ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – The new Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City has raised the stakes for the area’s luxury hotels—it’s the tallest structure in the city and boasts a 150,000-square-foot casino, 13 restaurants, four nightclubs, 1,900 hotel rooms—and approximately 125 audio/video systems all installed within a 335-day project schedule throughout a sprawling 44-story facility, highlighted by HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers, along with BSS processing and Crown amplifiers.
“Our firm has successfully accomplished many large-scale projects but this one may be, by far, our largest project to date,” said Tom Knauss, Owner of KMK Technologies, LLC, an Independent Technical Service Provider with offices in south New Jersey and Chappaqua, New York. KMK worked closely with Revel’s prime AV contractor and HARMAN dealer for the project, Total Video Products. TVP is a Top 50 AV Systems Integrator located in Mickleton, New Jersey. Cerami & Associates of New York served as the systems design firm and overall technology consultant to the project architect and Revel ownership. “The project scope included a 25-room technology-rich conference center, approximately 28 meeting rooms, four nightclubs, multiple swimming pools and spas, 13 first-class restaurant venues, high-end hotel suites, an extensive broadcast tie-line system, facility-wide signage systems and background music systems throughout the massive resort property,” Knauss said.
The extensive scope of work was designed and implemented as four major subsystems. Back of House systems include employee dining rooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, an employee training center and a variety of employee support facilities providing presentation, audio conference, video conference and public address system capabilities. The Front of House systems encompassed the hotel lobbies, indoor pools, outdoor pools, a Sky Garden with magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, world-class spa facilities, an upscale shopping mall and other public spaces spread across several floors. Within the hotel tower and high roller suites, designed by Cerami & Associates, KMK and Total Video outfitted two 44th floor Presidential Suites with state-of-the-art entertainment systems.
KMK and Total Video also integrated audio/video systems for the variety of restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment venues throughout the property. Cerami & Associates was given design criteria to ensure commonality in the A/V systems between these different locations, to guarantee easy maintenance from space to space and similar operational subsets within the hotel. “The backbone of each system was the same—including the front of house and back of house, pools areas, roof deck and sky garden,” said Bruce Manning, CTS, Associate Principal of Cerami & Associates. “They are all discrete sub-systems existing within the single main system.”
The signature restaurants include Amada by Chef Jose Garces, the American Cut Steakhouse run by Iron Chef Marc Forgione, a Mediterranean restaurant known as Azure by Allegretti and Mussel Bar & Grille by Chef Robert Wiedmaier. Nighttime revelers can party in four entertainment venues including two that are decidedly out of the ordinary: HQ Nightclub which is spread out over two floors with a large open central dance floor and Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub, which features an unusual combination of impressive dance routines and a dynamic live band performing rock and roll cover songs carefully woven with the authentic multi-track recordings by the original artists. High-energy DJ entertainment can be found in and around the Royal Jelly venue and throughout the resort facility on any given evening.
The equipment inventory of HARMAN products is impressive, to say the least. The system features over 650 JBL Control 26CT, 251 Control 24CT and 108 Control 226C/T ceiling speakers, more than 150 other JBL loudspeakers and approximately 640 channels of Crown CTs Series amplifiers. Signal processing is accomplished by a decentralized array of BSS Soundweb digital audio networking components including 10 BLU-800, a dozen BLU-80 processors, six BLU-160 signal processors, two BLU-32 CobraNet I/O expanders and a variety of BLU-BIB and BLU-BOB2 break-out boxes and BLUCARD-IN and BLUCARD-OUT input and output cards. CobraNet signal distribution is accomplished over an extremely robust, owner-provided 10-gigabit network topology.
“The Revel project was conceived as more of a resort destination than a casino, and the goal was for everything, up to and including the AV systems, to be first-rate,” Knauss noted.
“From a product performance standpoint, a project of this size and the demands of such a rigorous schedule leaves little room for product failure,” Knauss added. “Out of box and early use failures or delivery problems can be devastating to the project schedule, client satisfaction and the integrator’s bottom line. In spite of the vast array of products deployed, no Crown, BSS or JBL products exhibited any level of failure during the system installation or since. Crown CTS amplifiers have provided reliable service on our projects for over 15 years and their performance on this impressive deployment further emphasizes their dependable track record. The BSS components worked perfectly and regarding JBL—there are more than 1,100 JBL speakers in this installation and not one has failed to date.”
“We have successfully accomplished a significant share of system projects across a variety of markets including performing arts, commercial AV, corporate facilities, houses of worship and entertainment facilities such as Revel and we have found BSS signal processing to a reliable, fundamentally sound processing solution for projects of the magnitude of Revel as well as our most basic system endeavors. The importance of that flexibility of scale cannot be understated,” Knauss continued. “On this project we had to interface the BSS processing systems within the hotel’s dedicated IT infrastructure. The owners were insistent regarding the need to maintain a single facility-wide IT network that would successfully integrate and deploy our extensive AV system requirements directly adjacent to and in harmony with, critical data systems serving a 2,000-room hotel, an expansive gaming floor and day-to-day administrative operations. The known difficulties of integrating the AV requirements associated with a system of this size on a multi-task network with such critical and demanding needs was a daunting task from the outset of the project, and directly contradictory to the intentions and recommendations of the project professionals. Our staff, TVP’s DSP designers and Revel’s network integration team, however, successfully accomplished this seemingly impossible task. The BSS products and limited but important factory support helped make this a seamless process.”
“Another major benefit of working with HARMAN products was the serviceability of the HARMAN brands,” Manning added. “Those companies stepped up tremendously and were available at a moment’s notice to provide whatever we needed.”
Cerami & Associates specified a variety of other JBL Control models for Revel’s lobbies, hallways, conference rooms and other areas, as the dispersion provided by the Control 47’s conical Radiation Boundary Integrator (RBI) waveguide made the speaker well-suited to high-ceiling areas. In addition, eight pairs of JBL LSR2328P powered studio monitors were installed in DJ booths throughout several of the first-class restaurants. Rather than typical fixed sources for background music, Cerami’s design included music “workstations” similar to a DJ booth where the venue operators could personally adjust the music programming for the venue throughout the day and evening.
In the end, the system designed by Cerami and installed by TVP/KMK has performed flawlessly. “We dealt with a significant volume of product and if there were any failures in the field and we had to replace any products, I’d know about it,” Knauss said. “With respect to the HARMAN products implemented on this project, that just didn’t happen.”