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After Selling TravelWeb, Pegasus Solutions
 Re-enters Consumer Market with
 Hotelbook.com
By Suzanne Marta, The Dallas Morning News
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Jul. 25, 2005 - Pegasus Solutions Inc. is expected to announce today a new consumer Web site, Hotelbook.com, marking the company's re-entry into the consumer market.

The site -- which will start with 5,000 properties, largely independent hotels -- is a toe in the water of sorts for the Dallas-based company, whose main focus is business-to-business transactions.

As soon as this year, Pegasus also plans to launch another site aimed solely at online shoppers seeking five-star lodging.

Bob Boles, Pegasus' chief operating officer, said Hotelbook.com will aim to reach customers seeking a hotel that "has character and personality of its own."

The site is more comprehensive than Pegasus' earlier effort, TravelWeb, offering details about destinations rather than just specific hotel attributes. Pegasus sold its stake in TravelWeb in May 2004 to Priceline.com Inc.

Pegasus' main business is operating a hotel distribution system and selling property management systems. The company also provides sales and marketing services for independent hotels.

Henry Harteveldt, an analyst with Forrester Research, said Hotelbook.com would be a niche player and wouldn't pose a serious threat to major players such as IAC/InterActive Corp.'s Expedia or Travelocity, a unit of Southlake-based Sabre Holdings Corp.

For hotels not associated with major brand names, the new site offers better visibility.

"It's not that they're not on places like Expedia or Travelocity," Harteveldt said, "but they're not usually the first thing you see."

Hotel shopping online is booming. Forrester forecasts that hotel bookings in the United States will reach $20.5 billion this year and grow to $24.7 billion in 2006.

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Copyright (c) 2005, The Dallas Morning News

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