Internet Installation at 100th Hotel
Atlanta, Jan. 8, 2003 - StayOnline, the nation’s leading installer of wireless High Speed Internet Access to the hospitality industry, announces that it will install the service in its 100th hotel – the famed La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe -- in January. This milestone gives StayOnline the largest footprint of 100% wireless hospitality properties in North America.
“We are thrilled to reach our 100th installation with a property of the caliber and tradition of La Fonda,” said Antonio DiMilia, President of StayOnline, Inc. “We have made it a priority to reach out to historic hotels and resort properties who want to add the convenience and speed of High Speed Internet Access for their guests, but whose buildings will not necessarily support a wired solution.”
StayOnline is ahead of its competition in that the company offers hotel properties a 100% wireless solution, whereas most other providers offer a strictly wired or partially wired and partially wireless solution. In addition, they are the first company to complete this number of 100% wireless installations, which serve more than 20,000 hotel rooms in the US and Canada.
“Because we stay true to our building’s historic codes, a 100% wireless solution is the only one that would truly work for us,” said Jim Bradbury, General Manager of La Fonda. “StayOnline showed us that this solution will allow our guests and staff to be connected at lightning speed without disturbing the integrity of our historic property. We also were influenced by their track record and history in what is a relatively young industry.”
StayOnline’s 100% wireless solution enables guests and staff to connect to the Internet whether they are in their own room, dining in one of the La Fonda’s restaurants, enjoying the sun at the pool or participating in a meeting. Those who bring their own laptops already enabled with an 802.11b (also known as WiFi) wireless card can connect by simply signing up for the service through the custom, branded Web portal that will appear automatically when their computer searches for Internet access. Those whose laptops are not yet WiFi enabled may obtain a small Plug and Play device known as EZAir from the front desk of the La Fonda.
La Fonda is a sumptuous 167-room property where traditional southwestern design elements -- kiva fireplaces, vigas, latillas and carved corbels, sandpaintings, ceiling murals, authentic Mimbres designs and handmade tin and stained glass chandeliers – meet modern top-of-the-line guest service. Its current building was built on the Plaza in downtown Santa Fe in 1922, but history says that the site was used as an inn, or ‘fonda',” since Santa Fe’s founding in 1607.
The hotel’s lobby was once described by World War II journalist Ernie Pyle this way: "You could go there any time of day and see a few artists in the bar ... a goateed nobleman from Austria, or a maharajah from India, or a New York broker ... You never met anybody anywhere except at La Fonda. You never took anybody to lunch anywhere else.”
Today the lobby remains a hub of activity, along with its signature La Plazuela restaurant.
“Now, with the installation of StayOnline’s service, our distinguished guests will be able to quickly check their emails from a comfortable seat in the lobby or restaurant, or review business documents online with colleagues and associates,” said Bradbury. “And we’re able to provide this service without a lot of drilling or visible cables and ports that a wired solution would have required.”
La Fonda is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, one of 191 member properties nationwide either listed on, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places and which adhere to a strict set of participation guidelines. StayOnline’s executive team attended the 2002 Historic Hotels of America conference in San Francisco and met Bradbury and other historic hotel leaders there.
“The conference was a tremendous way for us to showcase our 100% wireless solution to these hotels, which are truly committed to both staying true to history, while at the same time providing the highest level of customer service to their guests,” said DiMilia. “We find it quite rewarding that we are able to help them combine the technology of the future with the hospitality and tradition of the past.”
“As the only High Speed Internet Access provider at our conference this year, StayOnline obviously made some valuable connections. It makes a great deal of dollars and sense for historic hotel operators to consider relationships with wireless Internet Access providers since so many properties listed on the National Register are extremely sensitive to preservation practices and standards that make their properties special, “ said Thierry Roch, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America. “And most importantly, offering the latest technology adds additional value to the relationship they have already established with their guests.”
Based in Atlanta, StayOnline provides state-of-the art-turnkey wireless high-speed Internet access/in-room PC solutions for the lodging industry. StayOnline is the exclusive brand standard for all Hawthorn Suites hotels in North America as well as the exclusive AFM Preferred Alliance wireless high-speed Internet partner for the ASTON®, Best Inns®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn®, Villager® Lodge and La Quinta® Inns brands throughout Canada. In addition, StayOnline boasts an impressive customer base, including properties in 18 national Lodging brands, as well as several unique boutique and historic properties. Stay Online’s new StaySecure Web-enabled video surveillance solution allows properties to piggyback on the company’s wireless network for cost-effective real-time and archived security videos. For additional information on StayOnLine, visit www.stayonline.net.
About the La Fonda on the Plaza
Director of Marketing
Tel. (877) 668-3572, Ext. 212
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