Ramada Franchise Systems, Inc. and Netopia, have entered into an extensive agreement designed to assist the Ramada chain in creating a better Internet experience for consumers. Under the agreement, Netopia, using proprietary web design software and a team of systems engineers, will launch and maintain five enhanced web pages for each of the chain’s over 1,000 hotel properties.
‘‘Our agreement with Netopia enables the Ramada chain to provide Internet users with a more attractive and interactive site for every Ramada property, clearly positioning the brand as a dominant force on the Internet,’’ said Steven Belmonte, Ramada Franchise Systems President and CEO. ‘‘With this initiative, we are providing our franchisees with greater access to the rapidly expanding electronic marketplace.’‘
Netopia will work directly with Ramada’s database department in Phoenix to include the most up-to-date information available. The pages will feature enhanced images and prominent placement of property photographs. In addition, licensees have the option of expanding their site to 10 pages for an additional fee.
‘‘In addition to greatly expanding a franchisee’s marketing reach to potential customers and partners anywhere on the Web, Netopia’s flexible template architecture allows them to develop a wide range of income opportunities,’’ said Alan Lefkof, CEO and president of Netopia. ‘‘These interactive web sites will make it possible for individual franchisees to showcase their properties, conduct mass or targeted promotions, and enhance their community presence in a highly effective, cost-efficient way.’‘
‘‘With the significant growth of the Internet as a source of room nights for the brand, it has become apparent that the opportunity to leap ahead of our competition is now, ‘’ said Keith Pierce, Ramada Franchise Systems Vice President of Marketing. ‘‘To accomplish this, we must commit to an on-going effort to make ramada.com a more effective and desirable tool for consumers.’‘
Netopia, Inc., of Alameda, California, develops, markets and supports Internet and electronic commerce infrastructure for small and medium-size businesses. Netopia’s DSL equipment and Web platforms enable businesses to easily and cost-effectively connect to the Internet, establish and enhance their Internet presence, and conduct business and electronic commerce on the Web.
Ramada Franchise Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD), is a mid- to upper-mid-market chain of over 1,000 Ramada Limited, Inn and Plaza Hotel properties throughout the United States. Reservations can be made at any Ramada property via 1-800-2-RAMADA or ramada.com.