Hotel Online  Special Report

StayOnline Helps Bring Soldier
"Home" for Sister's Wedding
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Technology Conduit for Reuniting Family Members

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Atlanta, July 6, 2005 – Cpl. Ronald Fore “attended” his sister’s San Antonio, TX wedding from Al Asad in Iraq Saturday, July 2, thanks in large part to StayOnline’s connection at the Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio.

Hoping to find a way to share her wedding with Fore, bride-to-be Amy Gore contacted the Freedom Calls Network, a non-profit organization that facilitates audio and video contact between overseas soldiers and their families for special events.  Freedom Calls was easily able to help the family make the connection since StayOnline had already installed its wireless network at the Emily Morgan late last year. 

On the day of the wedding, a video camera, laptop and six-foot screen were placed in the event room at the historic Emily Morgan.  On the other side of the world, at the Freedom Calls facility at Al Asad, Cpl. Fore waited for the video to start.  As the ceremony began, Fore’s image appeared on the screen as he watched his sister’s wedding in real time.  Gore and her family, including Fore’s wife, sons and parents, had not seen him in six months.  The bride kept Cpl. Fore’s “attendance” at the wedding a surprise, delighting his family members and other guests in San Antonio.  At the reception afterwards, the video screen was placed in the reception room, allowing family and friends to visit with him. 

“This event was transmitted completely through StayOnline’s network at the Emily Morgan to our facility at Al Asad,” said John Harlow, Executive Director of Freedom Calls.  “It’s truly an amazing feat of today’s technology we could connect the family in San Antonio all the way to Cpl. Fore in Iraq.  We were so pleased that the Emily Morgan was already outfitted for the occasion – it made our job so much simpler.”

“We knew that installing StayOnline’s solution here was the right choice for our guests,” said Bill Brendel, General Manager of the Emily Morgan. “The fact that this transmission went off ‘without a hitch’ was not only heartwarming, but also further validation that a combined wired and wireless network can keep our guests in touch in ways we hadn’t even imagined.”

According to Brendel, the connection to Iraq and all it entailed was handled free of charge by the hotel, Freedom Calls and StayOnline. 

“We set up and tested the system in advance, using a static IP address and StayOnline’s expertise,” said Brendel.  “Then my Front Office Manager, Rene Uresti, and I manned the equipment during the ceremony.”

The combination of the Emily Morgan’s hospitality, Freedom Calls and StayOnline was perhaps most appreciated by the bride, who remarked at the wedding, “this is a dream come true.”

About StayOnline
StayOnline’s wireless high-speed Internet solution is installed in 70,000 guest rooms in nearly 600 hotels and resorts across North America in more than 30 hotel brands, as well as a variety of unique boutique and historic properties. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, StayOnline provides secure wireless high-speed Internet access solutions and flexible wireless infrastructure for the hospitality industry. The company operates the largest, 100% WLAN in hotels in North America.  StayOnline meets the highest quality standards and is Intel® Centrino™ verified.  For additional information on StayOnline, visit www.stayonline.net

About the Emily Morgan
The Emily Morgan is a 177-room boutique hotel located at 705 East Houston in downtown San Antonio, across the street from The Alamo, thirteen steps from The Riverwalk, and within walking distance of every major downtown attraction.


 
Contact:

Karin Koser
KPK & Co.
404.636.9311
or
Beth Hawks
KPK & Co.
404.814.1015


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