Passkey is on a roll. In less than two weeks in October, the Quincy, Mass.-based online housing management provider announcedwith both Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Chicago, and Marriott International, Washington, D.C. Both chains plan to offer Passkey services to meeting clients for free.
“We're deploying an enterprise version of Passkey that will sit directly on top of both of those companies' central reservation systems,” says Greg Pesik, Passkey president and CEO.
Traditionally, Passkey's clients have been convention bureaus, which used the system to provide housing services for citywide events with multiple hotels. Now, hotels are using the same Web-based process for meetings in a single property, allowing the hotel and the planner to view room pickup online in real time, around the clock, seven days a week.
“We needed to address the two major, related challenges ailing the industry —and book-arounds — so we chose the one solution that planners are familiar with and that has already demonstrated its effectiveness at curbing those issues,” explains Ty Helms, senior vice president of sales.
Equally important, say the players, Passkey can help reduce outside-the-block bookings. “That's one of the primary motivators for using the system,” says Joel Pyser, vice president, field sales, Marriott International. Passkey's RegLink technology allows any registration system to integrate with the housing system. Organizers are able to see clearly who has registered for a meeting but not booked a hotel room. “It doesn't eliminate the book-around,” says Pesik, “but it certainly has shown, in case after case, to mitigate the book-around.”
Pyser said: “When you make registration and housing a seamless process, that seamless process in and of itself minimizes the problem quite a bit.”
Hyatt will roll out the service at 40 group-oriented hotels and resorts in January and plans to expand the program throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Also in January, Marriott will launch Passkey at Marriott, Renaissance, and Ritz hotels and resorts that do “a significant amount of group business,” Pyser says.
Neither chain, however, will be the first — Irving, Texas — based Omni Hotels brought 40 properties onto the system in 2003. And at press time, the two Hershey properties in Pennsylvania had finalized a deal to license Passkey.