News for the Hospitality Executive
Service runs on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Palm Pre and more to supply travelers
|Austin, Texas - June 22, 2010 – When
White Lodging opened the Westin Austin (Texas) at The Domain in March,
knew this property (owned in partnership with Indianapolis-based Simon
Group) would be a huge draw to tech-savvy travelers, especially with
Computer, IBM and Apple nearby. Therefore, the hotel owner and
partnered with Los Angeles-based runtriz™ to develop a smartphone
that uses 3G mobile-device technology to put hotel services at the
fingertips. Ordering drinks poolside, requesting a car to be brought up
valet, or scheduling a spa appointment can all be done with one touch
guests' personal mobile device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry,
The Westin Austin is the first hotel to go live this month with runtriz™ 2.0, the company's next generation software that provides even more customization and flexibility for the hotel.
"Guests at the Westin Austin at The Domain are always on the go and always have their mobile phones close at hand," said Michael Bennett, White Lodging’s Corporate Director of E-Commerce. "Adding runtriz™ 2.0 is a natural extension of the on-demand services our clientele expect, and it's made available to them in a technology platform that they are comfortable using. Because this entire property is wireless -- from the guestrooms and meeting rooms to the restaurant, public areas and pool deck -- it makes complete sense for us to partner with a company such as runtriz™ that delivers both on and off-site services via mobile phones in real time to our customers, and gives them access to entertainment and business services in the immediate local area.
"When this service goes live later this month, we expect to see a big upswing in on-site service use, especially in the food-and-beverage area," he said. "Our staff is presently undergoing training, and from what we've seen and heard, they can't wait to start running with runtriz™."
Based on the anticipated success of runtriz™ at the Westin Austin at The Domain, Bennett said he expects other properties in the White Lodging portfolio will adapt the service in the near future.
"It's a bit too early in the game to say exactly what runtriz™ 2.0 will mean to the bottom line, but based on the dynamic application of the solution -- from its ability to run on any mobile device to its instant language translation and its ability to provide post-stay property information to guests -- we believe it will become a big part of the White Lodging service offering today and for years to come."
A First for Austin
The Westin Austin at The Domain, part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. family, is the first Westin hotel to open in Austin. Located at 11301 Domain Dr., the newly constructed hotel has a prime location within The Domain, Austin’s prestigious, upscale lifestyle center, just steps from a variety of upscale shops, restaurants and entertainment. Less than 15 minutes from downtown Austin, The Westin Austin at The Domain is convenient to the live music venues on Sixth Street, the lounges of the Warehouse District and top-rated University of Texas sporting events. Also nearby are the Arboretum mall, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and a choice of premium golf courses.
Each of the hotel's 340 guestrooms offers Westin's signature Heavenly® Bed, the Heavenly® Bath, dual-line phones, voice mail, high-speed Internet access, a refreshment center and in-room movies. Also featured are eight luxury suites with separate living room and bedroom areas, the WestinWORKOUT® fitness center, a gull-service Business Center, and modern "Urban" American grill restaurant. The property also boasts 17 meeting rooms and more than 17,000 square feet of function space.
Matthew Allard, founder and President of runtriz™, said the dynamic city of Austin, known for its thriving high-tech businesses, is the ideal locale for hotel companies looking to support their mobile-guest service initiatives with the dynamic runtriz™ 2.0 solution.
"More and more hotel companies are adopting mobile strategies to support their guest-service and brand-loyalty programs," Allard said. "Business travelers visiting the Westin Austin at the Domain not only have access to exceptional conference facilities and business services, but they now can enhance their stay by downloading conference-specific apps via runtriz™ 2.0, in addition to the full gamut of hotel services. Also, since the runtriz™ app will remain on their mobile devices after they check-out, the Westin Austin at The Domain will have the opportunity to market to their loyal guests and keep them informed of ongoing or future promotions.
"We are delighted to be in partnership with White Lodging," he said, "and we look forward to building a long-term relationship with this prestigious hotel operator, believing that in the near future many hotels within their portfolio of full-service hotels will become loyal users of runtriz™."
runtriz™ is the premier Los Angeles-based global hospitality network specializing in mobile solutions for innovative hospitality brands. The firm has developed cutting edge interactive applications that allow their partners to provide customers with unparalleled service. The brand’s portfolio of services, including the highly lauded Hotel Evolution application, puts consumers back at the center of the value proposition by placing retail, hospitality and residential services in the palm of their hands. For more information, visit www.runtriz.com.
About White Lodging
Established in 1985 and headquartered in Merrillville, IN, White Lodging is a fully integrated developer, owner and manager of premium brand hotels--a recognized leader that has defined and cultivated the ability to achieve consistent, sustainable growth among mid-to large-scale hotels across the country. With 25 years of expertise, White Lodging continues to break ground as one of the fastest growing independent hospitality companies in the country. Their managed portfolio of 150 hotels in seventeen states includes the following leading brands: Marriott; Hilton; Hyatt; Radisson Hotels; Intercontinental Hotel Group; and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. For more information about White Lodging, visit www.whitelodging.com.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 992 properties in nearly 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
Tel: (323) 230-9727
Tel: (440) 930-5770
|Also See:||Ultra-Luxury Beachfront Resort Now Offering runtriz -Driven Guest Services; Santa Monica s famed Shutters on the Beach hotel responds to guest requests with one touch, thereby redefining the luxury experience / April 2010|
|The Americana at Brand and The Grove Tap runtriz™ to Give Residents, Patrons One-Touch Access to Smart Living, Shopping / March 2010|
Delivering Mobile Guest Facing App for SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills;
Branded "GoSLSHotel," the smartphone application puts all hotel
services at guests fingertips; runtriz™ becomes a valuable tool for
hearing impaired travelers, Green initiatives / February 2010