Thursday, June 19, 2008

MGR Professional Selects AV Components From The Harman Pro Group To Optimize Atmospherics At Great Wolf Lodge In Washington State

LAS VEGAS, Nevada– MGR Professional Integrators recently completed a comprehensive audio and video installation at Grand Mound, the newest Great Wolf Lodge® in Washington State, using audio components from Harman Pro Group companies JBL Professional, dbx, BSS Audio and Crown Audio. Located midway between Seattle and Portland, is the latest venue to be opened by Great Wolf Resorts, Inc®. GWR owns and/or operates a total of 11 resorts around the country that feature indoor water parks and other family-oriented activities. “We provide a full-service entertainment resort experience to our target customer base: families with children ranging in ages from two to 14 years old that live within a convenient driving distance from our resort,” offers Derrek Kinzel, Grand Mound’s general manager.

As with the majority of Great Wolf Resorts, Grand Mound’s designers turned to MGR Professional for a fully-programmable music-playback system for the multi-environment location. “We provide background music in all of the hotel’s public areas, gift shops and restaurants,” Kinzel explains, conceding that high-quality music helps maintain a relaxing environment at each Great Wolf Lodge. “Within the lobby, for example, we offer Top 20 music that is hip and upbeat for the parents. But for the corridors leading to the self-contained Conference Center we program jazz and more formal offerings. And within the Cub Club™ and Scoops® Kids Spa we offer music appropriate for our younger guests. For the Elements Spa™, the resort likes to provide atmospheric music.”

Within the hotel, MGR specified several hundred JBL Control® Contractor Series ceiling-mounted and enclosed loudspeakers powered via a 70V line-distribution system from a rack of Crown CTs Series amplifiers. “Using a trio of dbx ZonePRO Model 1260 controllers, we programmed a total of 14 music-playback zones,” Kalisek recalls. A total of 12 dbx Professional ZC-8 Remotes – eight in the main audio rack, plus one each in the two restaurants, a retail store and Cub’s Club - are used throughout the hotel. Music is sourced from a combination of CD players and a number of XM Satellite Radio channels.

Within the outdoor areas, MGR specified a number of Crown-powered JBL Control 29AV surface mount loudspeakers. “The Control 29AV is designed for indoor or outdoor use,” Kalisek points out. “The speaker’s rear-loaded woofer reduces direct exposure to the elements, while the grille is coated in polyethylene with foam backing to minimize the incursion of water close to the Bear Track Landing indoor water park and swimming pools.”

In addition to the resort-wide background-music system, MGR designed a number of activity-specific audio systems, including the GR-8 Space™ tech center that hosts Internet stations, karaoke staging, plus movie and music entertainment. “Here we specified four JBL Marquis MC28 full-range loudspeakers and a pair of SRX718S Subwoofers powered directly by Crown XLS Series amplifiers” Kalisek says. A single dbx ZonePRO Model 260 handles system EQ and loudspeaker management. “The Center hosts a number of events, ranging from a DJ booth during the day to night-time parties, which might involve music videos and NASCAR sports playback, for example. We needed a flexible, easy-to-operate system – the ZonePRO is a perfect choice for that application.”

The Conference Center features a number of JBL Control 226CT, 25T and 24CT ceiling/surface-mount loudspeakers powered via a 70V network from a rack of seven CTs 1200 amplifiers; sources are selected via a pair of BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-80 processors and BLU-32 expanders using Crestron touch screens and controllers. According to Dan Gilliam, MGR Professional’s systems designer, “We supplied 58 Control 226CT ceiling speakers for the main Chehalis Grand Ballroom, which can be split into six individual Salons; there are 45 Control 24CT ceiling speakers in the other conference rooms. The medium-size Northwest Territory Ballroom comprises three rooms – Salons A thru C - each of which features nine Control 24CT’s that can be combined. The smaller Fallen Timbers Ballroom comprises two Salons with six combinable Control 24CTs in each room. We also outfitted the pre-function hallway with 20 black Control 25T surface-mount speakers.”

“For meetings and seminars within the Center we offer a choice of two XM Satellite channels, in addition to a five-disc CD player, CD-R deck and a DVD Recorder,” explains Samson Tan, Grand Mound’s Director of Information Technology. “Everything was chosen to be extremely simple to use and controlled at the touch of button - we needed it to be foolproof in operation.”

“System reliability is absolutely essential for us,” Tan stresses. “Repairs are handled on a contract basis by MGR Professional – it is vitally important to us that all of the background music and playback systems remain functional 24/7 all-year round. We trusted Stan Kalisek and his staff when they selected Harman-brand components for this and other Great Wolf Lodge resorts.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the sound quality and reliability of the sound systems,” Kinzel concludes.

The new 8-story, 442,000 square-foot resort is co-owned by The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and Great Wolf Lodge. It provides a consistent and comfortable north woods-themed environment throughout the year where guests can enjoy various amenities and activities. The 39-acre development, which includes a large 398-room hotel, indoor water park attractions and a 30,000 square-foot Conference Center, cost a reported $100 million.

Great Wolf Resorts owns - or has an ownership interest in - and operates nine existing Great Wolf Lodge resorts, and one Blue Harbor Resort, a nautical-themed property. It is also the licensor and manager of an additional Great Wolf Lodge resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, that is owned and under development by an affiliate of Ripley Entertainment, Inc. Other Lodge locations include Kansas City, KS, Mason, OH, Pocono Mountains, PA, Sandusky, OH, Traverse City, MI, Williamsburg, VA, Wisconsin Dells, WI, Grapevine, TX, and Concord, NC (currently under construction).

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