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      The traditional hotel business center                                 in a number of big casino-hotels, such as
   may be dead. In its place, lodging properties of                         Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Luxor and MGM
   all sizes and serving all markets are installing                         Grand. Keylink’s largest installation is at
   self-service units and kiosks that provide                               Mandalay Bay and its sister property, The
   convenience and consistency for guests and                               Hotel, where 22 PC workstations are located
   reliability and lower costs for hotel operators.                         at 11 custom kiosks and three automated
      “Before the kiosk business center was                                 business centers. An in-progress installation
   introduced to the industry, hotels needed                                at the Venetian and Pallazzo complex will top
   staffed business centers that are costly to                              that total with 32 PC units.
   operate and are very seldom able to turn a                                 An automated business center provides
   profit,” says Robert Basulto, president & CEO of                         several other key advantages, says
   Keylink Solutions, a Las Vegas-based provider                            Basulto. Most automated systems have a
   of automated business center systems to the                              variety of language options (Keylink’s are
   hotel industry. “Some convention hotels may be                           available in up to eight). Security is another
   able to do well when a big group is in the house,                        consideration. In staff-operated business
   but otherwise they generally operate at a loss.”                         centers, an employee typically needs to
      Keylink provides systems to hotels ranging                            sweep the PCs periodically so guests
   from Internet kiosks and 24/7 automated                                  can’t access websites viewed by previous
   business centers to airline check-in kiosks and                          users. The Keylink system automatically
   24/7 UPS and FedEx shipping stations. It is                              clears each PC’s system after each usage,
   a preferred supplier for several hotel chains,                           removing viruses, spyware and potentially
   including Best Western and most recently,                                offensive content. The company also
   Radisson Hotels.                                                         provides round-the-clock live phone support
      Keylink has a large presence in the Las                               for its systems.
   Vegas market, where its systems are installed                              Also, Keylink’s business models can be
                                                                            tailored to the needs of the hotel. In one
                                                                            model, the company installs and maintains
                                                                            the systems at no cost to the hotel, with
                                                                            Keylink and the property sharing revenues.
                                                                            In other cases, hotels that want to offer the
                                                                            services free to their guests can purchase
                                                                            the system and pay Keylink an annual fee for
                                                                              “Some hotels take an approach that
                                                                            combines the free and guest-pay models,”
                                                                            says Basulto. “They’ll provide free printing
                                                                            of airline boarding passes, for instance, but
                                                                            charge guests for other business center
                                                                              Keylink recently expanded its offerings to
                                                                            include an all-in-one shipping and mailing
                                                                            station that enables guests to ship via UPS,
                                                                            FedEx or U.S. Postal Service, print in color
                                                                            or black and white and fax documents, in
                                                                            addition to using a PC.
                                                                              Future system enhancements may feature
                                                                            web-based teleconferencing, says Basulto.
   Luxor in Las Vegas will soon have one of Keylink’s comprehensive auto-
   mated business and shipping centers.

 44                                     LodgingHospitality / November 2009