LAS VEGAS—A stalwart of hotel amenities, the coffeemaker was among the first in-room conveniences for guests. Today, there are travelers who want their WiFi like their coffee—free and strong. They need ample outlets for their mobile devices, too. It’s all about advanced and accessible in-room technology as traveler’s desire to stay connected continues to grow and hoteliers seize opportunities to deliver a higher level of service.
That’s why Wynn Las Vegas is betting big on Amazon. Alexa, the brain behind the Amazon Echo, is checking in to all 4,748 of the property’s rooms by this summer. For the uninitiated, the Amazon Echo is a personal assistant or digital butler, if you will, that is operated through a voice-controlled speaker. With Alexa, guests will be able to control the room’s temperature, TV, lights and drapery—all they need to do is ask.
“We believe there is widespread interest among our guests in technology that is both fun and enhances their experience in the resort,” said Michael Weaver, SVP of marketing, Wynn Las Vegas. “All of our guests will enjoy asking Alexa to customize the lighting, temperature and audio/visual elements of their room. Soon, we will offer customized music options as well the new Wynn Audio Concierge—think an easily referenced in-room resort information book, in audio format.”
No tech-savvy concierge is needed. To make their acquaintance, associates will introduce guests to Alexa upon entering the room. As a security feature, Weaver noted that these particular Amazon Echo devices are programmed to work only at Wynn. However, guests can purchase the Echo in the gift shop.
“The marvelous thing about the Amazon Echo is how easy it is to use. Most members of the Wynn team can help a guest with the device and instructions are provided in each guestroom,” said Weaver. “We began the installation in our larger suites, where we have butlers standing by to assist with any guest questions. However, we have had very few questions, because the Amazon Echo is easy to use and the instructions we provide are easily understood.”
As hotel brands begin to explore the Internet of Things (IoT) and disruptive technologies, Amazon Echo isn’t the only game in town—Google Home and Facebook have a similar product in development named Jarvis, for example—but it is at the leading edge. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak reportedly touted it as “the next big platform.” And Weaver agrees, explaining that the Amazon Echo aligns with the brand’s goals and philosophy around service.
“We believe Amazon Echo offers the best opportunity to integrate with Wynn both in technology and in a desire to create a seamless customer experience. Amazon is at the forefront of this innovation; we are joining with them,” he said. “Guests choose Wynn because their experience is demonstrably better at Wynn than elsewhere. Amazon Echo will help take the guest experience to another level, which in turn creates more guest retention. For Wynn, guest experience isn’t the most important thing—it’s the only thing, and technology like Echo that improves guest experience is very important to us.”
Keeping pace with travelers’ changing tastes and new demands is also a point of focus for Wynn. “This is a continuation of our commitment to using technology to create better experiences for our guests,” Weaver noted.
“We have almost daily conversations about what we will try next. In Amazon, we have a partner that is as adventuresome as Wynn is regarding finding new ways to use technology to create great guest experiences,” he said.