Hotel Novi

The 217-room Doubletree Hotel Novi-Detroit is conveniently located in Southwest Oakland County, the state's fastest growing business environment. The hotel is just 30 minutes from downtown Detroit and from Metropolitan Airport, and adjacent to four uniquely different shopping experiences with over 2 1/2 million square feet of retail space. Doubletree Novi is known for building a sense of local flavor and a small-town feel into its amenities and service culture.

About LodgeNet

LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation (www.lodgenet.com) is the world’s largest and leading provider of interactive television systems and broadband services to hotels, resorts and casinos throughout the United States and Canada as well as select international markets. These services include on-demand movies, music and music videos, Nintendo® video games, Internet on television, and other interactive television services, as well as high-speed Internet access, all designed to serve the needs of the lodging industry and the traveling public. As the largest company in the industry, LodgeNet provides service to more than one million rooms including 967,000 interactive guest pay rooms in more than 5,800 hotel properties worldwide. More than 260 million travelers have access to LodgeNet systems on an annual basis. LodgeNet is listed on NASDAQ and trades under the symbol LNET.

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Contact:

Doubletree Hotel Novi
Jim Gilbert, General Manager
27000 Sheraton Drive
Novi, MI 48377
248-348-5000
www.shinc.com

LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation
Ann Parker, Director of Corp. Communications
3900 W Innovation Street
Sioux Falls, SD  57107-7002
605-988-1000
communications@lodgenet.com


 
Also See: IT Security: Pebble Beach Company Powers Toward a Perfect 10; Parent Company Of Three-Time Conde Naste Winner Uses Advanced Security Tools For High-Speed Internet Access / April 2004


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