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.’”
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.
“The casinos have a bigger budget to profile things that it wants to lure people into properties, so for 30 years we’ve really been like an R&D company for many casinos,” Kelley adds, noting that his company once became a dealer for an expensive General Electric projector that he’d learned about while working on a military A/V project. “That was the only high-end projector truly on the market at that time, and it was strictly for military use. We bought it and put it in at Caesar’s.”
‘Smarts and Parts’
Really, the only thing Kelley Technologies doesn’t do is the physical installation of the TVs and speakers, etc., which it leaves to union laborers on most big jobs. They’re the ones hired by the general contractor, for example, to pull the wire and perform terminations and such, because Kelley is not a union shop. It’s also not a “change-order company,” stresses Schiff man, who says one of the ways Kelley Technologies has earned its reputation is by delivering bids that will meet their budget number, rather than have holes to fill or later end up swapping out brands through change orders that could end up causing project delays.
The strict design-build nature of the company boils down to “smarts and parts,” as what Kelley Technologies specializes in, Schiff man says. “You define your scope of work so everyone knows what’s in it,” he says. “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.”
On the “parts” side, the company has a 27,000-square-foot warehouse where it can store the products for its projects and fabricate the designs into assembly; that way the plans are assured of working post-installation. The Cosmopolitan pillars, for example, were mocked up and put together in the warehouse first. The company uses the facility for all of its rack building, testing, tweaking, tuning, programming, etc. “We buy all the parts, bring them here and assemble them, connect it all and make it work,” says Schiff man. p>
If it seems like clockwork, it’s probably because it has to be. Vegas tends to have its grand openings in conjunction with specific events or holidays (the Cosmopolitan opened December 15, 2010), so time frames and schedules are tight and aggressive. The low-voltage work might be among the last details installed during construction, but often Kelley Technologies is at the forefront when pushing a project along.