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Best Western having wild fun with augmented reality

By Brenda Rayburn, director of sales and marketing, at Best Western Kelowna.

There’s a moose in the hotel courtyard?

Yes, there’s a moose in Kelowna! Look at him as he turns his head and looks right at us. My daughter just jumped in the picture and CLICK! I’m sharing that one.

I’m guided along this adventure and there’s a creek with salmon jumping. I have to count as I “tap” on them; what a fun game.

Around the corner, I find a grizzly bear that’s been watching the salmon, that big guy is walking away. More wildlife, beautiful butterflies that we tap and count. Watch out for the bald eagles. I then come across an apple tree. I’ve always wanted to pick apples, one, two, three… wait a second, there’s the elusive Ogopogo, and he’s travelled through an underground stream from the lake.

I’m definitely taking a picture of him!

What is all this, you ask?

This is the BC Wildlife Adventure Quest. It’s the latest fun being had at the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites. Whether saying with us on business or leisure travel, guests recognize we are an Urban Resort with the indoor and outdoor amenities we offer.

I began to explore how we could enhance our guest’s Urban Resort experience. I wanted to provide a nice release from thinking about business, give a fun experience for guests staying with us on a leisure trip, or even for sports teams who stay with us that love to have something to do while staying at the hotel. Overall, I wanted to enhance each of our guests stay and was open to what that might look like.

As hoteliers, we market to attract new guests to our hotel and while hotels have Rewards programs and do little things for our regulars and surprise new visitors with the little touches, I felt we needed to invest in our guests who are already staying with us. Anyone how knows me knows I like to think out of the box and therefore began exploring. Technology brought my thoughts to an interactive game, however, beyond that I had no idea where to go with it. I knew I wanted to create iconic Kelowna relevance and then of course B.C. being the tourism destination it is and statistics showing our wildlife is a high priority for reasons to visit our province, I wished to broaden the game to include some of the wildlife of B.C.

Enter QuestUpon. When I met with founders Miles Marziani and Tammy Meyers, our imaginations went wild, quite literally. They had recently won a Most Innovative Entertainment Company award, and when I discovered the founder’s long history in mobile platform and game development, I knew I was in good hands. They work with a wide variety of market segments, from tourism stakeholders, cultural and heritage organizations, and brands.

In Kelowna, they’ve also partnered with the Kelowna Museums, creating the historical quest, Pigs on Bernard.

QuestUpon combines a series of missions for the user to complete. As one mission is completed, the next mission is unlocked, thereby taking the guest on a guided scavenger hunt. These missions are a combination of mini-games, trivia and dynamic experiences. Using Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, QuestUpon provides an extreme level of engagement and fascination, delivered into the palm of the guest’s hands, their smartphones.

It’s wild, and you don’t need to be a gamer to use it. Visit the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel and Suites soon to experience it for yourself.

Courtyard at Best Western Kelowna Hotel & Suites

Brenda Rayburn is director of sales and marketing at Best Western Kelowna.

Original article posted in The Daily Courier‘s, Kid Connection, Spring 2016.


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