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How a New App Is Helping Hotels Fill Rooms A new mobile app helps the manager of an upstart New York City hotel fill empty rooms with travelers on the fly.

By Dan O'Shea

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Offering a peaceful oasis in the middle of a frenzied world is a hotelier's prime service objective, but the style, security and comfort that envelops guests as they walk through the door belies what hotels go through to meet their prime business objective: putting butts in beds.

That is especially true in New York City's Times Square, where throngs of hotels vie for the consumers rushing past their doors daily. Hotel operators like Jason Mancuso, general manager of Room Mate Grace, may not appear to be gnashing teeth over the challenge, but the pressure is there.

"We're a new hotel, and there's a lot of competition," he says. "So, anything we can do to fill empty rooms, even just for that night, is a benefit."

Mancuso, whose hotel is one of the first U.S. outposts of Madrid-based Room Mate Hotels, was looking for an edge--and found it--when information on a new iPhone app called HotelTonight crossed the desk of the hotel's revenue manager.

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