Windmill Inns & Suites have announced that guests can now access wireless, high-speed Internet for free throughout all six properties, 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week, with technical support on hand should a problem occur.
This amenity package is offered at all six Windmill Inn properties in Roseburg, Ashland, and Medford, Ore., and Surprise/Sun City, Chandler, and Tucson, Ariz.—and virtually nowhere else by any other hotel group or chain.
“We’ve always tried to do things that are better for our guests, and this service is an example of that philosophy,” said John Cauvin, President & C.E.O. of Scottsdale-based Windmill Inns & Suites. “High-speed Internet access—though not necessarily wireless access—is becoming as expected as a television in the guestroom, but many guests don’t expect it to be free. At Windmill properties, high-speed Internet access is entirely free—you don’t even have to be a member of our frequent-stay program to get it, as is the case with many chains. Guests are pleasantly surprised when they see that it’s free—especially business travelers. The wireless aspect of our Internet-access capabilities is a bonus amenity for our guests.”
The fact that the link-up is wireless has many benefits, according to Ed Kopp, Windmill Inns & Suites Information Systems Coordinator.
“From the guests’ perspective, the quality of wireless is excellent, plus they can be linked to the Internet throughout the entire hotel—the pool, common areas, meeting rooms, anywhere on the premises,” Kopp said. “From our hotels’ perspective, installation of wireless link-up capability is far less disruptive to guests and much faster—only a day and a half for the entire hotel—than cable link-up would have been. Besides, today’s technology is geared toward wireless, and we wanted to have a leg up on the competition by being able to offer wireless high-speed Internet access to our guests.”
And what if a guest’s laptop isn’t wireless-compatible? No problem: Front-desk staff can provide equipment that, with the help of our 24/7 support line, will adapt it to wireless-compatibility—also free to use.
“For guests whose laptops aren’t wireless-ready, we have equipment, PCMCIA cards and Ethernet ‘bridges’ available—free to use, of course—at the front desk,” Kopp said. “Also, once guests are linked up wirelessly, there is a 24/7, toll-free number they can call for technical support if it’s ever needed.”
Windmill contracted out with Matrix Networks, Portland, Ore., to supply the wireless, or Wi-Fi, technology as well as the 24/7 technical-support help desk.
“Just a year ago, Wi-Fi Broadband Internet in hotels was a ‘would like’ feature, but it’s turning into a ‘must have’ feature,” said Nigel Ballard, Director of Wireless for Matrix. “The aggressive roll-out of complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access in all Windmill Inns is an indication that customer-driven, independent hospitality companies can move to provide guest-requested services faster than the large corporate chains. We are very pleased that Windmill saw our commitment to providing our clients with top-quality wireless connectivity and support and that they chose to work with us.”