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The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis

Jul 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Janice Brown

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The meeting rooms and ballroom occupy the third floor of Hotel Ivy, and a central control station in the pre-function area houses a second Biamp Nexia CS unit and Logic Box and VCB controllers.

“We are a boutique-sized meeting center, and our meeting space is broken into three separate meeting rooms plus the reception and pre-function area,” Laux says. “Whereas a meeting for 400 people may happen a block away at another hotel, when the 75 to 100 high-level executives want to have a specific presentation that needs to be delivered in an elegant space, Hotel Ivy provides that high-end meeting environment. We can and have also used the entire third-floor space [about 5,500 square feet] for a 200-guest wedding reception.”

The main ballroom is equipped with a 120in. Da-Lite concealed-in-the-ceiling tensioned electric screen, with Sanyo 2400-ANSI-lumen data projector, Extron MLC 226 IP control, and various PC and DVD inputs. The main meeting room is optimized for AV conferencing, with the Nexia CS; a 65in. Sharp LCD that's feature-ready for videoconferencing, laptop, and PC inputs; and a Crestron CP2E control system with touchpanel and integrated lighting system control.

Dedicated Lab.gruppen amplification powers the Tannoy CMS8 TDCs in the ballrooms and boardrooms. CMS501 BMs outfit the smaller meeting rooms. Shure ULXP124/85 wireless combo microphone systems and ample microphone inputs are available in every presentation space.


Appollo installed a total of 12 high-resolution digital-signage displays throughout Hotel Ivy, and the company created discrete video zones for pertinent content using Tightrope Media Systems Carousel Server. Guests making use of the business facilities, for example, will look to digital-signage displays for meeting room information and business news, while in the fitness area, the displays can operate as TVs.

Appollo also equipped each of the 136 guest rooms with a 42in. LG Electronics 42LC5DC flatscreen TV, hooked up for video-on-demand and LodgeNet Interactive services. As for the residences, Vetter says, “There's also a DirecTV overlay system where the condominium residents can have one shared satellite dish and then bring in their own receivers, and that's distributed as well, using the one-cable solution.”


With Appollo designing the entire network infrastructure at Hotel Ivy, the AV, IT, and communications systems are all integrated across the property. The Appollo team worked with the site's Internet provider and telephone contractor to make sure all of the systems talk to each other without unwanted interference.

Staff communications transpire via VoIP or text messaging over wireless telephones running off the robust Internet network in place at the hotel. With this system, the staff can page a number of people simultaneously, and the person taking the call will acknowledge by text or voice. This mode of communication helps to enhance, and even improve, guest services.

“As a relatively small, but very high-end hotel, we need to ensure immediate response times to meet our guest-experience standards,” Laux says. “This system records the call and managers can track, monitor, and improve on staff response times.”

Janice Brown is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in music and sound technology. Her work can also be found in Mix Magazine.

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