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Great Wolf Opts for RFID-enabled Wristbands at Its Newest Waterpark

Thanks to the devices, payment and room access at the Colorado Springs resort are as simple as a flick of the wrist.
By Nathaniel Prince
Mar 29, 2017

The new Colorado Springs, Colo. property of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. (GWRI) is the latest to employ wristbands made by PDC, which were specially designed for use at water parks. The 79,000-square-foot water park opened for business at the end of January 2017, featuring 13 water slides, a four-story "tree house water fort," and numerous other attractions and amenities.

GWRI, a chain of water parks based in Madison, Ill., operates 13 other Great Wolf resorts across North America. Colorado Springs is the eleventh branch of the chain to adopt PDC's RFID-enabled wristbands, according to Jennifer Scinto, PDC's marketing communications assistant. "PDC has had a partnership with Great Wolf since 2005," she says.

A waterslide at Great Wolf Resorts
Every guest at the resort is issued a PDC Smart Superband 470 waterproof plastic wristband upon checking in. Each band contains a securely sealed chip programmed with an alphanumeric code. Access or purchase authority is assigned to the code; this information is then transferred whenever a reader interrogates the chip. The code is unique and becomes void once the guest leaves, thereby eliminating the possibility of duplication.

The PDC Smart Superband 470 contains a 13.56 MHz passive RFID inlay made with a variety of chips. Options include Texas Instruments' Tag-it HF-I and NXP Semiconductors' ICODE SLIX, which comply with the ISO 15693-3 standard, as well as NXP's Mifare Ultralight, Mifare 1K, Mifare Mini and Mifare Ultralight C, which comply with ISO 14443A.

Great Wolf's RFID-enabled wristbands
The new Great Wolf lodge makes use of RFIDeas' PC Prox readers. Fifty of these units are installed throughout the property, situated in locations like the front desk, restaurants and retail point-of-sale terminals, allowing guests to easily purchase food, gifts, spa treatments and more.

The wristband not only enables quick, cashless transactions, but also has extra benefits when compared with a traditional magnetic card, according to PDC. Dirt and debris can collect on cards and affect their performance, which the company says is not an issue with wristbands. In addition, the bracelet can be securely fastened around the wrist, making it less likely than a card to be lost or misplaced.

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