With NxTV in each of its 1,500 rooms, Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel is one of the largest in-room IP network implementations in the U.S. But size isn't the only thing that makes the project noteworthy.
Not only is Rosen Shingle Creek increasing its guests' video spend through NxTV's IP Video on Demand (IPVOD), but it is also using NxTV's IP technology to personalize guest communications and promote hotel services in revolutionary, revenue-producing ways via in-room TVs and telephones.
"NxTV pulls group information from our Property Management System (PMS) to personalize the IP service room by room," says Jim Bina, president of Millennium Technology Group, wholly owned by Rosen Hotels & Resorts to manage technology initiatives at its properties. "When guest conference attendees check into their rooms and turn on their TVs, they see a welcome screen or video and tomorrow's agenda for their specific group; we can easily ad a promo about Happy Hour at the Lounge downstairs. Sure, it's cool technology. But more importantly, it enables us to personalize the Rosen experience for our guests and acquaint them with everything the hotel has to offer."
Rosen Shingle Creek uses NxTV's IP platform to offer "walled garden" Web pages that enable guests to use the Internet to book tee times or arrange airline check-in and baggage pickup. "The walled garden concept uses the Internet in a limited format that we offer free of charge to guests," says Bina. "In addition, we will soon be delivering reservation services via the same walled garden concept so guests can make dining reservations from in-room TV."
NxTV began implementation in Rosen properties in 2002. Today, all of the company's 6,338 rooms offer in-room IP technology, including tech savvy Rosen Shingle Creek, which opened in 2006. Business guests at Rosen's older tour and travel' properties can view digital VOD and plug in their laptops for high-speed Internet access over the propertys' Cat 3 cables with DSL modems in each room. The newer convention and meeting space properties, which include Rosen Shingle Creek, go a step further. They are equipped with Cat 6 cables that enable VOD, HSIA and IP telephony on one IP run. Rosen Shingle Creek takes advantage of all these options, with crystal-clear flat panel TVs and display phones in every room.
"One of the reasons we selected NxTV was the ease of integration with our existing partners, including our telephone service provider," says Bina. "My philosophy is that anything you can do on the TV you should be able to do on the phone, except watch TV. And anything you can do on the phone you should be able to do on the TV, except make a call. The goal at Shingle Creek is to offer a flexible and personalized guest experience."
One worldwide training organization that met recently at Shingle Creek used the property's IP backbone and NxTV system to broadcast video training classes to attendee guest rooms, and Rosen uses NxTV to communicate with staff and to show meeting planners their Banquet Event Orders (BEOs). "NxTV also worked to our specs to provide guest-to-guest messaging via the IP system, which we are preparing to introduce," says Bina. "Group conference attendees can choose to have their name on a messaging list that other attendees can access."
Bina also likes NxTV's IP VOD movie offerings. "The line-up is rich, because they can deliver a movie to the video head end and leave it for an extended time. This means that guests have more viewing options-over 200 titles-that are guaranteed to appeal to every member of the family. NxTV also can monitor how frequently a movie is watched, so they can increase the opportunity for an up-sell by most frequently watched titles."
Because NxTV at Rosen properties is a pure IP implementation, Rosen can link communications with in-room HVAC systems, hotel security, even the mini-bar to send charge data to a guest's folio in the PMS system. Rosen would have included NxTV's IP Free-to-Guest option as well, but there were no off-air digital entertainment providers in the Orlando area at the time of implementation. "Even so, our guests have plenty of options for IP-based in-room entertainment services and communication," says Bina. "By the same token, we have plenty of options for increasing revenue and making the Rosen experience unlike any other. That's the beauty of what NxTV has to offer."