Hotels Upgrade Technology to Encourage Occupancy

Want to set your hotel alarm clock to play tunes from your iPod? Ever wish there were a self check-in system at hotels, where you could get your room key without even speaking to an employee? Or maybe you've just always wished you could set the thermostat, dim the lights and turn on the television in your hotel room without even getting out of bed. Well, at more and more hotels across the country, guests can do all these thing and more.

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, hotels are taking steps to upgrade their offerings in order to boost occupancy. State-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets are a great way to draw attention at a low cost, as hardware manufacturers are motivated to sell.

So now, hotel guests can find amenities such as table-top, touch-screen computers in the lobbies of select Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, which they can use to upload vacation photos or get directions to local attractions. At the Aloft hotel in Rancho Cucamonga, California, visitors can find exercise equipment decked out with flat-screen televisions and connections for hand-held media players; swimmers can even exercise to the music of the hotel lobby thanks to underwater speakers.

These impressive extras also hold the benefit of saving money. Automated lighting, heating and cooling systems help cut energy costs, while self check-in counters reduce staffing needs. Primarily, though, hotels hope these impressive extras will fill the rooms that have been empty for so long. Aloft sales manager Jorge Azpeitia told the LA Times that the main goal is to make the hotel stand out to encourage repeat guests.

"Everything is designed to make some kind of memory," he said.
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