Breaking Travel News

Red Lion & WestCoast Introduce Net4Guests

Hotel guests now have
another good reason to choose Red Lion Hotels and WestCoast Hotels when
they travel. With the ever-growing need to stay connected while on the
road, travelers are seeking fast, reliable and secure ways to log on to
the Internet. To answer that need, WestCoast Hospitality Corporation ,
representing Red Lion Hotels and WestCoast Hotels in the United States and
Canada, has launched “Net4Guests(TM),” its proprietary high-speed wireless
Internet access (Wi-Fi) service, giving all guests staying at
participating hotels free, password-protected access in guestrooms and
public areas of the hotel. Unique in the industry, the Net4Guests service utilizes the company’s
GuestAwards(R) frequent traveler program to provide members instant log on
access using their member numbers and passwords. As an additional benefit
to GuestAwards members, they can access Net4Guests service any time they
are visiting a participating Red Lion or WestCoast property—whether
they are an overnight guest or not. The hotels become their “hot spots”
while they’re on the road.

“We want business travelers to know they have an
office-away-from-the-office where they can check their e-mail or access
their office virtual private network [VPN] if they find themselves with
extra time between appointments, or while relaxing over coffee or a
cocktail in one of our outlets,” said John Taffin, Executive Vice
President of Hotel Operations for WestCoast Hospitality in making the
Net4Guests announcement.

Guests with compatible wireless hardware will not need any special
software to connect to Net4Guests and will not have to make any changes to
their PC configurations. Those who do not have wireless capability can
check-out the easy-to-use and fully-supported (24/7) Net4Guests Quick
Start Kit containing a PCMCIA card and a software CD to access Net4Guests.
GuestAwards members use their member number to log on. If a guest is not a
member of the GuestAwards program, the guest is given a User ID for use
during that stay, or the guest can enroll on the GuestAwards website and
receive a member number instantly. This gives them the convenience of not
having to register for Net4Guests at each hotel.

The Net4Guests Wi-Fi capability is enabled by Air2Data technology and is
based on the 802.11b protocol so that it is accessible to the largest
group of travelers with wireless functionality on their laptops and
handheld devices. A variety of security measures, including a firewall and
assigned IP addresses, are built into the Net4Guests system to minimize
the risk of unauthorized access. According to Mark Rackham, Vice President
of Operations for Air2Data, “In the last 18 months, we have not had any
problems with security with any of our guests. That’s a great track

Rackham also praised the partnership environment that created Net4Guests.
“When we started this collaboration with WestCoast Hospitality, we rolled
out the technology and the supporting documents we expected their hotels’
front desk associates would need to answer guest’s questions,” he said.
“They came back to us with suggestions that custom-tailored their support
manuals, guest collateral and log on process to make implementation as
user-friendly as possible for both guests and staff. The Net4Guests result
is a Wi-Fi installation steeped in the hospitality and service tradition
of Red Lion and WestCoast Hotels. We think it will be a model Wi-Fi
program for the lodging industry.”