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Camelback Resort Guests Stay, Swim & Shop Easily with SALTO Access Control

Thursday 21 March 2019

Located in Tannersville, Pennsylvania – in the heart of the Pocono Mountains – the Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is a popular year-round entertainment and ski destination. Voted as USA Today’s number one indoor waterpark in the United States and one of the best family resorts in the Poconos, the eight-story Camelback Lodge features 453 guest suites that include lofts, kitchens, and fireplaces. Camelback serves more than 1.6 million outdoor enthusiasts annually.


For nearly 60 years, Camelback resort has served visitors year-round with a variety of activities including skiing, water activities, and amusement rides. In 2015, Camelback built an eight-story, 453-room lodge and indoor water park. This was the first hotel property for Camelback, and they were determined to offer the latest in access control, said Camelback Resort and Lodge Vice President of Information Technology Ray Palumbo.

As they were evaluating potential access control providers, Palumbo said they sought an electronic access control solution that would provide guests convenient and hassle-free room access as well as the ability to charge meals and other services to their room. Since the property includes an indoor waterpark, they needed a wearable, waterproof device that guests could have on them at all times. 


Palumbo and his team chose to install SALTO XS4 escutcheon electronic locks on all guest rooms and in back of house operations areas. They manage the system via the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN). 

SVN allows stand-alone locks to read, receive, and write information via an encrypted and secure data-on-card system that utilizes the capabilities of RFID read/write technology. With SVN, all access data is stored on and distributed by its operating credential – in this case a wearable RFID wristband. When guests present the wristband to an offline stand-alone door, not only does 

this control access rights to that door but, thanks to two-way communication, the door writes data like blacklist information or battery status back to the RFID device. The device then transmits this information back to the server via online wall readers that are able to update and receive information anytime and anywhere in the building.

The SALTO wristband allows guests to open their room door, gain entry into the waterpark, and charge the rental fee of any of the electronic lockers – where they keep valuables while they enjoy the waterpark – to their room. Guests can also use their wristbands to charge food, retail merchandise or services, or items at any Point of Sale (POS) on the property.

“The SALTO solution – the wearable access credential in particular – has provided great convenience for our guests because they don’t have to worry about losing their room key or carrying a credit card on them since everything can be managed with their wristband,” said Palumbo. “It really improves the guest experience when they can just focus on having fun.”

Prior to opening the hotel, the Camelback Resort had not used an electronic access control solution. After researching several companies, SALTO seemed to be the best fit, said Palumbo.

“In addition to helping provide a great guest experience, it’s really helped with operations,” he said. “It’s allowed us to deal with employee turnover in a much better way than issuing new keys or rekeying a door lock. It also gives us trackability in front of house with guest doors as well as in back of house operations.”

Palumbo said the electronic access control solution’s ability to provide audits has helped with Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, which mandates a high level of protection for computer rooms and areas that contain sensitive credit card data. 

“To be PCI compliant, you must be able to show who was in what room at what time when dealing with data servers and network connections, and the SALTO solution has allowed us to be compliant,” he said.

What’s Ahead? 

Palumbo said they also plan to incorporate SALTO GEO electronic padlocks on food and liquor cabinets to implement a system of accountability and reporting. 

“We have regular padlocks on our food and liquor cages now, and while that’s providing a level of protection for these assets, it would add another layer of security to be able to run audit reports to know who accesses the cabinet and at when. Also, it eliminates the worry about lost keys and anyone gaining unauthorized access.”

Palumbo said that SALTO electronic locks and access control solutions are also in use in their newest property, The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark located in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The 324-room hotel is another adventure-themed resort offering family entertainment.

“We have been pleased with SALTO’s electronic access control products,” said Palumbo. “The way they work with our property management and point of sale systems, the durability, the service – the SALTO platform is something you can build on as your hotel grows and that’s exactly what we are doing.”