Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, Oregon has built its long-held reputation as a leading vacation spot in part based on its enviable location overlooking the iconic 235-foot-high Haystack Rock just off the Northwest Pacific Coast. In 2022 the resort further elevated its stature by updating all the property’s systems prior to a property-wide renovation and expansion starting in November 2023. Surfsand also reinforced its allure as a destination for special moments by introducing various packages of themed experiences and upgrades individual guests and groups can reserve in addition to their rooms. Coinciding with these advancements, Surfsand decided to upgrade its operational and digital capabilities by choosing property management, point-of-sale and payment processing software and systems from Agilysys.
In addition to improving efficiency for both guests and staff, the new software will help Surfsand unify data on guest preferences across various property experiences so that each stay can be tailored in advance with special amenities and offers, and so that staff can personalize their interactions with guests before, during and after each stay.
The property’s diverse offerings include those that are family-friendly, such as Taffy the Puffin birthday bashes, guided tide pool excursions, group photo shoots and beach bonfires featuring s’mores; those with romantic appeal such as sunset dining on the beach, couples spa retreats and art tours; and those designed for pet lovers, such as pet-friendly rooms, furry guest welcome baskets that provide a towel, a placemat, bowls for food and water and tasty treats at check-in, and activities designed for pet participation.
Surfsand General Manager Phillip Wilson noted that systems that make these enriched guest experiences easy to discover and reserve are integral to the property’s evolution.
Wilson said, “Our one-of-a-kind location supports delivering unique guest experiences, whether visitors are designing their dream weddings, celebrating family milestones, or connecting more closely as couples. When evaluating technology systems, it was essential that we be able to tailor them to fit our hotel and the special things we do for our guests. Our guests are looking to book more than rooms; they want to book something special. Our technology systems need to make it easy for guests to connect with all the amenities and thoughtfully designed experiences we offer, so Surfsand can be not only their favorite resort, but the one to which they return most often to enjoy personalized experiences they cannot find elsewhere.”
While the ability to tailor the technology to Surfsand’s unique offerings is important, Wilson said his number one driver in selecting systems is customer service he can count on. “I have worked with Agilysys and numerous other hospitality technology providers, and Agilysys’ support is hands-down better than all the rest,” Wilson said. “All of us users know systems, no matter who provides them, will have problems or even fail from time to time. Knowing that skilled and intelligent support is there to help and that response times are quick is hugely important. Agilysys has that advantage,” he said.
Wilson also noted that properties that are not part of a standardized brand structure greatly benefit from the ability to tailor reports and functions for their unique guest and market data requirements. “In non-branded hotels, operations change and different needs pop up, so we often need custom data sets,” Wilson observed. “Other hospitality technology providers, including the largest ones, charge customers for any report you ask to have built. Agilysys accommodates diversity in how properties operate without exacting that financial burden,” he concluded.
A pleasant surprise was how quickly the Surfsand staff members were able to learn the new software as well as operate it proficiently. “When software is intuitive and easy to learn, user satisfaction is meaningfully higher,” Wilson said. “We were pleased with how quickly our staff members became comfortable operating even the advanced capabilities of the system,” he added.
Jeba Kingsley, Agilysys vice president of professional services, commented that Surfsand’s goals make the property an ideal customer for Agilysys solutions. “Helping Surfsand create deeper understanding of guests and staff over time so they can continuously evolve personalized, unique and enhanced experiences is the perfect role for Agilysys solutions,” Kingsley said. “Our solutions provide best-of-breed operating performance when deployed standalone, and also are designed to work together across a hospitality ecosystem to deliver exponential value as each solution contributes data to create and utilize a unified profile for each guest over time. We get energized when working with customers such as Surfsand who recognize the long-term advantage of using their hospitality technology systems to enhance guest and staff experiences and to take satisfaction to a higher level,” Kingsley added.
Versatile PMS Capabilities Support Efficiency and Deeper Guest Knowledge
Key drivers for Surfsand’s PMS selection were the ability to manage a diverse mix of accommodations and amenities; the ability to leverage efficient cloud-based operations while also maintaining offline operating integrity during Internet challenges; and rich digital and mobile options for both guests and staff.
The system also equips staff to see and book available upgrades, dining and activity reservations and Experience Enhancement packages in a single session from a single comprehensive view without switching among different systems. In turn, guests also can experience personalized offers when booking in advance and while they are checking in. Intuitive interfaces, simplified workflows, and groupings of commonly used tasks also make user training simpler and faster.
Proven Point-of-Sale and Payment Solutions Maximize Security and Convenience
Agilysys POS and payment solutions enable Surfsand to use a wide range of traditional fixed-station POS terminals and mobile devices (across Microsoft Windows, Android and iOS operating systems) to match the needs and style of different venues and revenue centers across the property.
Guests can pay for restaurant checks and other transactions using their mobile phones through one of the first point-to-point encryption (P2PE) payment solutions for hospitality validated by the PCI Security Standards Council. Surfsand can deliver secure electronic payments across guest experiences, including countertop, table service, EMV, mobile tablet, and signature capture scenarios. They also can choose from a broad array of U.S. credit card processors and can easily change equipment as technology evolves.
“Agilysys has been a terrific partner in helping us to map out our hospitality technology evolution, and we look forward to continuing to create new ways to delight guests leveraging the advanced capabilities these systems enable,” Wilson concluded.