Grapevine: Keycards give way to smartphones at Aloft hotel in North Charleston

The Aloft Charleston Airport hotel near Tanger Outlet in North Charleston is offering a smartphone-based keyless technology.

A smartphone is a room key — at least at one local lodging.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is now offering customers keyless entry to its Aloft Charleston Airport-branded hotel in North Charleston, calling it the only lodging in South Carolina with the new technology. Guests, using the SPG Keyless app, can bypass the front desk and use a smartphone to check in and access their rooms.

It’s available at Aloft, Element and W hotels around the world.

SPG Keyless is the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system, according to Starwood.

Here’s how it works: Members of SPG, or the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, must register their phone once through the SPG app and allow push notifications. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel and about 24 hours before arrival, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless.

Guests will receive a push notification that they are checked in and the SPG app will update with a room number and Bluetooth key when the room is ready. After ensuring Bluetooth is enabled, the user opens the SPG app, holds the smartphone to the door lock, waits for the green light and enters the room.

Operating a small business can be daunting sometimes. To help business owners navigate regulatory compliance issues, the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce will host U.S. Small Business Administration national ombudsman Brian Castro 10-10:50 a.m. April 23 during a regulatory enforcement roundtable at the North Charleston Business Expo at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston. To attend, RSVP to

Green-shade types were a busy bunch last week, but some found time on tax day to launch a new trade group.

The local chapter of the CFO Council was launched April 15, organizers said.

“This is an excellent opportunity to provide unique educational and networking experiences for senior financial executives in Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, and surrounding areas,” said Robert Bendetti, president of the new organization and CFO at Life Cycle Engineering.

The group’s purpose is to provide an educational forum for chief financial officers, controllers, treasurers and other senior-level money handlers to share best practices, discuss current issues and learn about topics related to their job performances. Meetings are held at the Crowne Plaza in North Charleston on the third Wednesday of the month from 7-8:30 a.m. Go to for details. The council’s Twitter handle is @chsCFO.

Boeing South Carolina just missed its chance to claim a milestone Dreamliner.

Sign up for our new business newsletter

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.

The 300th Dreamliner rolled off the production line recently in Everett, Wash., according to the “All Things 787” website maintained by investment banker and Dreamliner analyst Uresh Sheth.

“Boeing started final assembly of this aircraft on March 6 and it took 33 days for it to go through final assembly,” Sheth said on the site. The 787-9 model is scheduled for delivery to Vietnam Airlines.

A North Charleston-built Dash 9 destined for United Airlines rolled off the S.C. assembly line the next day as No. 301.

Another brewery will open late this summer in Charleston. Principal owner Jamie Martin of Mount Pleasant plans to open Cooper River Brewing Co. at 2207 Mechanic St. on the upper peninsula, according to Phil Rose with Twin Rivers Capital.

The 7,400-square-foot business could open by August or September in a former warehouse space, Martin said. Partners in the venture are Dustin Pait, managing director, and Michael Gates, operations director. They plan to convert the space into a tasting room, taproom and brewery.