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November 28, 2014

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Why Las Vegas hotels should jump on the geek bandwagon

They had me at luggage-handling robot.

When I came across Travel + Leisure’s list of the top “geek hotels” in the world recently (complete with geothermal power plants, vertical gardens and many, many iPads), it struck a chord. After all, Las Vegas is home to the geekiest of mega-conventions (hello, Consumer Electronics Show), feats of engineering magic (the stage at Kà) and the mother of all geek attractions—a life-size model of USS Enterprise. Oh wait …

Already, plenty of local resorts have seen the potential in tapping technology to give visitors a little extra electronic whizz-bang. At Monte Carlo’s boutique Hotel32, guests get an iTouch upon check-in with an app that acts as virtual concierge, booking everything from massages to meals with a quick tap. Aria and Mandarin Oriental’s fully wired rooms “greet” new arrivals with lights on and curtains parting, as well as temperature, music and lighting all manipulated via remote control.

But there’s still room to take these practical perks and turn them up a notch. How about retina-scan suite entry or thumbprint readers replacing keypads? How about décor that matches your mood via flat screen panels and a library stocked with digital art à la the Cosmopolitan’s lobby? How about

letting local tech firms dream their dorkiest and incorporating their ideas into our hotel-resorts?

In Chicago, a partnership between Hotel Sax and Microsoft has yielded a tech-savvy spread of geek hospitality features to draw business types and media mavens. Isn’t it about time an Apple tower opens at a casino near you?

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