I was the founding CTO and VP of engineering of one of the most successful "networking in your hotel room" startups.
You get many details about the hospitality space dead wrong.
First, in direct réponse to "GMs are responsible for contracting their own networking services"...
GMs are managed across several MBOs, including occupancy and REVPAR (revenue per available room).
There are 3 major players in the hotel space:
1) People who own hotels, 2) People who manage hotels, and
People who brand hotels. Two or even three of these may be a single party. From this you quickly learn that "Hilton" is a brand, and that, while Hilton owns some of the hotels with it's brand on top, it also owns hotels without a Hilton brand, and manages hotels on behalf of 'ownership groups' with a mixed set of brands.
At the end of the day, it is the owner, not the GM, who decides which vendor gets a particular contract. Sometimes the owner will defer to the management team (which may, remember, be a separate entity).
Yes, WiFi (with Internet access) is the single-most requested amenity. I come from the bad old days, before the dot.com bust, when hotels were full, and the GM would look at me and explain, "My hotel is full, you should pay me to install this, and give a split of the revenue to me."
Ad injection is bullshit, pure and simple. It's XSS by another name.
> I was the founding CTO and VP of engineering of one of the most successful "networking in your hotel room" startups.
> You get many details about the hospitality space dead wrong.
Surely you meant to say "Wow it's interesting to see how different your experiences are from mine, working in that same industry".
Because, you know, I don't think either of you is making stuff up or is "dead wrong". And in such quite a large industry, with several different quality segments it's very possible that there's more than one way to do it.
Gonzo, seems like we are in agreement and you are just arguing very nuanced semantics with me. Hotel brands do indeed own their own hotels, but franchise groups will own the majority of the hotels for low to mid tier brands (Accor being a major exception).
Like you said, the GM, the owner, and the franchise group is a fuzzy designation at best. The contract is always with the owning entity, but management will most likely select the provider.
Wyndham, who owns the largest percentage of the hotels it manages, also owns (and operates) Hiltons, Marriotts, and Sheritons. Starwood owns hotels with franchised brands, as does Marriott. They (nearly) all do.
It's not a fuzzy designation, it's what happens when the backroom guys are literally playing Monopoly with real world objects.