Hotel Online  Special Report

Ely, Minnesota Resort Goes Wireless with StayOnline
Town’s First Wireless Venture + 3 Others for Madison Hospitality Group 
Atlanta, GA – Nov. 4, 2004 -- StayOnline’s High Speed Internet Access solution is taking Ely, Minnesota wireless for the first time.  The company’s wireless HSIA will be installed in the Grand Ely Lodge Resort and Conference Center next week, marking the small resort community’s (population 3,968) first foray into wireless.

“I imagine that even some of the locals will wander in with their laptops,” said Kirk Schultz, Vice President of Operations for Madison Hospitality Group, which manages the lodge resort property.

On the northernmost border between the US and Canada, the Grand Ely Lodge gets a respectable mix of government, commercial and tourism business, said Schultz.  Charles Kuralt once called it his favorite vacation destination; the area is particularly known for its spectacular canoeing trails.

“Having StayOnline there will definitely be cutting-edge for the area, and that’s what we wanted,” he added.

In addition to the Ely Lodge, StayOnline is installing its wireless HSIA solution at three other properties managed by the Madison Hospitality Group: at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria, MN; at the Inn at Reading in Wyomissing, PA; and at the Ramada Inn in Anderson, SC.

Schultz says his company underwent an arduous search for their wireless provider.

“We’ve been working on this for over a year.  While only one of our properties requires that we offer a “brand standard” HSIA by the end of the year, we decided to look for the best such standard and found it with StayOnline,” said Schultz.  “We felt that the Intercontinental Hotel Group’s standard was the best for all our guests and we discovered that StayOnline is one of IHG’s preferred providers.”

Initially, Schultz and other Madison executives were concerned about the possible price of wireless.  The company shopped six of the nation’s leading HSIA providers.

“We didn’t imagine initially that the provider with the deepest experience, best customer service and technical support could also meet our budget, “ he said.  “We were so pleased to find that StayOnline offers all this, plus affordability, too.”

Earlier this year, on a business trip to Atlanta, Schultz stayed at the downtown Holiday Inn Select Capitol Plaza and utilized the hotel’s wireless system, which is provided by StayOnline.  He was immediately impressed with the ease of use.

“Our hotel ownership and management company is small and we don’t have a dedicated technology officer yet, so that fell to me,” he said.  “I admit I’m not the most tech-savvy person around but StayOnline has made their solution easy for our company, as well as extremely guest-friendly.”

“We’re pleased to help a growing company like Madison Hospitality Group offer a premium service to their guests – whether they are in a resort location like the Grand Ely Lodge or a small business community like Anderson, SC,” said Antonio DiMilia, President and CEO of StayOnline.

About StayOnline

StayOnline’s wireless high-speed Internet solution is installed in 50,000 guest rooms in more than 350 hotels and resorts across North America in more than 30 hotel brands, as well as several unique boutique and historic properties. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, StayOnline provides secure wireless high-speed Internet access solutions 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

About the Madison Hospitality Group

The Madison Hospitality Group, LLC is a management company that operates hotels and restaurants for third parties, entities owned by the partners of Madison Hospitality Group, and other investors.  The Grand Ely Lodge Resort and Conference Center in Ely, MN is a year-round resort offering 61 well-equipped guest rooms; the Ramada Inn Anderson, SC is a Gold-Key property offering 130 rooms; the Inn at Reading in Wyomissing, PA for 40 years has been the hotel of choice in the Reading/Berks County area for gracious accommodations, sumptuous meals, cordial service and intimate charms; and the The Holiday Inn Alexandria, MN has recently undergone a complete renovation providing all 149 guest rooms with new furnishings and adding a complete new look inside and out.  Along with this renovation the property added a new, casual-themed restaurant, “Rudy’s Redeye Grill,” which serves classic American fare in a comfortable Old Chicago style setting.  For more information, visit


Karin P. Koser

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