Talking Stick Resort

To continually go beyond basic guest satisfaction, the teams behind Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort installed 176 NEC X551UN ultra-narrow displays in various video wall configurations.

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Talking Stick Resort
Quick Facts
  • Facility: Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Challenge: Offer guests a modern, technology- forward experience to rival the competition (Las Vegas, reservation gambling)
  • Solution: 55” NEC X551UN
  • Date: January 2013

Serving as premier destinations for dining, shopping and nightlife, Casino Arizona and its sister property, Talking Stick Resort, have been pillars in Scottsdale, Arizona, since they opened in 1998 and 2010, respectively. Each week, thousands of visitors come through both properties to enjoy the amenities, which include a 240,000-square-foot casino – one of the largest in Arizona – Las Vegas-style entertainment and 36 holes of championship-level golf at the Talking Stick Golf Club.

Enhancing the guest experience is paramount for both Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort. There is a constant effort toward offering the best in all aspects of the business and exceeding expectations, whether it be a new dish debuting in one of their restaurants or the latest slots hitting the casino floor.

The Challenge

In order to continually go beyond basic guest satisfaction, the teams behind Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort realize they have to first meet and exceed the standards set by their competitors. Although they are located in Scottsdale, the blazing neon lights of Las Vegas are just five hours away. Similarly, multiple other quality offerings are in the Phoenix market. So when the teams laid out plans for the future of both properties, they knew they needed something special to help them stand apart from the competition.

Specifically, they wanted to give the 500 seat poker room at Talking Stick Resort an image, said Bryant Santini, chief information officer for both properties. “It wasn’t enough to just have a high-quality gaming space. We wanted to include something which could be iconic of the room itself.”

A similar idea was laid out for the newly constructed bingo room at Casino Arizona. Santini and his colleagues, Steve Tolle and Christopher Widmer, managers of Infrastructure and audio/visual respectively for Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort, know how crucial it is for bingo players to quickly see which letter and number are called.

They wanted to be able to make this as easy as possible for players without adding any distractions.

Other areas of both properties had different needs. Widmer said both the Maricopa Lounge and the Pima Lounge at Casino Arizona needed upgrades to the screens used to display advertising or show sporting events to patrons. Again, the goal was to meet and exceed guest satisfaction for the space. “It’s important that guests be able to view sports, live events, gaming information and advertisements from nearly any vantage point in the lounges,” said Widmer.

The rotunda at Casino Arizona presented a different challenge. This space houses guest services and is a key hub for interactions among visitors and staff. With so many people coming through this space, it was critical to make as much information available to guests as easily as possible.

Lastly, the Arizona Room and Patio Grill, a new restaurant at Casino Arizona that features a dance floor and stage, was designed with an exciting nightlife in mind. But to really set the room apart, the designers wanted to be able to highlight the fun and excitement of the dance floor to other restaurant patrons and guests throughout the casino.

For each challenge throughout Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort, the designers needed a commercial-grade display solution that could offer full HD resolution, sustainability and be able to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week as needed. Ultra-thin bezels were also a high priority in order to create seamless images in multi-display deployments.

The Solution

Considering the factors of picture quality, stability, availability and cost, Santini said he and his team chose to go with NEC Display Solutions’ X551UN display. The 55” ultra-narrow, professional-grade, large screen display is designed for the rigors of 24/7 operation in a variety of applications. It was these features, said Santini, that convinced him, Steve Tolle, manager of infrastructure at Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort, and the organization’s business partners to go with NEC moving forward.

To address the desire for a distinctive image for the poker room at Talking Stick Resort, a scoreboard concept was implemented. “The X551UN was set up in a 2x2 tiled design on a four-sided scoreboard similar to those hanging in major sports arenas. Each side of the four displays work together to show a single larger image, similar to a video wall,” said Santini.

Sporting events, advertisements and entertainment information are displayed to enhance guests’ overall experience. To add to the sports feel, a ticker was installed below the displays that provides updates on the latest sporting events in real time. The scoreboard itself became so iconic for the poker room that the space became known nationally as “The Arena at Talking Stick Resort.”

The new bingo room at Casino Arizona was conceived with a scoreboard similar to the one at Talking Stick Resort; however, this one lacks the ticker and is used primarily for sharing information related to the bingo game being played. Two large 2x4 boards are displayed at the front and back of the Bingo Hall and seven large 2x2 display setups were also implemented at key locations throughout the room to ensure that guests would not have to look far to stay on top of the letters and numbers called and be able to stay in the action.

In the Pima Lounge, a 10x2 display setup was positioned behind the bar. This allows patrons to easily view sporting events or advertising throughout much of the room. Additionally, this setup can be used as one giant screen or broken up into five 2x2 displays to offer guests a variety of viewing options.

The Maricopa Lounge used a different implementation. Behind the bar are two 2x2 display setups. “Given the layout of the lounge, it made sense to set up ten additional 2x2 displays on three walls in distinct spaces opposite the bar,” said Tolle. “This way, guests could easily view sporting events and promotional information surrounding casino activities and offerings.”

A giant 5x4 display wall was chosen to highlight the rotunda where guest services are located. Not only does this wall call attention to the exciting amenities, features and entertainment of Casino Arizona, but it serves as an iconic feature of the casino itself. Guests know they have arrived at an exceptional location and will remember their experience at Casino Arizona when departing.

The Arizona Room restaurant is outfitted with a 6x4 wall display as well. This wall can receive a feed from a camera that the designers have put in place to not only build upon the excitement in the restaurant itself, but to highlight the excitement on the dance floor to other guests throughout the property.

In all, 176 NEC X551UN displays have been installed throughout both Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort. Santini and his team tout the benefits of the displays and their ultra-thin bezels as making all the difference in the applications. “We didn’t want a black line to be distinguishable,” he said. “We wanted the 2x2 setups to be as seamless as possible and look like a single large unit.”

Santini added that they are looking into putting in some new wayfinding displays in 2013 and have been very excited with the guest responses they have received since installing the X551UN throughout both properties.