Phoenix papers' fax free guide to guest in 20 hotels p.17

By: M.L. Stein WHEN GUESTS CHECK into Phoenix-area hotels these days, they are handed a free guide to what's going on locally, courtesy of Phoenix Newspaper Inc.
The two-page newsletter, called the Traveler's Gazette, also contains news briefs compiled from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, as well as information about area restaurants, tours, entertainment, TV highlights, and nearby places, maps included, for family outings with the kids. There is even an Airport Outlook column reporting the weather at various U.S. airports.
The Gazette also carries a box for its Pressline audiotex service, giving reaers phone numbers for getting more information on the content, plus a stock market update or sports scores.
The newsletter is currently faxed free via modem to 20 hotels, mostly in Scottsdale. Presentations for the product are being made to several other hotels, according to Chris Lavelle, associate editor/special section and a member of the team that developed it.
Lavelle said that last spring Howard Finberg, senior editor/information technology, and Dave Gianelli, new ventures/project manager, hit on the idea of offering current daily information on what's going on around town to hotel and resots for distribution to their guests each day.
"They ran the idea by a couple of hotel managers, who agreed to look at a prototype and consider testing it with their guests,"" Lavelle recalled.
She said a test phase began last May with distribution to four hotels. Ad-judgements in content were made over the summer, on the basis of feedback from guests, concierges and hotel management . Time also was spent in refining the information-gathering and fax systems, Lavelle added.
Today, Traveler's Gazette reaches more than 4,000 guest rooms, Lavelle stated. Some hotels deliver it with a complimentary newspaper while other make it available at check-in.


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