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Hospitality Integrator of the Year: Kelley Technologies
The secret to Kelley Technologies’ spectacular larger-than-life hotel and casino projects is its air-tight operations.

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“We have our reputation because we’re able to meet budgets, time frames, and at the end of the day our products work and work well.” – Bob Schiffman, senior VP, design
December 05, 2012 | by CI Staff

Commercial Integrator readers saw a lot of Kelley Technologies references in the past year, mostly in the context of, “Look at how spectacular and glitzy these casino projects are!”

Our gushing coverage, however, doesn’t do the venerable Las Vegas-based firm justice for being a tried-and-true hospitality integrator with processes and approaches honed specifically for that vertical market.

“We started doing broadcast TV for the casino industry, uplinking TV events from a broadcast standpoint, and grew into a company that really focused on technology,” says owner Mike Kelley, whose company can be thanked by plenty of casinos and their patrons for making it possible to view video feeds of big prize fights or daily horse races, for example, before it was commonplace. “We’ve worked on casinos built in the Caribbean, literally every casino in Atlantic City, we’ve done riverboat casinos, Native American gaming … we’re always there when some new area of gaming jumps up. Today we’re really fortunate in being one of the larger A/V tech companies.”

Related: Integrator Masters Art of Design

In a city whose game is about one-upmanship in size, style and substance, gaming casinos have found that it’s good to have Kelley Technologies on their side.

Hotel, Casino Processes

Even the aforementioned glitzy solutions are the result of tight operations. Whether it’s working primarily with the property owner, architect, design firm, specifying consultant or other contractors, Kelley Technologies makes sure to get its hands dirty on a project at the early stages, for both creative and practical reasons.

Not only can the input help the client and other trades understand what’s possible between the technology and design - which can lead to stunning results such as at the Cosmopolitan and elsewhere - but it can ensure that the A/V controls are highly operational for everyone who will be using them, which at a big resort hotel can encompass a wide range of skill levels.

Photos: Kelley Technologies’ Installs

“We’ve got such a diverse set of designers, guys who have worked on every showroom in Las Vegas and many other hospitality projects and also amusement parks throughout the country,” says Bob Schiff man, senior VP – design. “We work hand-in-hand with the architects and very early in process our guys get involved. In some cases our engineers might be saying to a design team, ‘Maybe you should consider this type of technology’ and off er something; and in other cases architects having a vision for something and coming to us and saying, ‘Can you do that? Can you make that real?’ And that’s kind of how the Cosmopolitan pillars came about.”

Adds Nevin Edwards, director of projects: “When it comes to design, it’s about being able to guide a client in the right direction and assisting them with making decisions. Like whether a lamp is next to the bed or what kind of paint is on the walls can determine how the lighting for a guest room is going to be - you can’t just go in there and say, ‘What do you want?’ They’re going to be completely lost … and then as an integrator you’re going to get hurt later if you don’t do something, because they’ll say, ‘Well, you never told me you could do that.’”

Early involvement also allows Kelley Technologies’ strength in its engineers to thrive. It’s all part of what Kelley Technologies prides itself in, being a large-scale, truly design-build integrator. Such all-encompassing gaming hospitality clients (Kelley earns 85 percent of its revenues from the hospitality market) could turn to multiple integrators for different aspects of the job, but Kelley Technologies has earned its keep of 30-plus years to become more of an all-in-one proposition.

“Vegas casinos are always among the largest hotels in the world. Integration means a lot of things to a lot of people, but in a big facility it’s a lot different than just putting A/V, and voice or data together,” says Kelley. “Our reputation is built around large projects and we’re critically involved in making decisions.”

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