Unlocking Potential

Hotel keys switch from cards to smartphones.

TJ Person once met an investor who was critical about the use of Bluetooth technology in hotels. The investor thought the technology would be distracting. Person begged to differ.

That’s why Person – a 14-year resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth area – created OpenKey in 2014. The app, which acts as a key card allowing hotel guests to unlock their rooms via their smartphones, is meant to make hotel rooms more secure, allow the hotels themselves to decrease expenses, and be more environmentally friendly.

In addition to operating as a room key, the app also allows guests to let the hotel know exactly when they have arrived. The resorts then notify guests when their room is ready, cutting down the wait time at the check-in desk.

Person says the company is on track to add 35,000 hotel rooms throughout 2017. He hopes to eventually open offices in Europe and Asia.

OpenKey has already been implemented in more than 16,500 hotel rooms, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Malibu Beach Inn – Malibu, California

Nestled along Carbon Beach, the Malibu Beach Inn began to utilize OpenKey in August after being introduced to the app at an exposition and conference in New Orleans. The hotel wanted to give guests the choice of having their key be a card or on a smartphone. According to general manager Gregory Day, the hotel “immediately recognized it as the next phase of luxury-based technology.”

Hermitage Hotel – Nashville, Tennessee

Just three months after landing the Malibu Beach Inn, OpenKey was able to implement its app in the Hermitage Hotel, the only Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond-rated hotel in Tennessee.

Park Hotel – Valkenburg, Netherlands

Park Hotel was the first international resort to utilize the OpenKey app. This luxurious hotel, completely surrounded by nature, teamed up with the mobile technology this past May.

Birches Serviced Apartments – Melbourne, Australia

Birches Serviced Apartments, a member of the AiRstayz hotelier coalition, became the second international location to partner with OpenKey. “We want guests to experience everything Australia has to offer,” AiRstayz founder Marc Italia said in a statement. “That experience should not include spending time in a check-in or check-out line or having to wait for a replacement key to your room.”