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New Management Company Makes Its Mark by Executing on
Upscale Service, Unique Amenities and Maximized ROI
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Rolls Out Flyte Airline Information Systems Across Portfolio
to Serve Business Guests, Differentiate Properties
August 5, 2008

Kokua is a Hawaiian word that means “to serve,” and for the executive team at management company Kokua Hospitality, it is also a phrase they take to heart.  Formed just two years ago as a subsidiary of Chartres Lodging, its trail-blazing team of industry innovators is already overseeing more than $40 million dollars in renovations to a growing portfolio of luxury and upscale properties, billing itself as “fiercely independent” with a commitment to world-class service that maximizes owner ROI.

That same independent streak is evident in the renovations Kokua is overseeing at its six properties that include Adams Mark hotels in Indianapolis and Buffalo; The Inn of Chicago; the Doubletree Hotel Magnificent Mile; the historic Allerton Hotel, Chicago; and the W Aloft in Maryland.  According to Craig Strickler, Kokua’s corporate director of transitions and projects, all changes and upgrades across the company’s portfolio, regardless if they are boutique or business properties, have focused on one thing:  providing guests with useful services that keep them coming back.

Service Where It Is Needed Most

“This is a highly competitive market,” said Strickler, “Differentiating your properties with unique services and amenities guests do not find elsewhere is essential to success.”  With most of its properties in cities and near international airports, much of Kokua’s guest base is business or convention related, though leisure travelers are also an important segment.  For this reason, Strickler recently researched and quickly signed a contract with Flyte Systems, the leading provider of real-time flight information, to install its digital airline travel arrival and departure displays to better serve Kokua’s guests.

“Not only does Flyte Systems provide a valuable, unique amenity that keeps guests returning, they are aligned with Kokua’s philosophy of superior service,” Strickler said. High among the accolades he gives Flyte Systems is its willingness to accommodate customized design requests.  “With the many renovations we are implementing, each property has diverse needs and Flyte stepped up to meet these specialized design requests for their FlyteTouch flight information kiosks without hesitation.”  Following Kokua’s design guidelines, Flyte Systems provided its kiosks in rich woods and high-tech steel sheathing to match each hotel’s lobby theme.  In addition, Strickler says Flyte’s products deliver what his customers need most these days – flight information that helps them successfully plan their travel day.

Real-time Flight Information

What sets Flyte Systems apart from PC-based applications is its ability to post accurate, real-time airline flight arrival and departure information, not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that do not list delays caused by:

  • Air Traffic Control
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Crew availability
  • Weather
Flyte offers a suite of products that serve the traveling public:  FlyteBoard, FlytePass, FlyteChannel and FlyteTouch. 
  • FlyteBoard is a wall, floor or ceiling mounted high-definition, flat panel screen for lobbies, restaurants, bars and other public areas, displaying flight information for one or more airports.
  • FlytePass uses FlyteTouch technology and adds free, secure boarding pass printing, packaged in an all-wood kiosk.
  • FlyteChannel permits guests to view live airport arrival/departure screens via their in-room TV.
  • FlyteTouch enables individual guests to search flight information via touch screens that display real-time flight arrivals and departures for one or more airports. 
After its initial meetings with Flyte, Kokua began rolling out the airline information products property-wide as renovations permitted.  Because Flyte uses a property’s existing high-speed Internet connection, installation can be completed more quickly and easily than other systems.   Eventually, each property will offer all of Flyte’s products to guests.  According to Strickler, the initial roll out has been met with universal praise, including by the owners.  “Just after signing the initial order we scheduled an owner’s meeting and thought this would be an ideal way to demonstrate how effectively money was being spent.  I called Flyte to see if they could speed up the installation and they did.  Our owners were thrilled; they thought it was a great idea and loved the ease of use and accuracy of the information.”

About Flyte Systems

The Flyte Systems Division of Industrial Television Services (ITS), based in Chicago, Illinois, is the leading provider of environmentally responsible airport flight information displays for the hospitality, convention center and digital signage industries and related businesses.  It delivers accurate, instant, airport-centric updates of flight information – not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that may omit last minute changes.  Properties are able to differentiate their products and boost customer loyalty and repeat business with ’glance-and-go’ content critical to a traveler’s day.   Flyte Systems’ product suite builds upon ITS’ 47-year history as the leading provider of live flight information to airports, airlines, government agencies, port authorities and other travel-based businesses.  Flyte Systems was formed in 2007 to offer new Web-based travel technology and product lines.  In addition to using Energy Star-compliant digital displays, Flyte products help significantly reduce energy consumption by eliminating unnecessary trips to the airport.  Customers include Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Hilton, Doubletree, Hotel Sofitel, Adams Mark, Renaissance and Crown Plaza hotels, independent properties and municipal airports.

About Kokua Hospitality, LLC
Kokua Hospitality is a property management firm affiliated with The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, of San Francisco. Purposely created by lodging management and operational experts as a management company with an investors’ sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends the attention to detail of a customer service entity with the rigors of a real estate investment concern. The name (pronounced “koh-kooh-ah”) is Hawaiian for “to serve.” Based in Chicago, Kokua Hospitality manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide. For more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit www.kokuahospitality.com.

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Contact:

Flyte Systems
Debbie Kalish, Account Executive
3515 Martens Street
Franklin Park, IL 60131
Phone: (877) 463-5983
Email: Debbie.Kalish@flytesystems.com
www.flytesystems.com

Kokua Hospitality, LLC
Craig Strickler, Corporate Director of Transitions and Projects
541 North Fairbanks Court
Suite 2730
Chicago, IL  60611
Phone:  312-644-4800
Email:   craig.strickler@kokuahospitality.com

Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
julie@softscribeinc.com
(404)256-5512
http://www.softscribeinc.com

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Also See: Flyte Systems Triples Size in First Year of Operations Providing Airline Information to Aid Busy Travelers; At HITEC '08 Flyte will cement leadership, build partnerships to deliver real-time airline information / June 2008
Flyte Systems Partners with Digital Signage Provider Four Winds Interactive to Provide Live Airline Flight Information; Partnership powers potential new service offerings, adds vital travel information / May 2008
'The Belamar' Luxury Boutique Installs Flyte Systems in State-of-the-Art Business Center; Live airline flight information and boarding pass printing provide travel convenience for business guests / May 2008
Kokua Hospitality Signs Agreement with Flyte Systems to Install Airline Information Products in Five Hotels; Live airline flight information to provide travel convenience for guests / April 2008
Four-Diamond, IACC Certified Eaglewood Resort & Spa Installs Flyte Systems Products to Elevate Service; Shortened ROI proves value of airline flight information to guests and property / April 2008
Hyatt Rosemont Installs FlyteBoard Flight Information Display to Serve Traveling Guests; Hyatt gains ‘wallet share;’ guests stay on property longer when flights are delayed / March 2008
Annual Digital Signage Expo ‘Ripe for Content Providers in 2009’; Flyte Systems President Brian Reynolds sees three top trends emerging / March 2008
Flyte Systems Inks Agreement with Digital Signage Provider Digital Minds, Installs TouchQuest FlyteBoard at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; Airline flight information enhances customer service at Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center, adds revenue opportunities / February 2008
Doubletree and Hilton Hotels at Seattle Airport Install FlyteBoard Airline Information Screens to Serve Business Travelers; FlyteBoards aid road-warrior guests with real-time airline information at two giant properties / February 2008
Supercharged Embassy Suites Turns Guest Perks Into Record-Breaking Year; Installation of FlyteBoard technology focuses on flier needs / January 2008
Marriott Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Hotel Provides Guests with Airline Flight Information from Flyte Systems; FlyteBoard screens in lobby aid airport-bound guests with flight times / January 2008
Tech Savvy Road Warriors Expect Travel Innovations from Hotels; The Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport responds with real-time flight information in lobby / December 2007
The Chicago O'Hare Crowne Plaza Attracts Business with Unique Technology Perks; Focus on the business traveler includes real-time flight information / November 2007
Flyte Systems Installs Airline Flight Information Display at Javits Center for IH/M&R Show; Meet me at the FlyteBoard- IH/MRS attendees confirm airline flights on FlyteBoard in Javits Center lobby, make confident travel plans / November 2007
Sofitel Chicago O'Hare's European Style Embraces Guest Airline Services; The focus on amenities like FlyteBoard delivers a value-add for business travelers / October 2007
Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel Provides Guests with Airline Flight Information To Speed Their Travels; Real-time airline departure-arrival screens set The Westin Boston Waterfront apart / October 2007
Flyte Systems Installs Airline Flight Information Displays at Berger Hotels; Updated airline departure-arrival screens keep guests and revenue on property / September 2007
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