1. On the day after Christmas, I tweeted from the Quality Inn in Hyde Park, N.Y., over the motel's free WiFi connection in a room that cost $59 a night.
  2. Lots of people answered with some variation of...
  3. Soon, other explanations began pouring in.
  4. Aha!
  5. These theories appealed to me. However, other factors had to be considered.
  6. The New York Times had insider info we'd been missing.
  7. “In the management contract scenario, the brands would like to maximize revenue because all of that is subject to base management fees,” said Bjorn Hanson, an associate professor at the Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University. When the ownership is through a franchise, as is typical with less expensive hotels, the hotel brands “let the owners pay for installation and providing the service.”
  8. Still, the Times story couldn't fully explain the phenomenon, which meant our confusion was justified.

    And there were parallels in other industries.