When MGM set out to build CityCenter (www.citycenter.com
), all those involved knew that they were creating an entirely new way to think about hotels in Las Vegas, or really, anywhere in the world. And when it comes to technology, MGM envisioned an experience where everything is connected and easy for guests. Guests use the Internet and other advanced services at home; they are used to being "always on," and what is Vegas if not always on?
Management started from the ground up with a fiber optic network that covers the entire 67-acre property, offering not only a b
ackbone for the core systems that run the hotel but also an enormous amount of bandwidth to accommodate HD TV, HD broadcasts, and more than 2,900 wireless access points to offer Wi-Fi services for phones and laptops. The fiber optic backbone is instrumental in providing the network needed for state-of-the-art in-room services.
In-room environment is incredibly important in generating guest loyalty and CityCenter has entirely reworked the guest experience. For the 4,004-room ARIA Resort & Casino and the Mandarin Oriental, this was the time to implement the most cutting-edge technologies.
CityCenter chose to collaborate with Control4 (www.control4.com), a provider of IP-based home and hospitality control systems, to develop an unprecedented level of personalized automation for every guest room. Every guest, from penthouses to suites to standard rooms, can easily control lighting, temperature, drapes, and locks as well as access more than 300 TV channels (many in HD), movies on demand and music stations. Guests are able to access all these services through an easy to use TV and dedicated remote and through touch panels in many rooms.
Guest response has been very positive. One of the most popular features is the ability to incorporate lighting, temperature and draperies into the wake-up scene. Instead of waking up to a call or an alarm, the environment shifts into a lighted daytime mode: lights turn on, drapes open, the television or music plays, all set to the guest's personal preference.
CityCenter also recognized the potential energy and cost savings that could be realized with central control over the room environment when empty. After the guest checks out of the hotel, the room is put into an "all off" mode, meaning that all of the lights and other electronics are turned off, the drapes close and the thermostat is adjusted for maximum efficiency. Adopting wireless technologies for appliance communication also substantially decreased the amount of copper and wires needed for construction.
With Control4's affordable, scalable platform, standards-based wired and wireless technology and broad-based integration, CityCenter has been able to position itself as a leader in "going green" in the industry, while providing the ultimate guest experience.
Scot is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for MGM MIRAGE Operations, Inc. He started his career with Mirage Resorts in 1994. He has spent two years with the CityCenter team, guiding in-room and business technology strategies for Aria, Vdara, and Mandarin hotels. Scot's professional affiliations include Hospitality Technology Next Generation, as well as Chairman of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) steering committee.