As a premier mountain resort company, Colorado's Vail Resorts (www.vailresorts.com) promises its guests "An Experience of a Lifetime" - no easy task considering the company's vast operations and growing portfolio. Having nearly doubled its operations in just a few years, Vail's ten resorts include luxury accommodations and world-class ski areas, plus a variety of retail and dining outlets. Technology is helping Vail manage its diversity and growth, in particular through the use of a single, integration point-of-sale (POS) system that allows the company to easily bring new properties online while still offering uninterrupted services to guests.
Vail Resorts has been a long-time Info-Genesis POS user, and Ian Buxton, Vail's director of IT, is pleases with how quickly and easily the Agilysys solution (www.agilysys.com) integrates new properties into its corporate IT system. "We aren't interested in point-solution at different resorts; we want a comprehensive, coherent ecosystem," he says. "When you go the point-solution route, you may spend less up-front from a capital investment standpoint, but without the integration, you'll spend much more in the long run."
REQUIREMENT: DURABLE & RELIABLE
The POS network at Vail Resorts is accessed by a variety of users across diverse locations, often in challenging weather conditions with a high degree of wear and tear. Vail has successfully used Toshiba SurePOS terminals for the past seven years. Some of the terminals are located outdoors, and are used in snowy and cold conditions. "We cover the outdoor terminals with insulated enclosures in the evenings," explains Buxton. "Toshiba SurePOS terminals are extremely durable and deliver high uptime and long-term reliability, even under the harsh and varied environments at Vail Resorts."
Extreme weather conditions also require a flexible plan in the event of a power outage. Vail runs off a central server in Denver, and if connectivity to one of their mountain properties is interrupted, the InfoGenesis POS system offers a standalone mode to keep transactions running smoothly. When the server connection is restored, Vail simply batch processes the transactions that occurred while the connection was lost.
ADVANTAGE: CUSTOMIZATION & REPORTING
For Buxton, add-on capabilities and reporting are key operational advantages. For example, the InfoGensis POS system allows Vail to incorporate data with its enterprise resource planning and financial reporting systems to create any type of report the business needs, such as restaurant performance and customer activity. "It's a very nimble system that enables us to gain insight into the specific areas of the business that we went to see," says Buxton.
Vail and Agilysys further partners to create a "Resort Charge" capability for season pass holders. The integration securely links a guest's ski pass, complete with payment credentials, across the POS network. "If a guest visits a dining location at one of our properties, the point-of-sale system will recognize that person's ski pass as a form of payment," says Buxton. "It's been a huge win for us from a guest service perspective."
Buxton believes the capabilities of its POS solution are vital to the company’s growth. "The InfoGenesis POS system has allowed us to scale, even with our many inherent integration points. It continues to be a solid system for us, streamlining efficiency across our entire operation.”
Buxton notes that three new resorts will be coming online soon to the POS system. “As we look to the upcoming ski season, the Agilysys and Toshiba POS technology will be used across all Vail properties.”
Vail Resorts is pleased with the service and support it receives from the two companies. “Agilysys is always there for us, willing to take our feedback and working to find solutions that keep us operating at peak performance,” Buxton concludes.