As the hospitality industry recovers, properties are facing the compounding challenge of guest expectations and staff shortages reaching record-high levels. In an American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) survey published in June 2022, 97 percent of respondents indicated staff shortages and 49 percent characterized them as “severe.” At the same time, the American Express Travel 2022 Global Travel Trends Report shows travelers expect higher-level returns than simple relaxation from traveling, with 81 percent of respondents agreeing that, “they want the money they spend while traveling to go back to the local community”, and 62 percent agreeing they want to be “more thoughtful about the experiences they have when traveling.”
The AHLA survey shows 90 percent of properties now offer wage incentives to help fill the more than 130,000 open positions in the United States alone. Innovative properties are going further by elevating and synthesizing technology systems to improve capacity, work processes, and decision-making for staff members while also empowering guests to create unique and personalized experiences.
One example is Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel, which is building on the advantages it derives from Agilysys’ inventory and procurement (I&P) automation solution, by deploying seven additional Agilysys solutions that work together across functions and operations to maximize Return on Experience wholistically. Together, the additional Agilysys solutions automate the following functions: point of sale (POS); property management (PMS); mobile reservations for rooms and activities; mobile check-in; mobile keys; secure document management for identification scanning, electronic signature capture, and electronic waiver archival; mobile housekeeping, maintenance and preventative services; and sales and catering for efficient conference and event management.
Adding PMS and POS to I&P means Prairie Meadows has all three Hospitality Core Solutions in the Agilysys Hospitality Cloud™ working together across the property. The additional five solutions are part of the Agilysys Hospitality Cloud Experience Enhancers™ collection of solutions that work with POS, PMS, or I&P to deliver specific augmentations such as mobile capabilities, payment flexibility, or digital efficiencies.
Collectively the solutions automate and elevate guest and staff experiences across the property’s 168-room hotel; three-floor, 85,000-square-foot casino featuring slots, table games, a sportsbook, and poker tables; a conference and events center including a concert hall; several full-service and quick-serve restaurants; a fully equipped fitness center; and a racetrack that offers live horse racing and simulcast options from May through October each year.
Operating one of only two nonprofit casinos in the United States, Prairie Meadows’ unique business model leverages a nonprofit partnership with Polk County, Iowa to improve the community as well as the lives of its residents. This model aligns the property’s mission with travelers’ increasing desire to have their travel dollars positively impact local communities. Since 1989 the partnership has generated more than $2.1 billion in funding for local initiatives such as funding meals for hungry children, paying for a free medical clinic, renovating local schools, and improving city parks.
Its nonprofit, community-focused model also drives Prairie Meadows to base technology relationships and purchasing decisions on both high-quality excellence as well as cost-efficiency.
“Our positive experience working with Agilysys to streamline our inventory and procurement operations was a core factor in our decision to leverage a broader scope of Agilysys Hospitality Cloud solutions to elevate performance and experiences for both staff and guests across our property,” said Ann Atkin, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel. “It is more vital than ever to attract and retain staff while also delivering better, more personalized guest experiences. We appreciate the expertise Agilysys brings to the table. Their knowledge enables us to advance more efficiently without having to juggle different solution vendors, and yet be confident we have secured the most innovative technology advances given Agilysys’ 100 percent focus on hospitality.”
Don DeMarinis, Senior Vice President for Agilysys, emphasized the advantages deploying solutions across the Agilysys Hospitality Cloud delivers for properties with high aspirations. “It is invigorating to work with customers such as Prairie Meadows who understand the higher-value impact of elevating experiences across their properties by leveraging solutions designed to work in concert to compound results,” DeMarinis noted. “Knowing Prairie Meadows invests back into its local community the dollars it derives through creating more engaging experiences and smoother operations makes working together even more rewarding for the Agilysys team.”