TNS: Our Bold New Direction
Ryan Bailey, CEO –
We have some exciting news to share today, TravelNet Solutions, parent company to ResortsandLodges.com, ResortsandLodges for Business and TRACK Hospitality Software has a bold new look and a clarified mission and vision for the future.
Over the past 5 years, we have grown from ResortsandLodges.com, and have evolved into a portfolio company with a suite of integrated software and marketing solutions that serve the greater hospitality industry. As our business has evolved, we felt it was important for our brand to reflect our core values, our mission and vision, and who we are today.
This change marks a new chapter for our company and we are appreciative of all of our dedicated employees and loyal customers who have helped to define this direction, we are excited for the future and for continuing to further our mission and vision.
The Beginning Of A Legacy
TravelNet Solutions has roots in the early days of the internet, myself (Ryan Bailey), my brother Charles Bailey, as well as Darin Anderson, are all from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota (also known as the Bold North). Growing up and into our early adult years, we were always big outdoor enthusiasts, and we had a vision that one day, all hunting and fishing lodges would need an online booking engine. I was in College at the time and Charles and Darin quit their jobs to pursue this dream we had of building this amazing online booking engine technology, and in just a few years we had over 100 unique properties using the software! We thought we were going to the moon!
Around the same time as we were getting started with AvailabilityTracker, NASA, the space leader, gave a $3.2 Million grant to Michigan State University, who, in partnership with a for-profit company called Polyphasic, built ResortsandLodges.com as a test vehicle for a global content management system called Cognation. In late 2002, I discussed with Charles and Darin that we could expand our current online booking customer relationships by getting them listed on ResortsandLodges.com. After a myriad of discussions with Polyphasic, they decided to sell us ResortsandLodges.com. In the aftermath of the dot com bust, money was hard to come by from traditional banks and investors, particularly when you tell them you’re going to acquire a website. I was still in college with no means to make significant investments, so Charles and Darin decided to take out second mortgages on their homes and drove out to East Lansing Michigan to purchased ResortsandLodges.com for $200,000. We had a vision of a global marketplace for unique lodging and thought it to be the perfect compliment to AvailabilityTracker for online bookings.
Years of Growth
Over the years, ResortsandLodges.com consistently grew and AvailabilityTracker evolved to become RezTracker, an early Cloud PMS that we launched in 2007. This was the start of our thinking of building an integrated solutions company. By this time, ResortsandLodges.com was attracting over 5 million annual visitors and had over 1,000 advertising partners, from Resorts to Hotels, Ranches to Inns, Lodges to B&B’s. RezTracker, on the other hand, was a bit ahead of its time and failed to garner the adoption of resort properties due to the fact that the Cloud was still in its early years and wasn’t a widely adopted or trusted solution for most businesses. Although it was feature rich, it required reliable internet, which, for most properties, especially in remote destinations, was still a challenge at this time. (If you remember, this was the year the iPhone was released and all that existed was 3G at this time – and cloud companies like Amazon Web Services were only a year or two old at this time.) So we had some challenging times with RezTracker, but it taught us lessons we would learn from and take into the future.
The Great Recession
Like most people and businesses, we were affected by the Great Recession, although, it seemed to hit travel about a year after everyone else. The years 2010 to 2012 really tested the resiliency of our people and our company. Growth was slowed as advertisers pulled dollars back and software buyers were few. However, we survived and came out with a new outlook and perspective for the future. We were ready to evolve.
A Diversified Future – TRACK
From 2012 to 2014, we built back up and took aim at future growth. At the beginning of 2014, with steady growth and a new vision for the future, Charles took on the role of Chairman, and I took on the role as CEO. With a focus on providing diversified solutions to the hospitality industry, we made an acquisition of a small software company out of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee called ResortZilla, then we raised $750,000 in seed funding for development, and rebranded the platform as TRACK Hospitality Software, better known as TRACK. Over the next few years, we developed TRACK from the ground up with 3 core, integrated products: TRACK VR (All-In-One, Cloud, Enterprise Vacation Rental Management Software), TRACK PULSE (Omni-Channel Contact Center) and TRACK CRM (Enterprise Hospitality CRM). Today, we are proud to say TRACK is the platform powering marketing, guest communications, reservations, and operations at many leading hospitality companies including Brittain Hotels and Resorts, Remington Hotels, Sage Hospitality, Viceroy, Two Roads Hospitality, V-Trips, and many amazing independent lodging companies. We are so grateful for all of our software solution customers and partners.
Then, in 2016, we saw a need for a new type of marketing solutions provider. In speaking with 1,000’s of customers over the years, we heard building frustration with the current and legacy agencies in hospitality. Our customers were frustrated with poorly managed digital marketing, lack of innovation, non-integrated solutions, egregious pricing, too many vendors, lack of transparency in reporting and an overall lack of customer service.
We knew we could help. So we launched Business Solutions by ResortsandLodges.com. We leveraged our nearly 14 years in experience at that time in Google Search Marketing, Website Development and full-funnel marketing strategies. We had developed a proprietary method of paid search marketing over 10 years that we used to drive millions of travelers to ResortsandLodges.com, and we turned these learnings and our proprietary methodology client side to offer fully managed digital marketing at an affordable price for all types of properties. Today we power the marketing behind many of the top hotels in the world – including The #1 Hotel in Honolulu on TripAdvisor, The #1 Ranked Hotels in New Jersey and the #7 Overall Ranked hotel in the world! We are so proud of the partnerships we’ve forged and the impact we’ve had on these businesses.
Today (as of the end of 2018), we help over 2,000 properties reach new guests across ResortsandLodges.com with over 350 website and full-service marketing customers and over 160 TRACK PMS, CRM and Contact Center software customers and this is just the beginning.
Why The New Brand? Why Now?
While providing solutions for independent Resorts and Lodges is still at our core, our Company has been helping other types of hospitality companies with integrated solutions for many years, including Urban Hotels, Professional Vacation Rental Managers, Boutique and Luxury Inns, Ranches, All-Inclusive Resorts, Brands and Management Companies. Over time, as we attempted to call on these varied companies, the first question they would inevitably ask if they didn’t have Resort or Lodge in their name, is “why are we calling them?” This caused brand confusion. We also noticed there was confusion when calling customer support, or billing, or sales. Lastly, the name ResortsandLodges.com just didn’t reflect the company we are today and the kind of broad array of customers we serve, and our customers are our North Star. So we had to make a change. And really, all we are doing is going back to our roots.
We are leveraging our heritage of innovation to better serve our clients with our suite of integrated software and marketing solutions and by breaking down silos and connecting previously unrelated efforts. We are aligning our success with the success of our clients. We are making our customers lives easier by becoming their Business Concierge.
The first step is to ask the question: How can we help you?
How can we help you? – is more than a question. It’s putting our clients first, being proactive in how we solve problems, and how we go to market. We believe the hospitality industry is in need of a little hospitality to help level the playing field and we believe that if we are successful in our role as Business Concierge the
future will be unlimited for us – and our customers. We believe it’s time to elevate our branding to reflect the quality of the company we are today.
The Logos And Colors
The Colors: For many years we have had a primarily blue color pallet. But we wanted to stand out from the rest of the blue branded companies in hospitality (basically everyone).
Here is how we came up with our colors.
Our colors reflect the colors of the Bold North:
We also needed to upgrade our logos to reflect the premium products, services and customer experience we strive to deliver every day.
The Old Logos
The New Logos and Brand Architecture: We saw an opportunity to go beyond the cliche tech company logos. Our goal was to align our new brand and logo with our customers and with the companies that provide the highest quality of service in the hospitality industry.
We then wanted to align our product brands closely with the TravelNet Solutions logo for continuity.
Moving forward, our company will be known as TRAVELNET SOLUTIONS. It can be spelled in all caps, or the traditional TravelNet Solutions. We can also be called TNS for short. Our primary website is TNSINC.com, although, we will still be live with business.resortsandlodges.com, resortsandlodges.com, and trackhs.com.
Starting today, you’ll see these exciting new logos and our brand expression work throughout the web, across our channels and over time, integrated into our products, reporting and elsewhere. We are excited for the future and look forward to continued growth for our customers and our team members here at TravelNet Solutions aka TNS. Onward and upward!
Ryan C. Bailey