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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press A robot named Pepper stands in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. Pepper is programmed to interact with guests and answer questions. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:00 am

Las Vegas hotels bet technological services

REGINA GARCIA CANO | Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – It takes just minutes for a room service attendant to respond to a text message asking for a soda, bringing the Diet Coke on a tray with a glass of ice and lime wedges, no need for the modern hassle of placing a phone call.

Thousands of guests at some of Las Vegas' casino-hotels also can get towels, food and toiletries delivered with just a few taps on their smartphone. It comes as the staples of hotel room technology – a phone on a nightstand and a flat-screen TV – aren't cutting it anymore in the hypercompetitive world of Sin City tourism.

Guests can use tablets to control room features like lights and temperature. Shower infusers and special lights promise travelers a chance to recharge. And a 4-foot-tall robot can point visitors to the nearest ATM.

Voice-assisted speakers and purification systems also are part of the push to attract ever-more-demanding customers.

“The hotel brands or the casino brands are trying to make themselves evolve to become more relevant to a younger audience that is highly technologically enabled,” said Robert Rippee, director of the Hospitality Lab at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas hotels are not the only ones using such technology. The Acme Hotel Co. in Chicago put an Amazon Echo in every room and the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, California, has equipped rooms with iPads.

But what sets Sin City properties apart is the volume of guests they handle, which can test the technology that must be easy to understand.