Midwestern Mirage

Midwestern Mirage
  • SANDUSKY, OH-In addition to services, restaurants, and a roaring water park, the Kalahari Resort includes the newly added NIA Center: a 95,000-square-foot meeting and event space capable of hosting more than 2,000 attendees at any given time.

A Crestron touchpanel controller communicating with a Crestron processor provides quick, easy control over this conference room's AV components.
The NIA Center is steeped in the Kalahari African theme, but provides businesses with modern AV technology. In total, the NIA Center comprises 21 rooms, each capable of supporting high-resolution video broadcast, multiple video inputs, and reinforced sound. These rooms include the Grand ballroom, which can be zoned into eight separate rooms; a junior ballroom that can be zoned into five separate rooms; four octagonal conference rooms designed to resemble African huts; two pre-function rooms; and finally, two executive boardrooms.

Sensory Technologies of Indianapolis, IN, was brought on in early 2006 to work closely with Kalahari's IT manager, Matthew Dick, for the full design/build on this new facility, overseeing the design of the entire AV system as well as the engineering and programming for the system's audio and control functions.

"Our biggest challenge with the NIA Center was providing advanced functionality with an intuitive front end, especially for the system's audio element," said Eric Brown, design engineer, Sensory Technologies. "With the need for complete audio distribution and video conferencing functionality on a dedicated LAN made it apparent early on that network-friendly components would be paramount."

For signal processing within the center, Sensory decided on the Biamp AudiaFLEX processor, utilizing a total of eight AudiaFLEX units, four of which are dedicated to the grand ballroom, two for the junior ballroom, and one AudiaFLEX in each of the executive boardrooms. In the four separate hut styled conference rooms, one Nexia CS is responsible for all of the processing.

Brown continued, "From general sound distribution to a very fine level of zoning and conferencing, this was an ideal installation for the Biamp AudiaFLEX. The AudiaFLEX makes this system virtually hands off and makes our job easy because we can provide the advanced functionality that Kalahari required and still make the front end of the system easy-to-control."

The NIA Center also features two executive boardrooms that can seat up to 20 participants while providing an intimate level of communication and conferencing. Both rooms feature Crown MB4e, low profile table microphones to accurately pick up audio during conference calls. Each room also features a conference table with custom-made cable cubbies for laptop, network, and power connectors, and an ERK rack from Middle Atlantic Products to house components locally.