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The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona is an oasis of relaxation and luxury in the heart of the American Southwest. The 250-acre resort complex lies at the base of Camelback Mountain, offering breathtaking vistas of the Valley of the Sun as the backdrop for non-stop activities or for just plain taking it easy. To the guest, it appears as if every detail is managed with great ease. However, it takes a staff of 1,800 people working around the clock to make sure the Phoenician and its many systems run efficiently.
A Mobil 5-Star resort, the Phoenician is constantly updating and improving its infrastructure with the latest technology. Light control, in particular, is crucial to keeping this resort running like clockwork. Lighting helps to set the mood and atmosphere in every area of the Phoenician. No matter where a guest is in the resort, lighting plays an important role in creating the feeling of luxury and serenity that is the hallmark of this desert oasis.
When the Phoenician first decided to update part of its existing lighting control system, the transition and planning proved to be an interesting challenge. The project's original plan included an update for only the main ballroom. However, this was not an easy task since the new installation could not be accomplished without shutting down the room. An upgrade to the system meant working on an extremely tight timeline and anticipating any problems that might occur beforehand to minimize installation time and time with the room out of service.
In the first phase, they wanted to upgrade the ballroom's existing lighting control system, a 15-year-old Orion lighting control system by Lutron with the GRAFIK 6000 system.
This required more than taking one system out and putting in a new one. Lutron engineers had to create a hybrid specific to the Phoenician that would link the old system with the new. While designing the specialized system, Lutron engineers and field service personnel worked side by side with Cooper to incorporate the particular lighting control requirements he requested and to ensure that the system would work perfectly for the Phoenician. "The new controls are very straightforward," said Cooper. "Our staff learned how to use them in a very short time."
Once again, Lutron engineers and field service personnel developed a solution that would retrofit the existing panels.
The Phoenician ballroom is a multi-functional room with the ability to be divided into seven separate sections; Cooper wanted to be able to have different lighting scenes in each of the separate areas of the ballroom. Plus, the separate sections each needed to have the capability to be controlled by architectural and theatrical lighting controls. The architectural lighting would be provided by the GRAFIK 6000 system, while theatrical lighting, including stageboards and motorized fixtures, would be brought in by entertainers and theatrical companies for special events. Patented Lutron 2Link technology was crucial in accommodating the Phoenician's DMX512 needs for the ballroom. The 2Link option enables Lutron dimming panels to understand commands from architectural lighting controls and theatrical lighting controls. Each system is unique, but the dimming panel is designed to auto-detect which one is present and operate accordingly.
The Phoenician staff was extremely pleased with the final result in the ballroom; the possibilities and configurations for the ballroom setup are almost endless.
Section one of the ballroom can be controlled by the GRAFIK 6000 system, while sections two and three are hosting theatrical events and are being controlled by two separate stageboards. Whether an event requires all 22,000 square feet (2,044 square meter) of the ballroom or only one small section, Lutron light controls or theatrical equipment can operate the lighting for any application. With the 2Link option, changing to a theatrical control is as easy as plugging in a stageboard.
After the success of the ballroom installation, the Phoenician management decided they wanted to update the second Orion system that controlled lighting in the other resort facilities, including the pool area, tennis courts, and other public spaces. "Making this modification required Lutron to cut over the new control system carefully to ensure a transparent change for our staff and patrons," said Cooper. "Throughout the installation and after its completion, Lutron has provided us with innovative ideas, customized solutions, and qualified field service personnel." The installation went smoothly because, according to Cooper, "Lutron field service was cooperative, flexible, and adaptable to meeting our needs in resolving challenges – no matter what they were."
"Our partnership with Lutron," added Cooper, "allows the Phoenician Resort the flexibility of control that our guests and their technical directors demand."