Tag Archives: travel

Alex Alt, Oracle, Getting Back to Normal Travel?



Rick is joined by Alex Alt of Oracle this week.

Oracle is helping Americans travel!

In May, 24% of respondents said they planned to travel immediately, and 31% in the next one to three months. The takeaway? 55% are ready to roam in time for Independence Day.

Stars, Stripes…and Shots: Over 3/4 (77%) of North American consumers said a COVID-19 vaccination is very or somewhat important in giving them the peace of mind to travel; almost 1/5 (18%) will not get on a plane until they are fully vaccinated.

Rentals Reduce Travel Anxiety: 54% of travelers said they plan to stay at a short-term rental property (such as an Airbnb) in the next twelve months, with 43% of that group citing the ability to stay socially distanced and minimize COVID-19 risk.

Can’t Touch This: Consumers want pandemic-era upgrades to stay the norm. 67% want hotels to maintain more frequent cleaning and disinfecting procedures; 55% want to see guest areas/public spaces continue to be arranged for social distancing; 11% plan to dine solely via room service to minimize contact.

Alex leads Oracle’s vertical software business that serves the hospitality, casino, and cruise industries. Dedicating most of his career to hospitality with experience as an operator and a technology provider, Alex joined Oracle in November 2019 to lead the technical, operational, and cultural transformation of the industry’s leading provider of property management, point of sale, distribution, analytics, and loyalty solutions. With more than 20 years in the travel and hospitality industries, Alex spearheaded global development and strategy for renowned luxury operator Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, led Sabre’s Hospitality Solutions business, and served industry clients as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Alex earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BBA from the University of Texas.


Niall Fraser, Director of Golf, The Grand Hotel Resort and Spa



According to Niall Fraser, Director of Golf at the beautiful Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, “there is no better time to head to Alabama to play golf.”

So with that, Rick is joined on “Tech of Sports” by Fraser to talk about getting a course back in operation after a hurricane and the sprawling resort that he calls home.

Fraser was born in Alberta, Canada and attended Michigan State University. He was hand selected by Robert Trent Jones Senior to travel the world to design golf courses. His work with Robert Trent Jones Sr. had a strong and lasting influence on these prestigious clubs:
⦁ Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown, PA – Over the past century has hosted many prestigious tournaments most notably the 1962 PGA Championship; 1977 U.S. Amateur Championship; 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; 2003 Senior PGA Championship; 2010 & 2011 AT&T National Championship; 2018 BMW Championship
⦁ Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO is only the third club in history to host all four men’s Major Championships. 1965 U.S. Open; 1981 Mid-Amateur Championship; 1992 PGA Championship; 2004 U.S Senior Open; 2008 BMW Championship; 2013 Senior PGA Championship; 2018 PGA Championship
⦁ Valderrama Golf Club in Spain is one of the leading golf courses in Europe and the venue of some of the most important golf competitions in Europe. 1997
⦁ Ryder Cup; World Golf Championships; 1999 & 2000 American Express Championship; Volvo Masters
⦁ Adare Manor Golf Club in Ireland – 2014 Irish PGA Championship
⦁ New courses Niall helped design are: Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, VA; Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, MA; Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, NY; Playa Grande Golf & Ocean Club in the Dominican Republic; Anglebrook Golf Club in Lincolndale, NY has hosted U.S. Amateur, NY State Open qualifying, Met PGA Section Pro-Am, and 2013 MGA Mid-Amateur
Most recently before joining the Grand Hotel, Niall was Head of Construction, while overseeing the planning and construction from start to finish. The 26 courses, a total of 468 holes, are at 11 locations across the state of Alabama.

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa is owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and is part of the Resort Collection on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The resort collection has eight properties across Alabama on or near RTJ golf courses. The RTJ Golf Trail has 26 golf courses on 11 sites across the state, including two courses at Lakewood Club. For more on the RTJ Golf Trail and Resort Collection visit www.rtjgolf.com.

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa
One Grand Boulevard, Point Clear, Alabama, 36564-0639
(251) 928-9201 – http://www.marriottgrand.com/

⦁ The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa is family-friendly historic hotel which recently completed a massive, three-year transformation. A top destination for business groups and leisure guests, the resort became part of the Autograph Collection on August 23, 2018. Known for its history and Southern hospitality, the resort has been praised by leading industry publications such as Successful Meetings, Garden & Gun, Travel + Leisure; ConventionSouth; Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living and others. While new to the Autograph Collection, the resort first opened in 1847 and is known for exceptional service, Southern charm, majestic oaks and beautiful sunsets over Mobile Bay. The Grand is truly the Queen of Southern Resorts.
⦁ 405 guest rooms in five buildings on 550 acres and is AAA Four Diamond rated.
⦁ Hotel transformation completed in August 2018 and joined Autograph Collection.
⦁ “Latest and Coolest Hotel Renovations” USA Today, September 10, 2018 (Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Hawaii and the Grand Hotel).
⦁ Six new restaurants and lounges opened in 2018: Jubilee Poolside Grill; Bayside Grill; Southern Roots; Grand Hall; 1847 Bar and the Local Market. Bucky’s Lounge remodeled and outside seating area with fire pits expanded in 2018.
⦁ Seven restaurants and lounges ranging from casual to formal.
⦁ High tea offered Thursday through Sunday in the Grand Hall.


Roger Cox, Tennis Resorts Online Founder



Rick welcomes Roger Cox to Tech of Sports this week. Nobody knows as much about tennis travel as Roger.

Tennis Resorts Online has just released their Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps for 2019. Roger is here to talk about the 2019 rankings and more.

Tennis Resorts Online’s founder and editor-in-chief Roger Cox has spent more than 30 years writing about tennis travel. That long stint included a 17-year stretch for Tennis magazine, during which he visited more than 300 tennis resorts on five continents and personally participated in over 50 tennis camps—several of them more than once. His informed perspective on the entire tennis resort and tennis camp landscape underpins this website.

No resort paid to be surveyed here. These are not ads but informed descriptions based on Cox’s broad, firsthand knowledge and on the wisdom of the Tennis Resorts Online visitors, who are invited to comment about their own vacation experiences. The point of it all is to help you make better choices about where to take your next tennis vacation.

Apart from his stories for Tennis, Cox has written hundreds of additional articles—mostly about travel and occasionally illustrated with his own photos—which have variously appeared in Budget Travel, Continental Magazine, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Esquire, Money, Working Woman, GQ, Tennis magazine, Tennis Life Magazine, USTA Magazine, Diversion, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, The Robb Report, New Choices, New England Tennis, Bridal Guide, and For the Bride, among numerous others. He has also written two books—The World’s Best Tennis Vacations (Stephen Greene Press/Viking Penguin, 1990) and The Best Places to Stay in the Rockies (Houghton Mifflin, 1992 and 1994)— as well as the Melbourne (Australia) chapter to the Wall Street Journal Business Guide to Cities of the Pacific Rim (Fodor’s Travel Guides, 1991). He is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and a past president of the New York Travel Writers Association. He joins Rick for a great discussion this week!