MeriStar Hotels & Resorts' NetEffect Alliance Introduces Two New Products – New E-brochure and Electronic Guest Comment Cards Provide Cost-effective Alternatives

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 24, 2002–NetEffect Alliance, the IT subsidiary of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: MMH), the nation's largest independent hotel management company, today announced two new e-products designed to help individual hotels and hotel groups more quickly and cost effectively conduct highly targeted marketing campaigns and measure guest satisfaction.
Individual hotels want to harness the power of the Internet but have been unable to find a cost-effective method, said Brian Garavuso, MeriStar's chief technology officer and head of NetEffect Alliance. Too often, owners, general managers or sales directors seek the help of various IT specialists only to find that they are unfamiliar with the unique needs of the hotel industry. These two new products are designed to make it easy and simple for hotel-level staff who have a basic understanding of computers to create and update critical marketing and guest tracking programs.
E-Brochure is a program that creates brochures electronically for use by hotels in direct response marketing and lead generation campaigns. Subscribers can select from a selection of graphic templates to produce a complete brochure in minutes after the copy is written. Traditional and special promotion brochures can be quickly created and e-mailed to contact lists.
We've helped prepare hundreds of brochures and know how frustrating it can be to deal with designers who may create a great design but are not flexible enough to work with changes and updates at a reasonable price, he said. E-Brochure changes that; now the control is in the client's hands.
The second product is Rapid Comment, an electronic guest response program. Rather than relying on departing guests to fill out and mail a guest comment card, the hotel automatically e-mails the guest and gets a firsthand Rapid Comment evaluation. All responses are e-mailed to a designated hotel e-mail address, where comments are reviewed and forwarded to appropriate department heads. Responses are recorded in tabular and graph form to identify trends, with easy click-through access to more specific data and comments. Comment card forms can be revised and updated by the hotel at no additional cost.
Early results indicate that Rapid Comment produces a substantially higher response rate than conventional mail comment cards and at a fraction of the cost, Garavuso said. And the tabulation is done automatically, further streamlining the process.
Garavuso said that NetEffect Alliance is developing additional products to provide the hotel industry with a full tool kit of products that are cost effective, easy to use and make hotels more efficient and manageable.
NetEffect Alliance provides a growing array of packaged and customized IT products for the hotel industry, ranging from Web design for an individual hotel or resort, to designing, installing and maintaining a complex property management system, as well as providing low-cost telecommunications services. NetEffect Alliance uses the purchasing power and cutting-edge expertise of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts and offers services from offices in Washington, D.C.; Fort Myers, Fla.; and Dallas, Texas. For more information about the company, visit its Web site:

MeriStar Hotels & Resorts operates 276 hospitality properties with more than 58,000 rooms in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, including 55 properties managed by Flagstone Hospitality Management, a subsidiary of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts. BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide, a MeriStar subsidiary, is one of the world's largest corporate housing providers, offering upscale, fully furnished corporate housing throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and 39 additional countries through its network partners. For more information about MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, visit the company's Web site: