The Las Vegas Mini Bar Meets Technology

Tuesday, 29 April 2008 at 7:17 am Pacific USA Time.

I was in Vegas for one night this past weekend to see the conference space we intend to use for our next RocketPlace event.

The hotel room had the biggest and most well-stocked mini bar I’d ever seen. I knew I didn’t wany anything, especially at those prices, but I was curious at the whole thing. It had a refridgerated side and a non-fridge side. I noticed something in the non-fridge side that I didn’t recognise.

I thought it might be sewing kit, so I picked it up. It was not a sewing kit. It said, "Intimacy Kit," on it. It said it contained 2 condoms, a packet of lubrication, and some clean-up towelettes. OK, these aren’t exactly what springs to mind when I think of intimacy, but OK, I get it. It was $10. That’s a bit high, but you know what? If intimacy in Vegas is an unplanned surprise and you’re caught without this equipment, I think $10 is a fine price to avoid unwanted diseases or pregnancy. Anyway, I don’t want to buy this item, and I put it back in the mini bar.

Cut to checkout, and my bill has a "refreshment" charge for $10. I ring the front desk. She asks if I took anything from the mini bar. No. She asks me if I took the intimacy kit. I said I took it out to look at it, but I put it back!!! "Hold on, I’ll check if you put it back." Well, there was no knock at the door, so it was news to me that the mini bar has SENSORS. She gets back on the phone, says yes I put it back, and takes the $10 off my bill.

I had no idea they were using sensors that reported in the moment for the mini bar stuff. Makes sense, and is interesting. One of the hotel staffers told me that sometimes, people will take out say a beer and replace it with a can of soda. The sensors think you put it back, but when you check out, the hotel totally checks the mini bar. So crime doesn’t pay, and you WILL be caught and charged for that beer. Plus you then wasted money on the can of soda, which knowing Vegas was $1.50. :)

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Categories: Just An Observation

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