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Rod Smith

Kiosks Allow Rapid Registration at Flamingo

29 September 2003

LAS VEGAS -- High-speed check-in and check-out kiosks, technology developed by the airline industry, is helping customers at the 3,642-room Flamingo.

Lorenzo Creighton, president of the Flamingo, said the two initial kiosks in the Park Place Entertainment Corp. property on the Strip represent a marriage of high technology and hospitality.

They each processed 90 guest registrations on Sept. 16, their first full day of operation, although Creighton said he expects that soon 150 people per day will register at each kiosk.

Park Place has been operating similar high-technology kiosks at the Grand Casino in Gulfport, Miss., for about a month, he said.

"It's a real rapid check-in and check-out procedure, and it's very user-friendly. Guests can register, get their room keys cut, get directions to elevators and make dinner reservations," Creighton said.

In addition, guests can print room statements at the kiosks when they check out. If guests choose to check out from their rooms, they can print an itemized bill at the kiosk.

Ultimately, it will be possible to program the kiosks in different languages to allow checking in and out for non-English speaking guests, Creighton said.

"We also think (the technology) will help us cut costs, but initially we'll be staffed like an airport check-in to help guests and tell them how to use the kiosks," he said.

With an occupancy rate exceeding 90 percent and an average stay of 2 1/2 days, the Flamingo checks in 1,500 guests a day so it would take 10 kiosks to process the entire hotel registration.

However, Creighton does not expect fully automating registration because the kiosks cannot manage some functions. For example, if a guest makes a reservation with one credit card and wants to use another one at check in, a clerk has to manually enter the credit card information.

Switching completely to kiosks is complicated by another factor.

"It's a tough question," Creighton said. "Obviously we don't know what the future holds, but surveys have shown that people prefer dealing with a live person."

The two initial kiosks, which cost $20,000 each, are located at the end of the front desk registration area in hotel lobby.

Park Place plans to expand the use of kiosks to other properties.