Stratosphere bookings up 40 percent with new technology

The Stratosphere is the first to use Travel Tripper’s new booking engine, RezTrip Direct.

The Web-based central reservation system and hotel technology provider created RezTrip Direct in an effort to successfully use features from online travel agencies for consumers who are looking for the best available room rate.

Gautam Lulla, president of Travel Tripper, said hotels can integrate RezTrip Direct into their websites to manage and collect reservations.

“€œIt differs from other booking engines in that it has an easy and intuitive design, conversion-driven features, and a simplified booking process,”€ he said.

Lulla added that Travel Tripper has always been on the hunt to create a better booking engine.

“€œDirect bookings are the most profitable for hotels, so it’s important that hotels capture as many direct bookings as possible instead of losing them to online travel agencies, which take a significant commission,” he said.

RezTrip Direct is specifically targeted to superlarge hotels such as the Stratosphere, which need to fill rooms quickly and efficiently, according to Lulla.

“We see RezTrip Direct working well for a lot of other Las Vegas-based hotels, which tend to have a large amount of inventory (rooms) that they need to fill each night,” he said.

This booking engine was designed as part of a new partnership with American Casino & Entertainment Properties.

“Since launching with RezTrip Direct, Stratosphere hotel has seen its direct booking revenue increase by 40 percent, which was the most important metric we wanted to improve,” Brian Christensen, corporate vice president for Revenue Management & Distribution at American Casino, said in a statement. “We are very excited with the initial results and look forward to continuing our relationship with Travel Tripper.”

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Raster opens in Chicago

Las Vegas software development and mobile innovation firm Raster has expanded to Chicago.

Raster, which specializes in mobile application development and smart-tech products, hopes to bring innovative development solutions to Chicago’s tech community.

Raster opened in Las Vegas in 2003.

The company hired Shannon Helfrich to serve as vice president of strategic innovation at its Chicago operation.

“€œChicago has a vibrant business and entrepreneurial community and is an ideal location for Raster to contribute to the continued growth of tech in the area,”€ Raster CEO and founder Michael Smith said in a statement. “€œChicago has a rich history of innovation and as an innovation-focused company; there are strong alignments with our business. We couldn’t be more excited to build a home in Chicago.”

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Business loans up

Loans to small-business owners are picking up in the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas, with businesses in Nevada’s rural regions well-represented, according to Nevada State Development Corp. officials.

“The number of loans funded, the number of loans approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the amount of the loans this fiscal year have all been cause for optimism about the state’€™s economy,”€ Nevada State Development Corp. President Debra Alexandre said in a statement. “Small-business owners are borrowing for a wide array of reasons, including equipment purchases, build-to-suit projects, office takeovers and staff expansions. Small business drives economic growth in Nevada, and we are extremely pleased with the strong pace of loan activity this fiscal year.”€

Nevada State Development Corp. was honored at the 2015 SBA awards, earning the platinum lender award for CDC loan production and the gold lender award for CDC dollar volume.

The nonprofit company is the largest SBA 504 loan provider in Nevada, with offices in Las Vegas and Reno.

According to its latest figures, so far this fiscal year the company has funded 22 loans for $9.7 million, with a total of 23 loans approved by the SBA for $17.86 million.

In 2014, there were 46 loans approved by the SBA for a total of $17.59 million.

For more information about Nevada State Development Corp., visit


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