The hotel industry’s race to escape the dinosaur age

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Jul 10, 2013
You step into your room at one of the major chains. One of the first things you notice is the alarm clock is one of those old fashioned ones. Why are hotels slow in adopting the latest in room technology?

"One reason the largest hospitality chains and their corporate parents, such as Starwood, IHG, Marriott International, Carlson, and Hilton, are dragging their feet when it comes to giving their properties a technological face-lift is the industry’s franchise model, which makes innovation difficult to scale.

'They don’t own all of their hotels, so the franchisees have to implement the changes and they are the ones spending the money,' said Ryan Meliker, a senior analyst at MLV & Co. 'It takes a long time to innovate. By the time a new technology gets in the room, there’s going to be a new feature in the product. It’s a balancing act to convince the owners to change.'"


Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
I don't care about the alarm clock. What drives me nuts is if I get a $50 room at the YMCA there is free WI-fi, yet the major luxury chains charge up to $10 a day for the same. I've never figured out why, but it is something I'm apt to make a purchase decision on.
Feb 19, 2015
@technomage1 : your complaint is one that has been making the rounds for many years. The answer is probably the one you expect. Full-service hotels charge for wifi because people will pay it. Or rather, businesses will pay it for their traveling employees. Mid-range and budget hotels are catering more to the budget-conscious business traveler and to leisure travelers, so free wifi is an attractive selling point. But Marriott recently made news when it was sued for blocking guests' personal hot spots. Marriott settled, so I have hopes that free wifi will become as ubiquitous as free HBO.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I dunno, the alarm clocks look OK to me at Hilton and InterContinental but I've used my cell as an alarm clock for years. The lack of usable-without-contortion electrical outlets makes me nuts ... this is such an important item and so simple to do. The other bugaboo is the enormous television bolted into the middle of the major horizontal surface in the room ... hang them on the wall, guys, we need that dresser top for our stuff.
Likes: J. Atkins