James Lingle of Highlands Ranch, Colo., a consultant to hotel companies and guest-room entertainment service providers like LodgeNet’s competitor iBahn, observed: “If you look back, typically the first thing a guest would do when they walked into the door of a hotel room would be to turn on the TV. Now people bring their entertainment with them, tablet-based devices like an iPad, accounts and memberships like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, and they want to be able to use them.” LodgeNet’s decline directly reflects these changes. According to its bankruptcy filing, the number of hotel rooms it served globally dropped to 1.5 million in 2011 from 2 million in 2009. It provided guest-room entertainment services to most major hotel chains, usually by installing and maintaining free televisions and offering video-on-demand entertainment, for which it and the hotels received fees. LodgeNet’s sales in 2011 were $421.3 million, a 21 percent drop from a high of $533.9 million in 2008. The revamped LodgeNet faces strong competition from companies including Swisscom Hospitality Services, based in Geneva; iBahn, based in Salt Lake City; Guest-Tek, of Calgary, Alberta; and Roomlinx, based in Broomfield, Colo. All are developing systems that let travelers consume entertainment the way Markidan does — via the Internet, frequently through subscriptions they already have and use at home, either through Wi-Fi or a direct cable connection between their laptop or tablet and the guest-room television set. Get the full story at The Seattle Times