Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Deploys Scala Digital Signage Network during Extensive Renovation Project
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, (not to be confused with the Hard Rock café chain) is a boutique – resort casino geared to the tastes of music lovers — mostly rockers — of all ages. Currently, the Hard Rock is a mid-size complex on a 16.7 acre site with some 700 hotel rooms, a moderately sized casino floor, dining venues and a famous pool with its Sunday “Rehab” for the over-zealous Saturday night partiers. The Tahitian-style beach and swimming pool was selected by the Travel Channel as one of “The Top 10 Pools” in the world.
The hotel and casino wanted to replace an older system that transmitted video over RF…same as TV, with one that had more versatile software features, transporting video over Cat5 for better resolution and the capability to develop dynamic content. The hotel and casino is also in a renovation mode ($750 million project) and so the system needed to be completely scalable and adaptable to any of the following: split screens, crawl messages, insertion of video cameras from its world renowned pool area, insertion of META data and flexible scheduling. The requirements also stipulated the system was to be accessible via an Internet browser both from the office and remotely. However, the major objective was a strong desire to add to the entertainment experience of the customer and create an overall face-lift of product branding with the use of more exciting, easily updateable dynamic messaging.
To define the exact deployment requirements, a number of planning meetings between Core Technology Inc., a Scala Certified Partner in Las Vegas, All Systems Go, the hotel’s AV vendor, and the hotel’s marketing and IT teams ensued. During each of these meetings demonstrations and discussions about how Scala InfoChannel® product options, capabilities and pricing would meet the hotel’s requirements, both now and into the future. Like any well thought out digital signage network, the proposed deployment was completely customized to the current and future requirements of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Once the decision was made, several planning meetings with the Hotel’s IT and Facilities department managers ensued to discuss location of media players, data drops, server and player locations, Hall Research Technologies’ Cat5 video cable runs, and rack space. Together, timelines and milestone dates were developed for making the transition from the current system to the Scala InfoChannel network; the installation process was complicated since the property could not endure lengthy periods without video to its screens.
The initial deployment of 9 player channels and the InfoChannel Content Manager and Designer was phased in over a four-day period. After a few months of operation, two additional channels were installed.
The network was composed of Dell Optiplex 745 Media Players and Samsung 40” LCD screens running over a standard IP network. The media players and the content management server were preinstalled by Core Technology Inc. prior to installation making the on-site deployment of the entire network a plug and play operation, saving potential delays and confusion. To facilitate maintenance and monitoring, the system was setup with remote access using an Internet browser.
Overall, 11 media channels were deployed including: the two large outdoor Marquee LED boards, Rockstar Club (Loyalty card), The Joint (music venue), Front Desk, Sports Book, Retail, Body English (night club), the Cage, Box Office (show tickets), Elevator area and the In-room TV channel.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and their parent company, Morgans Hotel Group were quite pleased with the smoothness of the transition to Scala digital signage network and the performance of the Scala InfoChannel software. The visual image and imagery of the property has been materially enhanced. At this stage, the hotel has not taken full advantage of the network’s capability; however, as the casino progresses through its $750 million renovation plan, the network’s goals will be fulfilled.
“Working closely with our client to define the goals and requirements of the network, prior to any installation work, helped make the project go smoothly with very little down time,” says Jerry Werner, of Core Technology Inc. “We are quite pleased with the success of the new digital signage network here at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino,” says Philip Shalala, VP Marketing. “Paramount in the decision to deploy the Scala InfoChannel network was the confidence that the network would scale and meet the demands of our renovation plan and service the hotel for years to come.”