Taking the Friction Out of Parking at Hotels

VAN NUYS, CA—Hoteliers know that travelers want a positive and seamless experience during their stay. It’s evident in the technology cropping up at hotels and resorts, enabling guests to use their smartphones to control nearly every aspect of the journey on-property. But, what about parking? It seems like the last frontier for hoteliers, yet parking is one of the first interactions a consumer has with the hotel.

Among those in the know, “frictionless parking” is just one way hoteliers are delivering a more fluid, problem-free experience for guests who expect next-level service. Solar-powered parking space occupancy sensors, parking guidance systems and cashless parking are some of the advances offered by Sentry Control Systems to help alleviate parking pain points. Hospitality clients include The Ritz-Carlton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Renaissance Hotels.

“We want to work seamlessly and provide great customer service to guests as well. Since 1983, Sentry has provided parking solutions and for all walks—retail, hotels, parking lots and any other parking provider,” said Dana Wade, director of business development, hospitality, Sentry Control Systems. “For us, we’re providing a partnership for life. We don’t look to just sell parking equipment and leave. We have many offerings and will work with the client to design and implement a true solution for whatever they need. Whether it’s people access, car parking, ski access, we’re working with car companies and other industries to find ways to integrate our solutions to make life easier for guests and alleviate the strictures of parking.”

It’s all about a symphony of fast-emerging technology to drive results. RFID, mag strip readers and license plate recognition are employed to recognize a driver’s credentials to facilitate ease of entry and payment upon exit in a matter of seconds.

“When you’re talking about RFID or license plate recognition cameras, you’re talking about different types of credentials. Everything is moving this way,” said Wade. “It lets the gate know someone has validated or pre-paid for parking. Mag strip reading cards look like a credit card with a magnetic strip and they have particular information to let the gate know if they need to charge the consumer. License plates tie into frictionless parking because the garage can take a picture of the license plate upon entry and attach it to a parking pass in the system at exit. It speeds up the egress of parking.”

With a presence in more than 100 countries and a long track record of service, Wade is eager to build upon the company’s foundation with new services such as cloud-based solutions to assist in collecting parking analytics.

“With reporting, you can consolidate it with one click and you know what was done across the board, the efficiencies and you can improve on the process,” he said. “Next year, we’ll have new equipment coming out on the look and feel of these processes. We’re partnering with car manufacturers to make sure we’re working efficiently and staying ahead of the curve, not playing catch up.”