Concierge Connects is off to a modest beginning in Cape Cod, where like many places, hotels are still handing out lots of brochures to guests. These iPads and websites should inject a little life into looking for things to do around the Cape.
Mike Tarantino dreams of a day in which paper tourism brochures are long gone.
Instead, he hopes the information will be entirely online for customers.
Tarantino, who owns Dennis Parasail & Jet Ski in East Dennis, Massachusetts, found a way recently to reduce the paper. He signed a contract with Concierge Connects, which sets up and provides iPads at area hotels with websites designed to give information on area restaurants, shopping options and other attractions. It also lists services such as post offices, dry cleaners and pharmacies.
Tarantino’s business will be featured on the websites. iPads are placed at area hotels, letting customers flick through the options on the screen.
“It’s about time some people got rid of the little scraps of paper that hang out at concierge desks,” Tarantino said.
Concierge Connects started three years ago, said Len Carmichael, a partner in the business. It first focused on hotels in Rhode Island and then started adding Cape locations in the fall of 2011.
Carmichael declined to say how many resorts on the Cape have the iPad devices with his websites, but said some of the establishments include Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, the Red Jacket Resort in South Yarmouth and Dan’l Webster Inn in Sandwich.
Twenty-nine bed and breakfasts, motels and other lodgings have informational business cards with the company’s Cape-based website, ourguidetocapecodonline.com. The business also has a presence in the Boston area.
It also provides informational cards at Boston hotels and other areas regarding Cape attractions. The business, which he co-owns, is developing sites for Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Carmichael said.
The website includes links to the websites of the various companies and other entities featured on his website, Carmichael said.
Tarantino said the link to his company’s website lets customers get more information than what’s available on brochures.
Carmichael, who lives in Natick but also has a home in Eastham, previously created print guides for hotels with similar information.
But he made the switch three years ago and started working on his current business.
“I just saw the trend going forward with so many people using the Internet,” he said. “It just seemed like a natural trend to do this.”
The company lists the attractions by towns and can do some adjustments to the website depending on the hotel location, he said. But next year, it hopes to organize the websites by region in the Cape.
He also wants to make it possible for people to print information at the kiosks so they can take it on their travels.
Many hotels now using the service give guests cards with their room keys that list the website and QR codes, so they can scan it onto their smartphones.
Kathi Rogers , the chef concierge at Chatham Bars Inn, said the hotel started using the service this spring. It took a while for staff to adapt, Rogers said, but the customers took to it right away. The hotel still hands out pamphlets, but Rogers recently got rid of the paper guides to area restaurants.
The new system makes it easier for her and rest of the concierge staff to provide more up-to-date information on area restaurants, she said.
“The books are gone,” she said. “I don’t miss them a bit.” ___
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Photo Credit: Wellfleet Harbor sits at the tail end of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Jennifer Day/ / Chicago Tribune/MCT
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