What seems like magic is the result of brain power and shoe leather. With a tap of the finger tip, the Cripple Creek mobile app yields instant information in response to the user’s query.
Casinos, restaurants, lodging, shopping, shuttles and parking, the app reveals all about each category.
Instead of asking for directions, the app zeroes in on the exact location in Cripple Creek.
The technology wizards who designed the app are John Applegate and Bill Rentfrow, shift manager and slot technician, respectively, at Century Casino.
“Bill took all the photos and gathered the data and I created the back end,” Applegate said. “We list everything about the business; if there’s a web page, email or social media, we’ll include that at no extra charge.”
The app is available only through the iPhone and most of the information is available offline. “Most people have some kind of connectivity these days, but if you don’t, the offline feature beats a lot of apps right there,” Rentfrow said.
The Cripple Creek Mobile App is reliable. “Our app is bullet-proof, does not crash at all,” Applegate said.
The app is user-friendly. “With the little buttons on the side you can email; you don’t leave the app except for phone calls,” Rentfrow said.
Because of the human connection, the information is 99 percent accurate, Applegate said. “We go out and actually find the gold,” Rentfrow said. “If you data mine, you get a lot of inaccurate information, pulled in from the Internet, or some other source.”
As the go-to guy, Rentfrow pounds the pavement to ensure the app’s information is correct, that a restaurant remains open or a casino is still in the chips. “I keep in constant contact; believe me, if there’s something wrong, somebody’s going to bust our chops,” he said.
With Rentfrow’s input and photos, Applegate writes the text as well as the 100,000 lines of code for the app, which offers bonuses such as up-to-the-minute road and weather reports.
“There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there, but these guys have put capabilities in a travel app that you aren’t going to find in some other cities,” said Mike Perini, founder of Perini and Associates public-relations firm. “There are even things for kids to do.”
Applegate started his program training early, on the Commodore 64 computer, when he was 14. “That was way back,” Rentfrow said. “All he wanted to know was how that thing worked.”
Doing business as Osage Apps, Applegate and Rentfrow are on a roll. Last month, they launched mobile apps for Central City and Black Hawk. “We own the platform and can design an app for any town, any business, organization or hospital, for instance,” Rentfrow said. “The hardest thing is the data – if you’ve got the data, we can put together an app pretty darn fast.”
Despite its remote location, Cripple Creek has been thrust into the 21st century, as a result of ingenuity and foresight. “The world’s going mobile, faster than we even have any idea,” Rentfrow said. “You can’t stop it, can’t do anything about it except join it.”
The mobile app costs $1.99 and is available online at the App Store.