SAN DIEGO—It is not news to say that the hospitality industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hotels, resorts, and casinos across the United States have been struggling to stay afloat, hoping the vaccination roll-out will enable guests to feel comfortable returning to their travel and vacation plans. When guests do return to their vacation and travel plans, the industry still must dig out of the deficit the pandemic created, while still providing a greater sense of safety and security for guests and employees. Essentially, they must do more with less. Enter Location Tech and its commitment to help the hospitality industry increase safety for guests and employees for free.
Location Tech is a San Diego-based technology company that harnesses the power of wireless networks to deliver an Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution in the form of free panic buttons, among other solutions. Location Tech enables hotels, resorts, and casinos to meet their 5-Star Promise commitment to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) for enhanced guest and employee safety. In September of 2018, the AHLA announced the 5-Star Promise program. This voluntary commitment by AHLA members is comprised of policies, trainings, and resources aimed to strengthen the safety and security offered to guests and employees in many areas. Since its inception, nearly 60 member companies that represent an estimated 20,000 hotel properties have made the pledge. Now, with the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, member companies face an even greater challenge to meeting their commitment with revenues down due to average capacities hovering near 20 percent compared to the normal 80 percent+ they experienced in the pre-pandemic world.
Location Tech’s CEO, Jeff Engel, explains how this commitment of free panic buttons that operate through its on-premises wireless network is a way to give back to the industry it serves.
Doing More with Less Better
“Every hotel, resort, and casino I talk to say basically the same thing,” Engel says. “We know we need to do more with less, but we just do not know how. So, Location Tech is committed to providing free panic buttons to our partners to help them do just that. Properties can keep their people safe while opening new channels for revenue growth in the process.”
Location Tech’s panic buttons are small mobile devices the size of a credit card that are distributed to hotel staff, especially in the guest services department where harassment of employees is a significant issue. If an employee feels endangered or needs help, a quick activation of their panic button immediately alerts hotel security with their exact location, including floor and room number. The system is so accurate that it can pinpoint the person’s location, with no blind spots, a problem that other similar systems face. Jeff Engel explains why Location Tech’s on-site networks are superior to other solutions.
“Other panic button systems rely on the available Wi-Fi networks on site or cellular focused for their connection and location. The problem is, these are notorious for blind-spots, spotty coverage, and limits on their ability to locate the problem area accurately in trhee dimensions, not just from a top-down view, but height and floor with specific room detail. Our networks use multi-mode wireless networks that blend the coverage of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 900 MHz, and Cellular/4G/LTE together. Our cloud-based systems use all these methods in unison to find the exact location quickly so the right people can respond quickly to the right place,”Engel says.
What’s the value of this kind of security? It is hard to put a price on it. Location Tech’s panic buttons would normally cost around $50 per unit (not including the wireless network). With an average of 50 needed for a hotel, that is a $2,500 cost per property. Location Tech’s free offer to partners may be a modest drop in the bucket compared to the loss of revenue from the pandemic, but it is a way to help climb out of the hole and offer greater safety that the industry has committed to provide.
Ocean Park Inn in San Diego adopted Location Tech’s network and panic button solutions to support their commitment to AHLA’s 5-Star Promise and Safe Stay. Elvin Lai, CEO and President at Ocean Park Inn explains.
“Ocean Park Inn is committed to improving the safety and security of our guests and employees, but the challenge becomes figuring out how to do that with little or no budget to support it. For me to add something that is just an expense right now is near impossible. Location Tech’s solution is smart because once their wireless network is installed, not only did we get the panic buttons for free, but we also now have new ways to reduce costs and increase revenue through location-specific product alerts, hand sanitizer dispenser monitoring, leak detection, and lots of other things where they have proven they are best in class.”
For more information on Location Tech’s program to support AHLA member commitments, and details on the free offer, contact Location Tech and visit locationtech.com.