Coming Soon: Possible Upgrades of Extended Stay, $1 Drink by McDonald’s, and 4G Mobile Networks

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (MarketPlace) reported several pieces of hospitality and technology news that caught my attention. I feel these issues might have great impact to the hospitality industry.

1. Starwood and Extended Stay Chain were negotiating a deal. I used W Hotels by Starwood as an example for hotel design trend. I would like to see how Starwood may help Extended Stay turn around its business. Regarding the extended-stay segment, I tweeted an article by Inc.com about four great extended-stay hotel examples (http://bit.ly/bXWzUO). From the pictures of a guestroom in Vdara Hotel & Spa, Las Vegas, NV and a kitchen in Element by Westin, Lexington, MA, we can see the design trend for extended-stay hotels --- contemporary, light color, chic decors, etc. I feel it is time for the “old” extended-stay hotels to update their images. I will pay a close attention to the changes of this segment.

2. McDonald’s is going to offer $1 soft drinks for all sizes. Even though $1 seems a big cut, it still offers the restaurants good profit margin. More importantly, if consumers stop by McDonald’s for a drink, they may order a snack or even a meal. Other fast food brands and even soft drink companies will possibly feel the pressure. Will everyone follow McDonald’s move?

3. 3G brought us smart phones with a variety of apps and already have great impacts to consumers and operations. Sprint is introducing 4G service in selected markets. I have a Sprint cell phone. I look forward to the 4G experience and want to see what influences it will bring to us.

What are your thoughts?

References:
Inc.com (pictures were also copied from this site): http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok03192010-1
The Wall Street Journal (March 18, 2010): Extended Stay chain switches bedfellows (B1 & B2); Spring wagers on 4G phones (B1); McDonald’s bets pricing drinks at $1 will heat up summer sales (B6).

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