Due to the popularity of this video on social media, it appears that on this particular occasion, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.
Commercial Integrator Europe (CIE) is the first to admit that it has not yet made it over to the self-dubbed entertainment capital of the world, but anyone that has seen Casino, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas or The Hangover probably has a pretty good idea of what lies in store for them over the pond – hopefully minus the tiger in the hotel room.
Synonymous with mega casinos, ridiculously luxurious hotels, fevered gambling, spectacular water shows, outrageous LED lights and general excess, Vegas’ rapidly evolving skyline and neon-lit architecture continues to swallow up millions of tourists a year – and millions of dollars.
A resort and casino investing said dollars into luring its share of guests into its premises is the SLS Las Vegas.
A recent $415 million renovation of the historic Sahara hotel located along the North Vegas strip, the SLS boasts over 1,600 guest rooms and suites, two sweeping poolside lounges, a trio of premier nightclubs, nine bars and lounges, not forgetting a 60,000 sq-f casino bursting with over 800 slot machines.
But being Vegas, the hotel needed something more to ensure it stood out from the rest.
To remedy this, SLS Las Vegas and SBE Entertainment approached D’strict (a creative division of South Korean-based KT Corporation), working with them to develop a digital design and content strategy for the newly remodelled resort-casino.
Daktronics was then promptly selected by SBE, in partnership with KT Corporation, to provide all dynamic indoor and outdoor LED video experiences.
They didn’t disappoint. In total the company designed, manufactured and delivered 12 LED video displays totalling more than 23 million LEDs into the SLS Las Vegas property.
This was no small feat; the SLS’ main LED attraction is its LED video marquee – a four-sided, 15mm LED video marquee positioned near the corner of Las Vegas Blvd, by far the largest display at SLS Las Vegas.
The display towers at 88 feet high and stretches 47 feet wide, acting as a beacon for the resort, welcoming guests with marketing and artistic content.
Moving on to the Center Bar captured in the video above, hanging directly above the bar itself is the second largest display in the hotel, boasting more than 2.1 million LED pixels at 6mm line spacing.
Moving on to the Las Vegas Blvd Starck Frame located on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara Ave, this 10 mm Daktronics display showcases both marketing and artistic content.
Next we have the 10 mm Daktronics Paradise Starck Frame installed near the Paradise entrance of SLS Las Vegas, followed by a 6mm centre LED video display covering the LiFE DJ Booth and six 10mm LED video LiFE walls positioned on either side of the booth.
Not forgetting SSL’s Foxtail Nightclub’s 10 mm LED video display installed directly above the dance floor.
“Digital display technology is used throughout the entire facility and every space offers its own unique and exclusive atmosphere,” explains Jeff Everson, Daktronics application engineer, spectaculars business unit.
“It starts while driving down Las Vegas Blvd where motorists are met with digital content on a massive four-sided marquee. This place is decked out with digital technology, each specifically suited to its application.
“The beautiful aspect is that all the content has a distinct purpose. Some is obviously marketing driven and expressed throughout the facility. However, each individual zone can evoke a specific feeling through its ambient, artistic-based content. The content ranges from amazing, to abstract, to informative, to subtle ambience depending on the time of day and audience in each space.”
Each product was selected to provide the best image quality for each viewing audience at each location.
Factors included the viewing distance to the audience, brightness requirements (indoor VS outdoor), contrast and the content to be shown at each location.
“Our HD 15 product utilised on the outdoor marquee provides the brightness and contrast needed to provide dynamic content in the Las Vegas sun,” Jim Vasgaard, sales manager for Daktronics Spectaculars business unit, tells CIE.
The 10mm displays are utilised at the exterior ground level locations, providing walk past/drive by viewing in bright sun lit applications.
Meanwhile, a 6mm pixel pitch above the shot bar displays HD content to viewers congregating in gambling or restaurant areas.
“This display is the WOW moment in this part of the casino,” asserts Jim. “The 6mm and 10mm displays add ambience and incredible visual stimulation in the dance club as they are part of the DJ show.”
Due to the scale of this project, it was not without its challenges…
Collaborations And Challenges
The multiple team collaboration began early on with the iconic suspended display above the Center Bar.
In fact, the three-dimensional LED rectangle was originally designed to look like a spiralling multi-tentacle tornado, which presented some very unique challenges.
“In the end it was decided to move in a different direction and I feel the result was fantastic,” Jeff admits. “Adding dimension through the side pieces of the rectangle presents SLS with a very unique display where the creative content opportunities are endless.”
When the team realised just how close hotel guests would be to the indoor displays, they knew nothing but the best would do.
“The indoor displays are quite close to the viewers, requiring seamless displays and use of advanced processing to display the content created for SLS Casino,” nods Jim.
“Show-stopping content is an integral part of the SLS image; they rely upon the Daktronics experience and technical expertise to show 3D content on our products.”
In addition, Daktronics designed a custom control system that works with specific content file types and allows for complex day-parting of the various styles of content.
This included creating modes such as ‘Joyful Mode’, ‘Colourful Mode’ and ‘Playful Mode’, each of which is used strategically depending on the time of day or occasion.
“This was a great team effort that achieved the original design intent while working through the challenges that can come with a design team based in Korea,” Jeff reflects.
“I have to credit Vision Sign Company on their impressive fabrication and final installation of the main outdoor pylon display. The displays’ LED video components were installed in nine truckloads, with each level pre-assembled in the shop and brought down the strip in the middle of the night, lifted and dropped in place.”
Jim adds that Daktronics and the customer are both “very pleased with the outcome of this project as it is a landmark achievement on the Las Vegas Strip and a showcase venue for similar projects in the future”.
“Personally, the part I enjoy most about the SLS Las Vegas is that they truly embrace digital technology and the art of storytelling throughout this space,” says Jeff.
“It doesn’t feel like your typical Las Vegas hotel/casino. You feel its distinction not only in the digital displays, but also within its overall décor. There are areas plastered in graffiti art on the walls and ceilings as well as giant murals in the carpets.
“Careful thought and consideration was put into every aspect of the design of SLS Las Vegas where seemingly everywhere you look you see an unexpected piece of art. Ultimately, Daktronics played a small part in an incredibly complex project that had a focus all along on how the display systems would be used within each space. Overall it was a great vision, design, and execution,” he smiles.