Demagnetized Key Cards a Distant Memory for CityCenter?

| August 30, 2010

CityCenter in Las Vegas has taken action to make its hotels among the first Las Vegas resorts to install an RFID guest room locking system.
 
"We singled out RFID technology for our new hotels because it eliminates the demagnetization problem we experienced at other properties," says John Lowes, executive director of guest technology for MGM Resorts International. "We also recognized RFID's virtually limitless potential to integrate with 'smart room' technologies. We implemented KABA Saflok Messenger lock system because KABA was able to put our hotel door locks system on a network that enables us to continually interact with rooms enhancing our guests' experience.

The new RFID system at CityCenter's ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel and Spa and Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is part of the most advanced guestroom technology project in the world. All of the nearly 6,000 guest rooms and suites at CityCenter incorporate hotel door locks using RFID technology, which enables guests to unlock the door by flashing their key over a lock reader. Unlike mag-stripe keys, an RFID key cannot be demagnetized by cell phones or other articles in a guest's pocket or purse and there is no need to move the key in and out of a slot.

When a guest unlocks his or her room at a CityCenter location, the Saflok RFID system communicates with a wireless network of technologies within the room. CityCenter collaborated with Control4 Corporation to develop an unsurpassed level of personalized guest automation. When a guest first opens their door Saflok sends a message via a Zigbee mesh wireless network to the Control4 in-room controller, which activates a 'welcome theme' if it is the guest's first time in the room. Lights come up; curtains automatically part to showcase the spectacular mountain and city views, and the TV displays controls for guests to personalize.

According to Lowes, CityCenter's implementation of Zigbee wireless technology is unique in the hotel industry. "KABA's willingness to work with Control4 to integrate with CityCenter's wireless Zigbee in-room network was integral to the decision to install Saflok. KABA was able to integrate to our single in-room Zigbee infrastructure which created hardware and management efficiencies. The alternative would typically have been for each vendor to install their own infrastructure."

Guest room network aims to enhance CityCenter's 'green' quotient
CityCenter is one of the largest sustainable developments in the world, with six Gold LEED certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council, and door locking technology plays a part.

Lowes cites other advantages CityCenter realized from its RFID system and in-room network.

  • RFID locks are sealed with fewer moving parts which reduces maintenance.
  • The battery status of all door locks and in-room devices is automatically monitored for efficient maintenance and virtually zero downtime when room systems are managed on a wireless network.
  • Since CityCenter's guest rooms and RFID door locks communicate over the property's online network, guests can change rooms without requiring a new key. The front desk can remotely program any door to accept a guest's existing key. This makes it possible for CityCenter's properties to pre-key groups and even issue keys to early arrivals which may be activated when their room is ready.

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