With two large ballroom spaces configurable with air walls into 230 possible layout combinations, lighting supplier Barbizon chose a Jands Vista control solution for the MGM Grand portion of the Foxwoods casino resort — one that would let the staff control the lighting using a pen tablet's graphic user interface for smaller-scale events. A console is still used to control lighting for performances at larger functions.
“The Vista is powerful, and the right solution for this environment,” said Scott Stipetic, system integrator for Boston-based Barbizon, noting the user-friendly features of the pen tablet graphics for the different room configurations. “I knew that being able to see each room layout’s lighting plot visually, combined with a timeline, would make it so much easier for the staff to operate the lighting fixtures than on a traditional console.”
The Vista provides a flexible lighting control system that can handle the variety of ballroom layouts. Control of each room’s lighting is represented graphically on the pen tablet screens. If an air wall is moved, the Vista simply updates the lighting and the control screens of the newly adjoined rooms, so the operator can always see what they are controlling.
“The Vista’s user interface also makes it quick to manipulate cue structures, saving valuable room setup time,” Stipetic added.
Tom Roach, Foxwoods Entertainment’s lighting supervisor, worked closely with Stipetic and Barbizon to supply, install and integrate the architectural and entertainment lighting systems for the MGM Grand’s Premier and Celebrity ballrooms. Each is equipped with nearly 300 channels of ETC dimming and a variety of light fixtures, including Robe 700 spot and wash moving lights.
“I was also confident that the support would be there from Jands and A.C. Lighting, should it be needed, when installing such a technically complex product application,” Stipetic said.
“After Foxwoods saw the Vista demo they were adamant it had to be Jands Vista for this particular lighting control application.”
Lighting for each of the 15 smaller room zones is controlled by a dedicated Vista PC, which is operated via VNC on a pen tablet screen from within the rooms. The casino also purchased two full size Vista T4 consoles and four Vista S3 playback control surfaces to operate conference or performance events taking place in the larger room configurations.
All Vista products were supplied to Barbizon from A.C. Lighting, the North American distributor for the Vista range. The Vista lighting control system and all associated equipment was installed by Jason Hoots, Andy Aldous, Tracey Costa and Mike Goudzwaard in Barbizon’s technical services team.
“The Vista allows us to offer a top of the line lighting system to our clients without all the costs associated with trucking, rigging, flying truss, hanging fixtures, programming, running the event and strike and restore of the room. The banquet staff is able to turn on and operate the moving lights, which helps reduce the turn around time between events - meaning more revenue for the company. The Vista is the top notch lighting control system we were looking for.”
The MGM Grand is part of the overall Foxwoods resort, the biggest casino complex in the world, with more than 40,000 guest visits each day. The Premier Ballroom at the MGM Grand is also the largest such ballroom in the Northeast, measuring up to 50,000 column-free square feet. Like the smaller Celebrity Ballroom, the spaces are equipped with moveable air walls that let the staff create smaller rooms for banquets and other functions and gatherings.