IQ News: Think Sees Mirage – Shop to Build Hotel Sites

Think New Ideas has landed a million-dollar-plus assignment from Mirage Resorts to create multimedia Web sites for its hotel properties.
The shop’s Los Angeles office will design broadband and low-bandwidth sites for Las Vegas’ Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island and Golden Nugget resorts, as well as the new Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss. A corporate site is also planned, as are online and print efforts that Think will also create, said Think vice president, account director Jonathan Anastas. The current site was created in-house.
Think will aim to recreate the over-the-top experience of the actual properties, such as the Bellagio, which has an exploding volcano and whose interior is an actual art gallery. “We’re not a regular hotel chain,” said P.K. Fields, director of Internet marketing and content development for developer Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts, Las Vegas. “We are not the Hilton. We are not the Hyatt. People are coming for an experience.”
More than 100 360-degree images of the hotels will be used across the various sites, each using IPIX technology provided by i-realm, Seattle. Sites will have an original music score created by Santa Monica’s Media Revolution, a company founded by composer Hans Zimmer. The Beau Rivage site launches this summer; the other sites will follow later.
Sites will feature an online reservation option and an e-commerce area selling hotel merchandise. Browser and plug-in sniffers, which determine what kind of technology the user has, will decide which version they see. Anastas calls the sites “intermercials,” where the user has an experience similar to TV.
Separately, the number of suitors interested in buying Think continues to grow. As of press time, sources said Think had also talked to two back-end companies: i-Cube, Cambridge, Mass., and AnswerThink Consulting Group, Miami. Offers were said to be in the low- to mid-20s per share. Executives from both firms declined comment. Sources said Think has also talked to fellow interactive shops, including Modem Media.Poppe Tyson and Razorfish. Executives at Think could not be reached. ƒ