LodgeNet chairman comments on new mega-app

LodgeNet Interactive Corp., Sioux Falls, South Dakota announced last week the launch of a new mobile application that combines hotel service ordering and local guides with total control of in-room interactive televisions.

The LodgeNet Mobile App can be downloaded for free on an iPhone, iPad or Android device. To connect to their room television, a guest activates the application and enters a six-digit code displayed on the television screen. From there the guest can use the device to change channels, adjust volume and preview trailers of pay-per-view content on the mobile device.

In addition to this for a subscription fee hotels can offer services ordering and other content on the application.

“We have an offering to a hotel market that for a really reasonable cost structure to populate that as making it their app. They can promote their own restaurants and spas on property, ordering breakfast or room service on the app. They can do checkout, check-in on the device. There’s a lot of functionality they can put on that app,” said Scott Petersen, LodgeNet chairman and CEO. “For example, once you pair with the screen in the room, on your way back to the hotel from a business meeting you can actually pull up the hotel’s app and order in-room dining, because we know who you are and in which room you are staying.”

The application works with the LodgeNet systems in about 2,000 properties — it is not compatible with On Command systems dating from 2004 and 2005. Development began about a year and a half ago and LodgeNet invested “an amount approaching seven figures” in the application.

“It’s more unique to explore content on the smart device rather than the television. It will increase guest engagement which will increase revenue,” said Petersen.