Michael Blunk

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Homepage: http://investingwithblunk.wordpress.com

Industry Rebound Leads to Hotel Spending

This is exactly what I expected after reading article after article about this year’s increase in hotel occupancy rates: hotels are increasing their improvement spending following a 4 year decline. According to USA Today, hotels are expected to spend around $3.5 billion this year on hotel improvements such as up carpeting, furniture, technology, etc. The industry was aggressively investing in room improvements in 2008 prior to the great recession, but then companies began holding onto their cash due to the unstable market. Now that things have calmed, hotel owners are willing to start putting money back into their properties. As far as I can tell, for the hotel industry, the great recession is over, which is a good sign for TiVUS.

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Hotel Industry Rebounding – Good for TiVUS

Looking over the data for hotel absolute demand for July 2011, you wouldn’t even know we were still in a recession. A new record was broken, with 105,760,239 hotel rooms sold last month, which is up 3.6% from last July. Amazingly this is only the second time the industry has sold over 100 million rooms in a single month (the last time being last July). I think the best metrics are that the average daily rate for a room went up 3.4 percent to hit $102.50, and revenue per room finished up 4.8 percent at $70.86.

Of course this is good news for Tivus, as increased hotel room sales mean increased hotel revenue, leading to more technology spending. In general, boom times for hotels mean boom time for their vendors. The best part for Tivus, is that the luxury hotel market saw the greatest rise in demand, which is where Tivus is targeting the first installations. Now it’s time to turn these increased revenues into revenue for Tivus, which I know Phil Marriott is doing.

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Tivus 2nd Quarter Financials Up

Tivus posted their Q2 2011 Financials earlier this afternoon, after filing for an extension early last week. You can find the financials on OTCMarket.scom at http://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/TIVU/financials. Enjoy!

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Hotel Plug Panels

When I travel I always bring my laptop, and get frustrated I can’t connect it to the TV like I do at home. In these modern computer-centric times, using a hotel room’s TV as your computer’s monitor, or to connect a video gaming system (such as a Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, etc.) is something many guests demand. This is why the TiVUS Solution includes a Plug Panel, allowing guests to connect their electronic devices to their TiVUS e-SmarTV.

Apparently other companies’ are agreeing with Host Hotels (as they are embracing the TiVUS Solution) and are installing their own Plug Panels. At the Riveria in Palm Springs, a HotelChatter contributor found a plug panel in their room. At the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, a small company called TeleAdapt got their plug panels installed in all the rooms, allowing for Bluetooth connectivity to the in-room TVs. Hyatt Hotels has designed a rather robust panel that includes all the connectors you could possibly want. Marriott started installing plug panels back in 2008, and were planning to get them in all rooms by the end of 2009, I guess the recession stopped them.

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Materials for TiVUS’ Conference Call

Below is a link for an annotated version of TiVUS’ latest filing, which I recommend you have handy during today’s conference call. Please share it with anyone you wish, as Steve Haag will be referencing information from this document in the shareholder conference call today.

TiVUS Quarter 1 2011 Filing

And in case you forgot, the call in information is:

The call will begin promptly at 4:15 p.m. EDT (1:15 p.m. PDT) on Thursday, August 11, 2011. For both U.S. and international callers to participate, dial +1 (605) 477-2100, then enter the participant access code, 1057879#, when prompted. Participants are encouraged to access the call at least five minutes before it is to begin.

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News Round Up

Was searching around hotel technology blogs today and came across a few things y’all might be interested in reading about (along with some commentary).

More hotels distribute iPads to guests for ordering room service, amenities – The expense of buying iPads for guests to use seems ridiculous, when all the functionality it’s adding can be done on the TV for less money… that is, if the hotel is running the TiVUS Solution.

Radisson Opening First Blu in the US – This is simply a gorgeous hotel, and one that I think the TiVUS Solution would be a good fit. A luxurious hotel should have a luxurious system running on their TV.

[Hotel] Industry Recovery Ahead of Pace – It’s good to see Stephen saying hotels are making up lost ground faster than he expected. It means hotels will be able to more quickly upgrade their offerings to guests.

I’ll keep posting more industry news that I think TiVUS followers will be interested in. And feel free to comment on here.

– Michael Blunk, Investor Relations for TiVUS

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TiVUS is a LodgeNet Competitor… according to LodgeNet

Here’s something everyone might find interesting. Buried inside of LodgeNet’s 2010 annual filing (click to download) is a listing of all of their competitors in the hospitality industry. Guess who’s on there: TiVUS.

Here’s the fun part: all of the other competitors listed have thousands of hotel rooms already installed. TiVUS began operations last year, and is currently only doing installs in two hotels. So why would LodgeNet be worrying about a start-up like TiVUS? LodgeNet in-room revenues are generated almost entirely from content-on-demand sales (which have been dropping steadily for years), and they have no plan for how to overcome this problem. The TiVUS Solution on the other hand, is capable of doing ad-insertion on the free-to-guest channels, allowing for revenue generation in an entirely new fashion. It’s a game changer if you ask me.

– Michael Blunk, Investor Relations for TiVUS

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