Let’s kick off this week’s Friday Fuel talking about the upcoming HITEC conference in Austin, TX. Billed as the “World’s Largest Hospitality Technology Show,” HITEC brings together all of the major players in hospitality related tech. Keynote speakers include CEO of Trendhunter, Jeremy Gutsche, Hacker Josh Klein, and instructor at the MIT Media Lab, David Rose. Attendees can look forward to informative and meaningful sessions as well as some great entertainment. If you’re attending HITEC this year be sure to stop by and talk to us at Fuel’s booth, #927.
Hotels Eliminating Mandatory Check-In & Check-Out Times
Recently there has been a trend among luxury hotels of doing away with the mandatory check-in/out times that all of us have become so accustomed to. Now that technology has opened the doors of communication between the guest and the hotel it has become easier for the two to arrange when they will be arriving and departing. This certainly doesn’t work for all hotels, especially the ones who don’t have housekeepers on site 24/7, but it’s likely that we’ll see many more hotels moving toward customized check-in and check-out in the near future. Read more about the resorts who are already doing this here.
Action Sports Meet Hard Rock Resorts
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana have partnered with Camp Woodward to include a variety of action sports facilities on the properties. Camp Woodward is one of the top action sports camps in the world and is helping Hard Rock Hotels add dry land snowboarding, indoor snow skiing, skateboarding, BMX, trampoline & more. Expect big skateboard & BMX parks, snowboard ramps, and of course, foam pits. The facilities will have a second floor viewing area and DJ booth on the third floor. Instructors will be on hand to help train guests to learn to go big. All of this will be available to guests and outsiders who want to use it will have to pay a fee. Hard Rock is looking to have these open in 2016. Learn more about it here.
A UFO Hotel
UFO enthusiast, Luis Ramallo, has started crowdfunding a UFO hotel to be placed in the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. His design is a two floor, 31 room, mothership complete with pool, spa and rooftop bar area. They estimate the hotel will cost about $30 million dollars so don’t expect to see any groundbreaking anytime soon, but with the millions of other UFO enthusiasts out there we’re bound to see a big chunk of change thrown into its kickstarter. Early renderings of the rooms and hallways seem like something straight out of a SciFi movie. While it will be difficult to raise the money, the idea is certainly cool enough to garner attention from the UFO-loving community.
Hotel Execs Are Optimistic About The Future
At the 37th annual NYU Hospitality Industry Investment Conference held in New York there was plenty of optimism for the hotel industry. Executives from Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, and Lowes were all singing the same tune. They feel that the next few years will be golden due to the fact that travel will boost significantly, and since there aren’t many new players on the scene, profitability will almost certainly be on the rise. They anticipate strong growth at least through 2016.
Marriott Allows Check-ins Through Apple Watch
Marriot just released an app that allows guests to check in right from the Apple Watch. All of the check in information you need will be available right on your wrist, and instead of constantly checking with the front desk to see when your room is ready, you’ll simply get a notification on your watch. The app also shows the nearest Marriott property if you’re searching for a hotel. There are bound to be updates in the near future that add new features. We may even see smart watches become the new room keys similar to what’s currently going on with smart phones.