Hotel Online Special Report

 LodgeNet Rolls Out "Next Generation" Graphical User Interface To Hotel Customers
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., May 4, 1999 -  LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation (Nasdaq: LNET) today announced the rollout of its "next generation" graphical user interface to hotel customers. The release builds on LodgeNet's current guest room interface -- the lodging industry's first graphics-based system with broad-scale deployment. It is part of LodgeNet's product enhancement initiative, which also includes a new, Internet-compatible remote control and the Nintendo(R) 64 (N64(R)) game system with more than a dozen popular titles. All elements are components of LodgeNet's overall contract renewal strategy.

The LodgeNet interface redesign was driven by focus group input and feedback from hotel operators and guests. Its enlarged, "photographic" menu icons represent pay-per-view movies, N64 video games, Internet access and other interactive services on the guest room television screen. Since the introduction of the company's first graphics-based system in 1993, LodgeNet's image-based menus have driven significantly higher system usage rates than text-based interfaces. Guests highlight and select icons with the LodgeNet remote control, much like they would "point and click" with a computer mouse.

"We recognized early on that hotel guests find a graphics-based interface far more appealing than a text-based one," says Steven D. Truckenmiller, vice president of LodgeNet's Guest Pay Services. "Image-based systems are easier to use and convey far more information. A picon (picture icon) communicates a message much faster than a string of text, with less effort by the guest. For example, when a guest sees an image that's associated with a movie, it triggers immediate recall of other Hollywood promotions. That cumulative impression helps influence the buying decision. Our other services benefit similarly."

Like LodgeNet's current TV-based interface, the next-generation image-based system enables guests to choose from several languages for system instructions. It also has banner advertising capability, which LodgeNet expects will enhance per-room revenue through ad sales and additional movie and game promotions. In addition, LodgeNet has updated its Welcome Channel, a hotel-specific, promotional presentation that activates when the guest turns on the television.

LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation ( ) is a specialized communications company that serves more than 4,600 lodging properties and more than 700,000 rooms in the United States and selected international markets. Through its open architecture b-LAN(R) technology, LodgeNet delivers Guest Scheduled(SM) on-demand movies, Nintendo 64(R) video games, high-speed Internet access and many other interactive applications, as well as digital-quality basic and premium free-to-guest programming. LodgeNet is listed on Nasdaq and trades under the symbol LNET.

Product Information, Darla Schultz, 605-988-1381,
or Investor
Corporate Information, Ann Parker, 605-988-1000,
LodgeNet Entertainment
Also See: Technology: In-room Entertainment  What's in the Future H&MM 

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