As part of its renewed commitment to deliver “A Better Quality of Life on the Road,” Howard Johnson Franchise Canada Inc., a subsidiary of AFM Hospitality Corporation (TSE:AFM), has designated Atlanta-based StayOnline its exclusive Preferred Alliance partner to provide wireless high-speed Internet connectivity and in-room PC’s throughout its nearly 50 Howard Johnson Hotels and Inns open or under development across Canada.
Headquartered in Toronto, AFM Hospitality is Canada’s largest multi-brand lodging franchisor and a leading North American hotel management company. The company plans to have at least 75 Howard Johnson Hotels and Inns comprising 7,500 guestrooms open by 2005.
StayOnline’s wireless high-speed access solutions give guests and hotel operators the best value in high-speed Internet connectivity available. By offering StayOnline’s expanded wireless infrastructure, properties are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of leading-edge hospitality tools and technologies—both today and going forward.
“Howard Johnson Franchise Canada is constantly searching for the best solutions providers to partner with its lodging licensees,” said Stephen H. Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of AFM Hospitality. “With StayOnline, we are forging a true broadband partnership that promises to grow way beyond basic high-speed Internet access into both a major business booster and unique guest experience enhancer.”
Glen A. Blake, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AFM Hospitality, said all Howard Johnson Franchise Canada properties will be encouraged to offer StayOnline’s unique wireless connectivity throughout their guestrooms and meeting rooms—“because it makes sense for all involved, and will help maintain brand consistency throughout Canada.
“In addition to giving our guests wireless high-speed access, the program we have initiated with StayOnline also will provide our Howard Johnson Hotels and Inns with state-of-the-art in-room PC’s in 25 percent of their guestrooms, as well as a supply of wireless plug-and-play antennas for laptop users available at properties’ front desks for added convenience,” Blake said.
“StayOnline is quickly becoming a leading Internet connectivity supplier in hospitality by offering a very affordable wireless high-speed access solution that exceeds guests’ and meeting planners’ expectations, while delivering immediate and sustained proven ROI to operators and licensees,” Blake said. “We conducted extensive research on several Internet connectivity suppliers, and our success indicators kept directing us to StayOnline’s unique solutions and business models.”
StayOnline President Antonio DiMilia said the Preferred Alliance partnership agreement with AFM Hospitality is significant because:
It marks StayOnline’s first international venture;
AFM Hospitality is a prestigious player in hospitality, serving as the Canadian Master Franchisor of 10 world-renowned lodging brands and boasts an expanding portfolio of 170-plus properties, including nearly 50 Howard Johnson Hotels and Inns open or in development;
The program developed for Howard Johnson Franchise Canada includes not only StayOnline’s wireless high-speed Internet access throughout its guestrooms and meeting rooms, but also StayOnline’s affordable, maintenance-free in-room PC’s.
“The StayOnline solution not only provides Howard Johnson Franchise Canada with a very robust connectivity environment, but it also positions the division’s properties to survive and thrive in today’s increasingly competitive lodging climate,” DiMilia said. “StayOnline also helps hotels “piggyback” on wireless networks to fully leverage new management tools designed to cut costs and boost productivity in operations, guest services, sales and marketing, and maintenance and security.”
Robert King, StayOnline Chairman & CEO, said “StayOnline is experiencing a wonderful growth stage right now. We are quickly bringing in new brands, management companies and independent properties to the StayOnline family. We are also involved in a plethora of exciting new partnerships—such as our recent joint venture with VideoSave Inc. to develop StaySecure Internet-enabled video surveillance, a cost-effective security solution completely compatible with our StayOnline wireless infrastructure.”
About AFM Hospitality
Through its subsidiaries, AFM Hospitality Corporation, which also owns HFS Purchasing Services Canada, AFM Asset Management Inc., Northwest Lodging International (USA) Inc. and Northwest Lodging International (Canada) Inc.
Based in Atlanta, StayOnline provides lodging’s popular StayOnline wireless high-speed Internet access/in-room PC solution. With more than 250 installation agreements in place, StayOnline boasts an impressive customer base, including properties in the Sheraton, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Hawthorn and Crowne Plaza lodging brands.