Complex POS System Integration for Vail Resort

With the requirement of integrating a complex POS system, Vail Resorts was looking for a multiport serial card that was reliable, versatile, and cost-effective. A local distributor was able to help Johnson identify the perfect solution—the RocketPort Octacable from Comtrol.

Owners and operators of Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge ski resorts have discovered that Comtrol’s RocketPort Octacable multiport card effectively handles the information moving to and from each peripheral device. At Vail Resorts, customers can now purchase retail items, lift tickets, and private lessons all at one point of sale (POS).

“Many types of output devices are required … we needed to attach ticket printers, receipt printers, guest displays, bar code scanners, and magnetic stripe readers to our Microsoft® Windows NT®  POS workstations,” said Wade Johnson, Systems Analyst for Vail Resorts. Their POS system is based on Microsoft’s Windows NT 4.0 Workstation and Microsoft’s SQL Server 6.5. “[Comtrol’s RocketPort] was easy to configure in Windows NT. Reliability is a real key component to our business … the RocketPort hasn’t failed us,” said Johnson.

“The RocketPort is installed in 400 computers across Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge ski resorts–providing rock-solid reliability.”
– Wade Johnson

Systems Analyst, Vail Resorts

After researching different options for a serial port controller card, including the top five brands, Johnson chose Comtrol’s RocketPort cards because of their reliability, price and speed. “The RocketPort is installed in 400 computers across Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckinridge ski resorts-providing rock-solid reliability,” he said.

Comtrol’s RocketPort serial cards revolutionize multiport connectivity. The RocketPort card is more powerful, reliable, cost-effective, and easier to use than any other serial controller cards available on the market today.

Because of the number of serial controller cards needed for Vail Resorts, cost was very important. Comtrol’s cards had the most impressive performance at the lowest cost of all options available. The RocketPort Octacable delivers up to 460 Kbps transmit-and-receive throughput across all ports simultaneously.

Although speed wasn’t initially a major consideration for Johnson, the resulting performance improvement was immediately noticed by the I/S department. The RocketPort offers Vail Resorts a cost-effective solution along with the high quality and processing speed essential to a complex POS system at a resort as large as Vail Resort’s.

” We installed the RocketPort cards and… and we haven’t even had to think about them again.”
– Wade Johnson

RocketPort’s performance capabilities make it ideal for peripheral control applications. RocketPort Octacable models sustain speeds of up to 460.8 Kbps on all ports—four times the throughput than most conventional serial controller cards—at a much lower price.

RocketPort family cards sustaining 921 Kbps simultaneously on all ports are also available.

RocketPort performance is driven by specially designed ASIC chips that optimize I/O functionality. To maximize throughput at each port, RocketPort is the only controller that dedicates one 36 MHz processor to every eight ports for a consistent application of power. These ASICs replace virtually all major hardware components, including the processor, bus interface logic, and other miscellaneous logic. ASIC integration reduces the number of components by 80 percent, resulting in fewer chances for failure and increased reliability.

” “It often feels less risky to go with the name leader … but sometimes, instead of offering more reliability or performance, the name leader is just more expensive.”
– Wade Johnson

When asked what he would do if he had to go through the process again, Johnson remarked, “When beginning the initial decision process, it often feels less risky to go with a name leader … but that isn’t always the best decision and sometimes, instead of offering more reliability or performance, the name leader is just more expensive. Why spend the extra money for a name leader, when you can get better performance out of Comtrol products for less money? Comtrol’s support is great and the product reliability is exceptional. If I have another project where I need to buy 400 serial controller cards again, I would buy Comtrol RocketPort cards because of their reliability and ease of installation.”

Comtrol’s RocketPort card offers a world of opportunities for Vail Resort’s POS system. What could it do for your company?