City of Unalaska, AK

Parks and Recreation Solution Can Also be Used for After-School Programmes and Employee IDs

An Alaskan city uses Zebra card printers and supplies to provide its residents with passes to the city's recreational and community centres.

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The Story


Unalaska, the 11th largest city in Alaska, is a bustling community of just over 4,000 residents, located along the Aleutian Chain, approximately 800 miles southwest of Anchorage. Commercial fishing and crabbing is a major industry. Dutch Harbor, the official name of the city's port and often featured on the Discovery Channel TV show "Deadliest Catch," is often applied to the portion of the City of Unalaska located on Amaknak Island, which is connected by bridge to the rest of the city on Unalaska Island.

Due to seasonal work, the city has a transient population that uses their facilities. Therefore, passes to their community and aquatic centres must carry differing lengths, from one month to one year.

When Frank Ambrose wanted his department to undergo an upgrade of their RecTrac software, created by Vermont Systems specifically for Parks and Recreation departments and used to manage payments, schedule, register and document image, the purchase of a card printer was a part of the improvement.

"We wanted to print our own passes," Ambrose acknowledges. "We simply wanted a more efficient way to track patrons of our community and aquatic centres."


ID Edge (ID Edge, Louisville, Colorado), maintains and supplies the software and the Zebra P330i card printer. The best-selling card printer on the market, the P330i, a single-sided, full-colour plastic card printer/encoder, prints sharp, readable barcodes, ID photos, graphics and text, edge-to-edge, in just seconds. It features Zebra's revolutionary i-Series functionality, which simplifies card printing via automatic driver configuration, intelligent colour optimization and a special RFID system for ribbon image counter and ribbon low notification.

With this printer, Ambrose's department prints a barcode on the bottom of each card, which is read by a dual-purpose credit card reader. Cards are printed at the entrance to the community centre by any one of the four employees located there or two employees who work upstairs. The department uses a Logitech camera to photograph patrons.

The printer expedites our processes, is easy to use and is in-line with what is used at other health clubs and similar facilities. It is speedy, user-friendly and compact.

Frank Ambrose,
Employee of Unalaska, AL Park District


"The printer has accomplished everything we've wanted," reports Ambrose. "Everything is tied into the card with a picture of the patron. The printer expedites our processes, is easy to use and is in-line with what is used at other health clubs and similar facilities. It is speedy, user-friendly and compact.

"Currently, we are only printing on one side of the card but we have the capability to print on both sides," Ambrose adds. "We're considering producing a Youth ID for after-school programmes. By printing on both sides, we could include more information, such as a photo ID, birth date and contact information. We are also looking at networking the printer so that people in other departments could also print cards directly from their own desks. In addition, we are considering using cards for employee IDs and access control. "We feel we have the right card printer to do all these new applications."

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