Squirrels Invade The Rockies: Mountain Park Lodges Roll-Out With SquirrelOne in Jasper

  • SQUiRREL Systems
  • 04.10.08
Often called “the gem of the rockies,” the picturesque town of Jasper offers visitors a tranquil, small-town atmosphere with natural splendor, abundant wildlife, and amazing scenery at every turn. 

Mountain Park Lodges is a dominant player in the local lodging market supplying over 500 guest rooms and multiple foodservice facilities at four properties in Jasper; Amethyst Lodge, Chateau Jasper, Lobstick Lodge and Marmot Lodge.  Pocahontas Cabins, almost 40 miles east of Jasper, provides 57 new, rustic cabins in a remote, quiet location.  MPL also operates the Pyramid Riding Stables; providing veterans and first-time cowpokes alike spectacular trail rides and old-fashioned hospitality.
 
Mike McIsaac, Systems Administrator of Mountain Park Lodges for over 13 years, inherited three separate Squirrel Classic systems when he started with MPL.  Five years ago, they considered changing to an alternative system but after a 2-year trial, decided that Squirrel was the best solution.

“You can’t beat Squirrel Systems for service,” says McIsaac.  “Our experience with the alternate system was less than satisfying.  System support is done almost entirely by me and Joe Campbell, System Technician.  When you are in a remote location like Jasper, you need to be self-sufficient to a large degree but having top-notch telephone support to help point you in the right direction is essential.  The other vendor couldn’t touch Squirrel for quality and timeliness of their services.” 

When the group at MPL made the decision to uninstall the point of sale, product they decided at the same time to upgrade the whole company to SquirrelOne.  McIsaac came up with the concept of running all four hotels off a single server.  This meant operating a 10 terminal system from one server instead of running four separate servers with 2-3 terminals each. 

“Aside from the obvious cost savings in terms of hardware and software licensing this also saved us considerable time with handling configuration changes,” states McIsaac.  “Many of the menus are identical at each hotel – like bar menus, breakfast, kids, banquets and so on.  Running off the one-server saves us time because the programming of configuration changes for the most part is global.  Our wait-staff find the system easy to learn and use and because of the setup they can easily work at any of the hotel properties.”

The new setup also facilitated adding a new hotel to the network.  When the Chateau Jasper was added to the MPL family, the setup work was done entirely by McIsaac and Campbell.  Terminal licenses were purchased and new terminals were shipped to the location.  It was easy for the local team to get the new hotel on-line. 

The three original hotels are networked using two radio antennas on the top of the Lobstick Lodge – one pointing towards Amethyst Lodge and the other towards Marmot Lodge.  When Chateau Jasper was added, a fiber optic connection was installed linking it with the Lobstick Lodge.  The plan is to add SquirrelOne to the Pocahontas Cabins sometime next year and connect to the network using a high-speed internet connection through a cell phone tower.
 
Payment processing for both the hotels and for SquirrelOne is handled through Southern DataComm’s Protobase product.  A leader in the payment processing technology industry since 1985, Southern DataComm, Inc. (SDC), develops secure and compliant products and services that support the electronic authorization and draft capture of electronic payments.

Mountain Park Lodges uses Squirrel’s rollover utility to shutdown and start the new business day unattended.  Reports are automatically generated and printed for each hotel and a personalized list of reports are generated and e-mailed to the MPL management group. 

 




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